Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Kitchens of the Nacirema

Posted by Angie_DIY (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 18, 12 at 16:54

In his classic anthropological article, Horace Miner described the customs of the Nacirema tribe. He spends particular time describing their body rituals, such as their daily ablutions. In the passage below, he describes the rooms (shrines) where these rituals take place. I was particularly struck by the last sentences below, where he discusses the construction of the walls of these shrines:

The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families imitate the rich by applying pottery plaques to their shrine walls.

Now, Miner's characterization concerned the body-ritual shrine. Do you think the same characterization regarding stone vs. pottery applies to the food-preparation ritual center?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

Probably so. I've always said I couldn't afford marble so I put cultured marble in there - it's the only culture I'm ever likely to have. ;)


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

I used to use this when I taught high school social studies :)


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

Marti: LOL!

Dash: I believe that is where I first read it!


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

LOL! (And you need to read Motel of the Mysteries by David Macaulay, if you haven't already!)


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

The Nacirema also engaged in bizarre hunting rituals to locate large planks of calcium carbonate, which though functionally inferior, were highly prized by the Nacirema for their unusual markings. Usually mating pairs would hunt together, but sometimes females hunted solo for these planks, traversing great distances and risking estrangement from their coital mate.

Modern scientists have been able to learn a great deal about this people and their diets by studying the calcium etchings, which are plentiful ns well preserved.


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

Mtn: Nice one! Well done.

large planks of calcium carbonate, which though functionally inferior,

When you say functionally inferior, did you mean compared to the silicates? Oddly, it seems that some mating pairs chose a hard silicate (such as an aluminosilicate), but others chose a soft silicate (such as magnesium silicate). Despite this commonality, the pairs who chose the soft silicate tended to ally themselves more closely with pairs who chose calcium carbonate.

The ones who chose a hard silicate invariably consulted a rock-priest. Some of those who chose a soft silicate crudely worked the silicate plank without the assistance of a rock-priest. (Perhpas we can infer that these must have been drawn from the lower echelon of the Nacirema culture.)

Even more confusingly, others did consult a rock-priest to perform the rituals on a soft silicate, but insisted that a rock-priest who was accustomed to the hard silicates could not successfully perform the rituals on a soft silicate. The chief priest of the soft-rock silicates lived in a swampy region at the lowest latitudes of the Nacirema range, and was named Auhsoj. His services were in demand throughout the whole range of the tribes, even though many other hard- and soft-rock priests already inhabited those areas.


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

LOL...
Some of them discovered that the stone could be cut into thin layers, similar in size to the pottery plaques, and affixed to the walls and altars with various mineral pastes, thus creating a 'middle class shrine.'

I was very lucky that my mate accompanied me on the pilgrimage to find our calcium carbonate plank, then built the altar to display it. :)


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

@mama_goose - ROFL!!!


 o
RE: Kitchens of the Nacirema

I recall footnote 24601 states that the highest of the rock-priests gathered in a place along the shores of what we now call Lake Erie in a clearing cleared originally by eye m pay.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here