Horace Miner



     Body Ritual Among the Nacirema tells the story of a strange lifestyle and the rituals of this particular lifestyle. The first thing Miner writes about is every household having a “shrine room” where rituals that are secret from everyone else are practiced and how every shrine room has a box with many magical potions. The most important potions are described to be obtained from the medicine man but they don’t directly give them the medicine. The people get a piece of paper with the medicine written on it in a secret language and they take this to someone else to get the potions. Does any of this sound a bit familiar? It should, because Miner is talking about the American culture. Nacirema is American spelled backwards. The “shrine room” Miner describes is the bathroom and the box with magical potions is the medicine cabinet. This discription of that are common to the American culture are depicted throughout the article to add effect.

     Horace Miner uses a unique approach to help us (Americans) realize different things about our culture. This story is trying to get us to look at our own culture from the outside sine we are always thinking we are normal but other cultures are very strange. When in reality, we are just as strange as other cultures are to us. I feel that Miner wants us to realize that we should learn to respect other culture’s beliefs, lifestyles, and daily rituals even when they seem odd to us. Body Ritual Among the Nacirema can also be related to the article from the Inquiry reader Shakespeare in the Bush in the sense that people are the same everywhere because of our perceptions but most of all because of our inability to see our own short comings.



HOMEPAGE