Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

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Writing Assignment One Kaixi Zhang Purdue University Author Note Kaixi Zhang, College of Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906 Contact: “What is Nacirema?” It was the first question I asked myself when I saw the title of Horace Miner’s article “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”. (To be honest, as an international student, I knew my English was not as good as the natives’, so my first job is figuring out the meaning of that word by using translator.) Unfortunately, I cannot find the answer for my question without reading since there was no explanation for this word. By keeping reading this article, it was not hard to know that Nacirema was a North American little-known tribe which came from the East and lived in “the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of Antilles”. And according to this whole article, I learnt more about this group. For example, they had their culture hero Notgnihsaw, they have highly developed market economy and they had their special ritual activities. Everything I read told me there was a group which named Nacirema had their special way or structure of society for their ritual and ceremony of the human body, the appearance and health. Nacirema was an existence of the other culture in United States. Even though we looked at one thing in different side, I can still know that Nacirema was similar to us. Now, I used connect Nacirema with our group by using cultural relativism to understand this group since the cultural relativism was “the viewing of people’s behavior from the perspective of their own culture”. For example, we had our restroom, they had their shrine room; we had our dentist, they had their “holy-mouth-men”; and we had our children who had mental problem by being blamed by their mother, and they had their children who had a curse

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