Perspectives on society and culture

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateF, February 1997

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Perspectives on Society and Culture

It is very difficult as a reader to make any sense of the rituals performed by the Nacirema. The Nacirema are a people who stress the importance of physical wellness and go to great and to the outsider horrific lengths to ensure this.

A professor Linton was the first to shed light on the particularly bizarre lifestyle that is lived by the Nacirema. Physical wellness being so heavily stressed is not the bizarre aspect, it is the spiritual sense and seemingly blind faith they put into their beliefs that is bewildering. These people believe the human body is ugly and that it breeds disease. The Nacirema pray daily through a private shrine in there house to , what seems to me cleanse and prevent, what to them lurks and breeds in our body. It is believed by the people that there is magical forces possesed in a chest in the shrine.

These forces or magic is supplied through text by a medicine man who holds very high stature among the Nacirema. One part of the body that is seen to be excpecially unholy is the mouth. One major part of the cleansing of the mouth is done once or twice a year by the" holy mouth men".

This is where the man uses exotic instruments to open holes larger in decaying teeth or even healthy teeth. The teeth, with nerve exposed, are stuffed with"magical"material to arrest decay. To the outsider this is torturous. There are many other disturbing body cleansing rituals like the baking of women's heads scheduled by the patterns of the moon. This culture is one of many cultures who put there faith in past on beliefs and go to seemingly horrific measures carrying them out.

1. This article was frightening as...