Llabtoof Ritual

Nacirema culture is very broad.  It incorporates not only social atmosphere but also the home environment.  In “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema,” Horace Miner clearly explicates the Nacirema culture as a society that lives day to day.

Another feature of this culture that Miner missed was a very common custom which is usually practiced on the weekends.  More specifically, during the months of autumn.  The Nacirema are indifferent to either ninety degree weather or a torrential blizzard.  Nothing stops these people from gathering in hordes to a well-known location, which is most commonly in what is known as an empty lot or field.  This ritual of Llabtoof is a time for socializing with others.  Many even, males in particular, putting the weather condition aside, dress half nude.  Among the participants, many will spend several hours outdoors.  Not to worry, they have several activities entertain themselves during this time.  Often, they devour enormous amounts of food. Preferring to use their hands, the Nacirema consume their edibles with the lending hand of their own.  They also ingest their favorite drinks.  The most common liquid refreshment present is commonly referred to as alcohol.  With this beverage present, there is the tendency for some to make irreversible mistakes and have no recollection of the error.  After spending several hours together, everyone assembles into a circular shaped steel structure, with no roof present I might add.  Cramming together, the Nacirema find a spot for themselves around the center of the building and at the pre-announced time, the ritual begins.

Eleven males march in to the center and form a comradeship-like line in which their main objective is to prevent the opposing people from advancing with an oblong shaped rubber object filled with air.  The males take on the resemblance of ferocious beasts as they pounce and tackle each other.  As this continues, the people gathered to watch scream, cheer and encourage, all along with obscenities and vulgarities.

As the Llabtoof match ends, the Nacirema continue to overindulge themselves with food and alcohol.  This tradition is and will be continued for many years to come.  Why this takes place?  It is still left unanswered.

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