Human Body and Medicine Men Essay

Submitted By n346216
Words: 551
Pages: 3

Upon first reading the article Body Ritual among the Nacirema,I was actually quite intrigued by the unusual customs and traditions practiced by the Nacireman people. I was fascinated throughout the beginning of the article while it was talking about the Nacirema’s obsession with the human body and the importance of hiding certain natural functions and anatomies, and how the body was “ugly” in their minds. As if it was a taboo to be human. Upon reading this I attempted to compare this belief with any other cultures I knew of but couldn’t make any sort of viable connection. I thought this cultural standpoint was quite bazar and unusual. One of the more fascinating things I read was about the Nacirema’s complete fear and horror associated with the mouth. It was thought that the mouth was a gateway for disease and unholy demands so if a person’s teeth or mouth was decaying they were out casted and looked down upon by their people. About twice a year the Nacirema sought out a certain type of medicine man called Holy-mouth-men, who performed a variety of medical and magical procedures that the Nacirema believed was necessary in order to live and keep their bodies clean of spirits. The medicine men were the only ones who seemed to actually know what kinds of ingredients were needed for the positions to cure curtain ailments and disease. I thought it was sort of an economical norm for the medicine men to be higher up in social status, as they demanded gifts and sufficient compensation for all services. Services such as gruesome medical procedures and magical potions that people would take back to their shrines and perform in secrecy, as these daily rituals were private, similar to any other human function. This was all still fascination to me at this point, until the article started talking about what kind of procedures these people put themselves through in order to stay alive and keep their bodies pure of evil. For example, when the time came for the Nacirema to seek out Holy-Mouth-Men, during procedures they would find