Mating Rituals of the Nacirema

Among all the traditions of the Nacirema and more specifically those belonging to the amla egelloc clan, there is one ritual especially beloved by the young people, known as ytraping.  Ytraping is practiced often and not only by the amla egelloc clan but in egelloc communities around the Nacirema nation.  Intended to be for social interaction, ytraping is something the Nacirema youth do for fun after being confined to their separate living areas all day.

Having immersed myself in this particular practice of the amla egelloc community, I was able to observe their fascinating customs firsthand.  The ytraping ritual begins at nighttime, when all the elders have gone to sleep.  The young people eagerly gather in houses designated for ytraping and begin the ceremony by ingesting copious amounts of fermented liquids and continue to do so throughout the night.  The liquid has an interesting effect on the young people as they begin to have trouble performing simple tasks such as walking and talking.  In some cases which I have observed, the Nacirema end up regurgitating all they had just consumed or passing out if too much is consumed.  Loud sounds resonate from a tiny box in the corner and the liquid now seems to have a freeing effect on the young people; they begin to sway and shake their bodies to the rhythm.

A competition commences among the males, known as koohpu.  Each searches desperately to find a mate for the night, and the first to secure this goal wins.  Some females participate in this sport as well, though not quite as fervently. Other activities include a series of games.  One I found particularly entertaining was the act of reeb gnop.   During reeb gnop, four Nacirema stand around a long wooden board: two at each end.  They proceed by throwing small round objects in the direction of multiple cylindrical containers.   Whoever does not succeed in getting the round object into the cylindrical container must then drink more fermented liquid, consequently putting them further at a disadvantage.  As the activities come to an end, people slowly filter out—stumbling as they go.  One wonders whether all of them are able to find their way home after an intense night of ytraping.

Though certain young Nacirema shun the ritual of ytraping, it is widely agreed upon to be a pleasurable experience.  Its purpose is yet to be established.  It would appear, however, that the youths partake in this ritual, because they believe it helps them find a mate.  Whether or not it actually does is another question entirely.

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2 Responses to Mating Rituals of the Nacirema

  1. soa111pongo says:

    Alyssa I love it! This is expressed very well!

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