Nacirema individuals by applying pottery plaques to their shrine’s.

Nacirema
culture is a very unusual and different culture, anthropologists have witnessed
extreme behaviors these human beings. This culture is not fully understood, and
little is known about their origin. Their traditions and ritual activities are
unusual and unique. Horace Miner describes the Nacirema’s culture, beliefs,
rituals, values, and traditions. Miner explains that the Nacirema’s rituals and
ceremonies are based on shrines, that is a box or chest that is built into the
wall. They distinguish the poor and the powerful individuals by applying pottery
plaques to their shrine’s. He describes many behaviors and things done by this
culture to educate us about their beliefs. Furthermore, he explains that a
shrine contains magical potions prescribed by a medicine man and made by an
herbalist. These magical potions are only made and given if they are paid with
a rich gift. Sick individuals are tortured, and are not usually cured, they must
give rich gifts, and their cloth are tripped off. Nacirema’s have witchdoctors,
that cure people who have been bewitched. The Nacirema have their own unique practices,
they have “an almost pathological horror or and fascination with the mouth, the
condition of which is believed to have a supernatural influence on all social
relationships” (Miner 88). The rituals consist of inserting s bundle of dog
hair in the mouth with magical powders to expand the mouth. Making the mouth
large, decaying the teeth to have more friends and be socially accepted. It is
very important for us to understand and learn about different cultures, and
practice cultural relativism to educate ourselves and not analyze or judge other
cultures in a negative way. One of the reasons of why we should not be ethnocentric
in our approach to this culture is because they are extremely obedient to their
culture, and rituals. Generations after generations, kids are trained and
punished for not fulfilling their cultural rituals. They have managed to live
until today, and are still one of the “magic-ridden people” (Miner 91).
Moreover, another notable example is the Yanomamo culture. Chagnon spent
nineteen months with the Yanomamo’s, learned their culture, understood their
behaviors, and learned their language. At first, he had the illusion of these
people to “adopt him into their kinship system and way of life” (Chagnon 94).
With Mr.Barker guidance and acknowledge he guided Chagnon during the first days.
During the first days Chagnon was experiencing seconds thoughts about his
career, what he was doing, feeling depressed, and eventually felt lonely. He
was seen the Yanomamo culture in a very ethnocentric way, by comparing his challenging
situations to what he could have done if he was back at home. At first, Chagnon
didn’t understand their language, and their culture, so the Indians used him,
robed him, and even threaten him. He did not give up and “soon learned that he
had to become very much like the Yanomamo to be able to get along with them on
their terms: sly, aggressive, and intimidating” (Chagnon 98). This made the Yanomamos
respect him more, and with time he started to defend himself and gave them a spirited
lecture when they acted wrong against him. In addition, Chagnon also learned
and understood their culture when he stopped being ethnocentric, and started to
practice cultural relativism. By doing this, he started to gather data of the
Yanomamo’s names to create genealogies, after so many misunderstandings and
tricks he finally was able to finish them with the help of Kaobawa. The Yanomamo
culture is very complicated, but Chagnon managed to live and learn among them.

In
the article “Anybody’s Son Will Do” the author Gwynee Dyer describes how
civilian men are trained to kill to become soldiers. Dyer says that turning a
civilian into a soldier is like a religious conversion, he says this because it
becomes a commitment in where everything changes. The author supports his point
by stating that “armies try to get their recruits before they are 20” (Dyer
484). Dyer explains that the army prefers young adults because they are more
capable of having more physical fitness, they are enthusiastic, and economic
dispensability.  The military is all a business
“there are many instances in which the army is popular for economic reasons” (Dyer
484). Like many churches, that are created to use God as an excuse for economic
reasons. The soldiers go through basic training, the recruits will be isolated
from their world. Basic training “it’s about changing them so that they can do
things they wouldn’t have dreamt of otherwise” (Dyer 485). The soldiers go
through physical and mental pressure, to become disciplined. The manipulation
and brain washes that these individuals receive is inhumane and heartbreaking. I
agree with Dyer because he explains what the army is about, nothing but
manipulation and money politics to create future wars. The army has a
significant role in the United States, but it has affected millions of young Americans. 

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