Body ritual among the nacirema anthropology

Conception is actually very infrequent. For example, there is a ritual ablution of the mouth for children which is supposed to improve their moral fiber. Female clients, on the other hand, find their naked bodies are subjected to the scrutiny, manipulation and prodding of the medicine men.


It is hard to un- derstand how they have managed to exist so long under the burdens which they have imposed upon themselves. From time to time the medicine men come to their clients and jab magically treated needles into their flesh. Retrieved 17 Jul The Study of Man. This sort of ceremonial treatment is necessitated by the fact that the excreta are used by a diviner to ascertain the course and nature of the client's sickness.

The article itself received the most reprint permission requests of any article in American Anthropologist, but has become part of the public domain.


The medicine men have an imposing temple, or latipso, in every community of any size. Even after one has gained admission and survived the ceremonies, the guardians will not permit the neophyte to leave until he makes still another gift.

Religion and Philosophy Collection. These preparations are secured from a variety of specialized practitioners. The sections from di Leonardo emphasize this aspect. First posted 12 February The device was provided with its own climate control system as well as a system that screened out many of the shorter rays of the light spectrum.

This point has, in fact, been expressed with respect to clan organization by Murdock. The latipso ceremonies are so harsh that it is phenomenal that a fair proportion of the really sick natives who enter the temple The concept of culture ever recover. With ritual precision, the vestals awaken their miserable charges each dawn and roll them about on their beds of pain while performing ablutions, in the formal movements of which the maidens are highly trained.

Nacirema Thinking

Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people. One way I think this can be minimized is to inquire of the indigenous names of roles in the tribe and use these labels instead of describing the peoples through roles familiar to the anthropologist but not native to the tribe studied.

Although treatment can be uncomfortable and expensive, American adults still seek medical treatment although it does not guarantee a cure.

Body Ritual among the Nacirema - Anthropology & the Human Condition

A man, whose own wife has never seen him in an excretory act, suddenly finds himself naked and assisted by a vestal maiden while he performs his natural functions into a sacred vessel.

Nash shows how these practices are shaped by culture, history, and power. The charm is not disposed of after it has served its purpose, but is placed in the charmbox of the household shrine. Parturition takes place in secret, without friends or relatives to assist, and the majority of women do not nurse their infants.

They may eat a lot or fast in order to get their desired body shape. For example, there is a ritual ablution of the mouth for children which is supposed to improve their moral fiber.

In particular, he writes about several rituals that the Nacirema appear to practice regularly. In fact, if all of the logically possible combinations of behavior have not been found somewhere in the world, he is apt to suspect that they must be present in some yet undescribed tribe.

Small children whose indoctrination is still incomplete have been known to resist attempts to take them to the temple because "that is where you go to die. These sacred aspects are the rituals that the Nacirema partake in throughout their lives.Body Ritual among the Nacirema.

HORACE MINER. University of Michigan. Search for more papers by this author. HORACE MINER. University of Michigan. Thoughts on Anthropology, The Body Shop, and Intellectuals, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 14, 1, (), (). Wiley Online Library.  “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” Horace Miner, an anthropologist of the nineteenth century, conducted a study on a local tribe known as Nacirema.

According to his research their culture, like many others, is viewed as a strange way of life. Body Rituals Among the Nacirema Essay Words | 4 Pages “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema, “ by Horace Miner, is an essay written about the Nacirema, or American people, from an outsider’s perspective.

Title: Body Ritual among the Nacirema Created Date: Z. Body Ritual among the Nacirema HORACE MINER Uniaersity of Michigan 'THE anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different peoples behave in similar situations that he is not apt to.

General Anthropology Body Ritual Among the Nacirema ` In this article anthropologist, Horace Miner writes about the depiction of the North American group called the Nacirema, described by a Professor Linton in the early s.

Body ritual among the nacirema anthropology
Rated 3/5 based on 34 review