After reading the article by Horace Miner and have chosen five words that describe the population that he talks about. These five words are Nacerima, unusual, unique, private and pathological. I think that these words are very descriptive regarding this group of people.
I chose this word because in Miner's article he portrays the Nacerima to be unusual in their rituals. They show unusual behaviors by having shrines in their houses that hold charms and magical potions. It is also unusual that this population have rituals by going to a witch doctor, holy-mouth-man and medicine man where they endure torture and manipulation. This type of tribe show very unusual behaviors and they have an unusual culture.
I chose this word because the Nacerima culture is characterized as being unique. The ceremonial aspects affiliated are very different. The way that we look at other cultures as if they are really strange, exotic and unique. The Nacerima don't look at themselves as being unique but only normal, other cultures are weird and strange.
I chose this word because the Nacerima show rituals of being very private. For example, when it comes to their shrine box. Most families have at least one shrine box in their home and the ceremonies are private and secret. The shrine boxes are private because it holds many magical potions that are very important to the Nacerima people and each magical potion is private to each one person.
I chose this word because the Nacerima people have a "pathological horror" when it comes to the holy-mouth-men. They are fascinated with their mouths and have to be or they won't gain friends or relationships with the opposite sex. This population is obsessed with their mouth and they have a habitual ritual to see these holy-mouth-men twice a year. Some of the Nacerima's are pathological when it comes to their rituals and ceremonies.
1. The words I chose again were; Nacerima, unusual, unique, private and pathological. As an American, I feel that my five descriptive words could identify with most groups of people. We are all unusual, unique, private and pathological in some way. We are all the same species but just have different cultures based upon how we were raised and in different areas of the world. I feel like I chose good descriptive words because no matter where someone comes from they can relate in some way.
2. Based on my choices I believe that they do exhibit some ethnocentrism. For instance, the words unusual and pathological seem to be bias. From someone Else's point of view that might be true because they have never seen our type of culture, therefore they would be judgmental or not understanding of how the American culture does certain things. There are human differences in behavior, rituals, and relationships but that does not mean that we are the only ones that are right. The focus is not on just the human behavior but an experience in different cultures and to learn more about them.
3. Instead of using the word unusual, I would rather use the word unknown because it may not be unusual to most other cultures just unusual to us because we have not experienced their behaviors or rituals before. For the word, pathological, I would rather use the word habitual. When a population is so used to certain "rituals", like going to the dentist, we have grown up on that and that is what we are used to. We go to the "holy-mouth-man" because we feel it is necessary to do that. Other cultures might have other ways to clean their mouth but that is how the "Nacerimas" do it.
4. It is important that we do not judge other cultures because we are all the same species and it helps us learn about the adaptation and evolution of humans.We should study the patterns of our behavior and feelings to understand every kind of society as a whole. Thus in turn we will be able to socialize with people all over the world and experience the manifestations of other cultures. We would grow as a species if we learned not to be bias or critical of other cultures around the world. I do think it is possible for anthropologists to avoid personal cultural bias if they did fieldwork as a cultural anthropologist doing ethnography and ethnology as their study for choice. That was they could experience different cultures on front ground and learn to better understand their behaviors so that they would not be bias.