Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Native Americans in the United States and Short Story Essay

Nacirema The â€Å"Body Ritual among the Nacirema† is a short story about a native American tribe. It wasn’t until more research on my part that I realized that this tribe did not exist. In fact it is a folk tale told in Miner’s own words. In true form Miner gives hint to this short story the Nacirema culture to that of the our culture today. Nacirema is in fact spelled â€Å"American†(Culture). The Nacirema has a hero named â€Å"Notgnihsaw† spelled â€Å"Washington† backwards. There are many similarities to this story as our American culture. Out of similarities Washington is our hero. He was the first President of the United States. Legend has it that Washington â€Å"threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River†, much like the Nacirema threw their native beads across their Pa-To-Mac River. Another story has Washington chopping down a cherry tree. But did Washington actually chop the tree down? â€Å"For he could not tell a lie†. As Americans we have rituals and cultural identities Every household has its â€Å"shrine† much like the Nacirema. Not all shrines are made alike. Is the â€Å"shrine† our homes, our churches, or our bathrooms? Shrines come in all walks of life. Miner gives the perception that the working class go to work and make money. If you have very little money your home is small much like a tent. The more money you make the bigger your home is which is made of brick and mortar. He discuses a specific â€Å"charm box† built into the wall (medicine cabinet). Within this box is collection of magical potions (medicine) where all members of the tribe have faith that he/she cannot live without. â€Å"The most powerful of these are the medicine men, whose assistance must be rewarded with substantial gifts. However, the medicine men do not provide the curative potions for their clients, but decide what the ingredients should be and then write them down in an ancient and secret language. This writing is understood only by the medicine men and by the herbalists who, for another gift, provide the required charm. †(Miner) This indicates folks going to the doctor that write the prescriptions to filled by the pharmacy. Miner talks about how members bow theirs heads in front of the box much like that of washing our hands. The Catholics have a similar ritual of dipping of the fingers in the â€Å"holy water† and doing the sign of the cross(Holy water) or kneeling before entering the pew(Religion:Manners in). The Nacirema have a morbid fascination with their mouths. If it â€Å"weren’t for the rituals of the mouth, they believed their teeth would fall out, their gums bleed. † If these things would have happened they believed their lovers would disown them. † â€Å"The daily body ritual performed by everyone includes a mouth-rite. †(Miner) This is much like the flossing or brushing of our teeth. The floss or bristles on our tooth brush we use is similar to the â€Å"hogs hairs. † The â€Å"magical powders† is that of the tooth paste we brush our teeth with. Miner maintains that the Americans right of passage in ways to throw off the readers. Themes as visiting the doctor, surgical operations, and sex are talked about. I initially didn’t take this story serious in reading it. After thorough research to get a better understanding of the writing I got a eye opening. This story reminds me much of a recent short story â€Å"A Modest Proposal†. Both has similarities of rituals and tales of people. I come from a family of rituals with last names that carry on from family to family or given the middle name of your mother first name. We are all meeting the needs of our own tribes whether it be the Americans, Nacirema or Vietnamese into how each is stereotyped.

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