Anthropologist Horace Miner, explored a culture called the Nacirema. They part-take in strange body-rituals that he describes as the following
- Men scrape and lacerating the surface of their face with a sharp instrument
- Women shove their heads into small ovens for about an hour
- Most in this society tend to believe that the human body is ugly and do everything they can to change it
- They are fascinated with the mouth and seek a holy-mouth man who painfully enlargen any decaying holes in the teeth
- The people go to this temple, where a medicine man jabs them with needles and inset wands into their mouth
- The fact that these temple ceremonies may not cure, causes pain and may even kill, doesn’t decreases the people’s faith in the medicine men.
- A witch-doctor helps to exorcise the devil in people’s head. Mothers are usually suspected of putting a curse in their children’s heads.
- The patient simply tells the “listener” all his troubles and fears, beginning with the earliest difficulties he can remember.
- The memory displayed by the Nacirema in these exorcism sessions is truly remarkable.
- It is not uncommon for the patient to talk about their troubles going back to the traumatic effects of their own birth.
Are you getting the catch here?
What’s Nacirema spelled backwards?
American. Think about it.
Men scraping their faces= shaving, Women putting their heads into ovens= women drying their hair in the old-fashioned machine, Holy mouth man= dentist, Temples=hospitals, Witchdoctor= psychiatrist
This piece was a satirical story written in order to prove a point. Just because it’s strange to someone doesn’t mean it’s not completely ordinary for someone else.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed and learned something.