Human Body and North American Group - Religion Essay Example

The Nacirema are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawark of the Antilles - Human Body and North American Group introduction. Little is known about their origin but people believe that they came from the east. These people concentrate on the human body, which is their main concern which makes the Nacirema unique in their rituals and ways of thinking. The Nacirema believe that the human body is ugly in the sense that it’s not perfect because it’s weak and prone to catch diseases.

They believe that the only way to rid of these characteristics is through rituals and ceremonies. What are the ritual centers that are found in all their houses? In all the Nacirema homes there are one or more shrines devoted to the purpose of riding the ugly human bodies characteristics. The more powerful an individual is in society, the more shrines they have in their houses. Depending on how many ritual centers a house has determines how powerful up the hierarchy someone is in Naciremic society. Each family has at least on shrine, but the rituals are performed privately and not together as a family.


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In these shrine rooms there is a box or chest holding magical potions that was said to believe no man could live without. What do you think Horace Miner was trying to say in this article? I think Horace Miner was trying to prove the because of these eccentric and rather “odd” customs that ancient people have, like the Nacirema, that man would not have advanced or evolved to how we are today because we would not have had somewhere to change from. The Nacirema believe that the human body is so ugly that enormous amounts of time and money must be spent to overcome that?

Although the Nacirema rituls required them to do drastic and and painful things to their bodies they didn’t do it because they thought their body was ugly as in not good-looking, but ugly as in not perfecr because the human body according to them is weak. That the Nacirema are masochistic? Although it appears the Nacirema were masochistic because they did things that caused them pain which in turn gave them gratification I don’t think they were masochistic because even though they welcomed the pain it does not mean that they enjoyed it.

That the Nacirema are very superstitious people who believe in magic? I don’t think that the Nacirema are very superstitious, maybe as we look back at them we may think they were but doing rituals and ceremonies was part of who they were, and part of their society. For example catholic people do the sign of the cross to bless someone so nothing bad happens, it doesn’t mean their superstitious but rather accustomed to that ritual.

That the Nacirema engage in practices that might seem very strange to others? Yes, to others the rituals of these people may seem strange and inhumane, especially in our society because we like to point fingers at the “strange things other societies do because we are more “civilized”. If you look at it through a Christian point of view they believe it’s the devils work, and if you look at it through another similar native tribe it might be a way of life.

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