Riddle of the Nacirema

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Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 12:56 am
https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/miner.html

So now that you read it (or at least breezed through it), is there any type of cultural, social, private, etc practice that you could put in the particular prose of the Nacirema essay? Simply, I thought it would be interesting if everyone put an everyday practice into the tribal prose of the Nacirema. Put it down and the next poster can try to answer it (guess what the modern practice is)! If you want, put the answer and explanation below your riddle (change the color to white) so that it is hidden until you highlight and read. I'll go first.

---------------------------The Riddle---------------------------------

At certain times of the lunar cycle, it is sometimes common for the members of the Nacirema tribe to seek wishes that could sometimes be fulfilled at home, although with some moderate difficulty. Typically, related members of the tribe gather their belongings and begin the long and arduous trek far from the village to benefit from this service. The head shaman is perhaps the only member of the group who knows the exact location, although the other members of the group would instantly recognize the destination once they gazed on the holy icons that adorned the temples grounds covered in a rare metal. Once at their destination, a period of rest and contemplation ensues. In this period of contemplation, ones innermost desires will be granted by one of the few temple acolytes pledged to serve the head priest. But in return for the granting of a sacred wish, a riddle must manifest into an acceptable offering, Once all wishes have been granted, the group must travel back (some without ever seeing their wishes manifest) until the journey ends.

---------------------Highlight below for the answer---------------------
It's a trip to McDonalds (or any fast food restaurant). It's a "wish" (desire to eat) that could be made at home, but some may feel the necessity to go out and get every once in a while. I put it in the context of a parent (head shaman) driving his/her kids to the restaurant. The kids know about the restaurant, but not necessarily the way to get there, but they know it when they see it (golden arches=holy icons covered in a rare metal). LOL! The rest and contemplation refers to the wait in line and the selection from the menu. The "wish" or order is granted by one of the temple acolytes (clerk). They serve the head priest (manager). In return for the order, an offering is made (money paid). The trip back is sometimes accompanied by unfulfilled wishes until the journey is over (to-go food eaten at home).
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salima
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 09:24 am
@VideCorSpoon,
at last- a word to rhyme with mocarena!
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 11:54 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
As a matter of curiosity, has anyone guessed who the Nacirema are?
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 04:36 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;90514 wrote:
As a matter of curiosity, has anyone guessed who the Nacirema are?


I could tell you, but then I'd have to think backwards.
 
Hermes
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 10:29 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
It is common for certain quadrupeds of foreign origin to cohabit with the familial unit of the Nacirema. A remnant custom of their ancestors from the east, these animals do not serve as livestock for labour nor food, and neither as target practice for their crudely fashioned chemical projectile weapons (which the Nacirema discharge with statistically more frequency against their own kind). The primary function of these animals appears to be ritualistic feeding, touching and ambulation administered by the household shaman.

Dietary distinctions are generally clear and strictly enforced by the Nacirema; the household beasts are fed in separate habitational environments, on a different solar schedule, and with different sustenance, commonly a gelatinous pulp prepared by a pestle and mortar variation and the meat of reared livestock. Though the household animals are protected by shaman law, and often accorded a social status on par with the Nacirema themselves, physical repudiation is a usual and accepted societal consequence for transgressions of the feeding rites.

The animals the Nacirema who have accorded this privileged status have a pathological need for hand contact from their masters. It has been suggested that this mirrors the grooming customs of some monkeys and apes, serves to strengthen familial bonding, and was taught to the quadrupeds by the Nacirema. However, others counter that the crude gestures and documented lack of interest exhibited by the Nacirema when performing the rite is indicative of a complex social contract that has evolved over generations. On the origin of this custom, some anthropologist, notably Weinerhund et al (1993), have suggested that this practice is a relic from the culture's pre-agrarian time when as a nomadic, hunter-gatherer peoples, the Nacirema needed mental salves to cope with the stress of hunting all day. Further, the discovery of spears in proximity to the remains of these social animals has led some to suggest that the ritualised stroking of the animals relieves some of the symptoms associated with RSI when throwing weapons for extended durations.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 10:30 am
@Hermes,
Hermes,

I would have to say your story is about household pets... probably dogs. I would also have to agree about the protection of animals under shaman law because laws just seem to appear out of nowhere. LOL!

I have another one:

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It is sometimes necessary for younger members of the Nacirema to undertake a right of passage which is both out of necessity and status. On the auspicious day of their promotion into the ranks of the village elite, they are usually accompanied by elders into a mysterious and freighting temple that is always crowded by other tribe members wishing to obtain thier ascended status in the tribe. It is in this place that many are driven mad with anger, turned away in grief, or exit triumphant as members of the village elite.

A long physcial trial awaits them, where they must prove thier physical endurance and patience until an acolyte determines they are ready to grant an audience with the young Nacireman. Once in council with the acolyte, proof of the young Nacireman's membership in the tribe, as well as other various honors the young Nacirema must have, the Nacirema must go through two major trials. The first is a trial of knowledge, where the young Nacirema must answer the inquisition as best they can, preferably with more than two thirds of the questions answered correctly. Once the acolyte approves of this trial, the second, and perhaps most perilous trial, can begin. In this trial, the young Nacirema must ride a wiley beast whose hooves are so fast they seem to never leave the ground. The Nacirama must ride this beast for at least 15 minutes and make little mistakes at the reigns, other wise the acolyte will disapprove.

Now, on the completion of this task, the Nacirema can finally enter the ranks of the village elite. The shaman commits to stone the date of the young Nacirema's trial, and then performs a grand feat of magic. In this feat, the shaman takes a portion of the Nacirema's soul and captures it, giving it to the young person to present to other elders as proof they passed the trials. The young Nacirema, confident of his/her trials and reward, then leaves the place of trials and many times foolishly jumps on the very beast they were so fearful of an hour prior, riding it back to the village knowing all too well that the trials would have to be taken (though not as severe) in four planetary revolutions around the great light ball.

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