For almost seven months, I have lived with the natives of Egellocamla. Egellocamla is a bubble settlement in the country of Nacirema. I have studied their culture and lifestyle intensely and have gathered data about their rituals. The Egellocamla community refers to themselves as Stocs and most members, if not all, gather in the main temple Agas. Agas is a very large space built of square red stones and glue that holds the stones together. When walking into the temple, the doors are heavy metal to keep intruders from invading. A guard is waiting at the entrance, ensuring that only Stocs are allowed in. When a Stoc walks into the temple, a flimsy rectangle with symbols and lines carved on it is needed. This rectangle is used as rite of passage and proof that the person is really a native of Egellocamla.
The temple Agas is dedicated to the god of provision and is normally filled with natives gathering in their own personal tribes. Some tribes that are gathered live together while others practice rituals together. When some tribes enter, they rush to a slab of wood and mark it as their territory while other tribes start the well known rivalry of gathering the most glass pieces. At the walls of the temple, there are various foods placed on wooden alters. There are alters for fire food, cold food, green food, morning food, and main food which is kept warm by little suns. Behind the alters stand the hunters and gathers, ensuring that there is plenty of food to make the god of provision happy.
In the temple of Agas, a friendly rivalry consists of members of each tribe. The rivalry consists of collecting the most flat pieces of glass as possible. These pieces of glass are used to transfer food from the alters to the slabs of wood the tribes gather around. Many Stocs gather two or three glass pieces while the larger males can gather up to four or five. The larger males that practice the ritual of battling over a pigskin, that is a mix of brown and red, tend to win the rivalry of collecting glass. The reward of collecting glass pieces is to be able to take them to a sacred moving slab of plastic called the reyevnoc that takes the pieces into a place that few Stocs have seen. I am not allowed into the place where the glass pieces go but I have heard that the glass gets offered to the god of provision, baptized in sacred water, rubbed with oil, and reused in the temple.
The temple of Agas is an extraordinary place to observe the natives of Egellocamla. The lack of violence and the presence of joy is how the Stocs honor the god of provision. Agas is a gathering place where the entire Egellocamla population can come together and worship the god of provision in peace. I have learned a lot of the Stoc lifestyle while observing them in this temple and I am excited to continue my research for the next three years.