The Nacirema: a Collection of Essays on the Nacirema People
This book of scholarly work from the last six decades comes at a time where our own culture is shifting. The purpose for compiling these essays is to highlight and underscore the complex culture of the Nacirema people and how they might affect us- we are intrinsically connected. They occupy an important role in our landscape through metaphor and criticism. The Nacirema enable us to deconstruct and reflect on the practices that have been carried on through traditions and customs from the people of Neporue [Swartz]. Through these writings, we can peer into a civilization at its most robust and follow it through to its near demise. The book is organized, not in the chronology of the essays, but in the trajectory of the Nacirema’s success and steady decline- this is with the hope that we may learn from their missteps and improve our own circumstance.
The accompanying exhibition at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco, California focuses on the visual production of the Nacirema people. They have a rich visual lexicon and a complicated history to draw from. In 2011, their artistic production was witnessed by the expedition of Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation) through the vast territory of the Nacirema. Through this cross-continental voyage, Baby and crew encountered many Nacireman natives, tasted their epicurean creations, utilized their many innovative designs, and collected various cultural artifacts. The exhibition features these collections while displaying representations of their many innovations. Also, represented are their most important national icons: sacred symbols (Nosamic emblem), rare animals (wümanitii), Historic figures (Susej), traditional food items (Ottog & Tot-rotat), and more- made in the style of the Piñata-arts.