I chose for my discussion a typical day in the life of Nacirema. After reading the article, Body Ritual among the Nacirema, by H. Miner, I have concluded that their day is not much different than ours. It is all about rituals for this tribe.
Both the men and women perform the daily mouth rite, which involves inserting a small bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures (Miner, H 1956). We perform this same ritual every morning when we get up using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Nacirema’s also seek out a holy-mouth man twice a year to correct any decay. This practice is aligned with our current society recommended seeing a dentist every six months for a regular cleaning and correction of decay. The difference here is that if we do not have any decay we are told to return in 6 months, their ritual calls for a hole drilling in a non-decayed tooth and magical powders are inserted to attract friends and healthy teeth.
As with our current society they also have a highly developed market economy (Miner, H 1956) as well.
My modern tribe would be my coworkers and immediate family members. If an outsider looked in, they might find it unusual that myself and coworkers are sitting with headsets on behind desks staring at a computer screen as we have our morning meetings every day. Can you imagine how strange I would look if someone from the Nacirema community saw this practice?
I found the reading very interesting, after reading several times, I could see so many similarities between our daily practices and theirs.
I have chosen to go with discussion one. The Nacirema are the typical American. They bathe and take care of their bodies just as anyone would. When you have mouth problems, you see a dentist. When you’re sick you see a doctor. They fight signs of aging and try to augment their bodies in a positive way in their minds. It’s crazy when you take such an outside perspective, how the description of the things we do to ourselves or others can be interpreted. Being deployed, my modern tribe is military and very system based. We have times to report to places and duties to perform. We all wear the same clothing, and practice customs and courtesies we were trained to perform. We have regulations to abide to, as far as grooming standards. Length and style of hair, as well as shaving everyday must be done. The routine we keep is definitely not for everyone. People see it as very controlling and can’t cope with the lifestyle we live. But they stay away for selfish reasons because they don’t understand the bigger picture of what the military stands for. Even other countries military, don’t seem to understand our level of discipline, or compliance of the US military lifestyle
This week has truly been informative and an eye opener. I didn’t think that within the first week of anthropology that I would like it and learn a lot. But my opinions have changed since then because I am starting to enjoy this class and the of this course I will gain a lot of knowledge I didn’t have before. One thing that made me examine a topic from a different prospective is how culture shock is something big and how it could make a person sick. With human beings going into a different culture that they are not use to it is often said if they for a certain time they may get depress and home sick due to the fact they aren’t used to where they are at. I think what struck me was all the materials I have learned this week because it really broadens my eyes. I would say that You’re Not Going to Believe What I Tell you didn’t really cause any frictions for because I do believe that people have their own versions of stories that can be twisted, so what you hear may not be the truth.
So far the class is enjoyable it is highly different from other classes I have previously completed. It is way different for me though and i see myself struggling in the future with trying to compare and draw good information out about different cultures. I do enjoy reading about the cultures and things about them and how they lived but putting that into a paper I feel will be difficult.
What struck you in particular as you explored the course materials this week? While i have compared my life to others i’ve never had to apply it in a classroom setting. It would be and understatement to say if i ever actually thought about it. While know we are blessed in this time and many people have more then others it hasn’t really been something i have ever thought about.
Do you have questions that your classmates might be able to help you with? (If you have a question for the instructor, be sure to contact your instructor via email or in the Ask Your Instructor forum). Does anyone else feel they will have trouble writing papers in this class versus a typical history paper or research paper? By that I mean a worth while paper that would be enjoyable to read. Sometimes I write papers and when I reread them I catch myself yawning out of the lack of interest in how I put my paper together.
Each response to a peer should be a minimum of 75 words.
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