Body Ritual Among the NaciremaWhat is the precise geographical location of this strange tribe, theNacirema?The Nacirema is a North American group living in the territory betweenthe Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, andthe Carib and Arawak of the Antilles.
Little is known of their origin,though tradition states that they came from the east. What are the private and secret shrines of the Nacirema?In the Nacirema, the belief is that the human body is ugly and thatits natural tendency is to debility and disease. Every household hasone or more shrines devoted to the hope that mans body will be changedthrough the use of the powerful influences of ritual and ceremony. Each family has at least on such shrine; the rituals associated withit are not family ceremonies but are private and secret.Order now
The rites arenormally only discussed with children, and then only during the periodwhen they are being initiated into these mysteries. The focal point of the shrine is a box or chest which is built intothe wall. Many charms and magical potions without which no nativebelieves he could live. These preparations are secured from a varietyof specialized practitioners. The most powerful of these are themedicine men, whose assistance must be rewarded with substantialgifts. Who are the Nacirema’s holy-mouth-men?In the hierarchy of magical practitioners, and below the medicine menin prestige, are specialists whose designation is b.