Making The Familiar Strange: The Sleag

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Making the Familiar Strange: The Sleag The Sleag are a peculiar group of individuals residing in the hills of Moraga. The Sleag seem to have no children among them, consisting almost entirely of young-adult aged persons with a handful of older adults. They are a unique group because they hold beliefs and practices unique to their group. When the Sleag eat they do so in a communal setting, surrounded by other members of their tribe. They eat in front of one another as a sign of strength and dominance. They want to show each other that they are well nourished and are therefore fit to remain in the tribe. This display of dominance is increased by the way they eat their food. Rather than picking it up with their hands, they use small silver bits …show more content…
They hold the belief that wrinkled hands and red-pink skin is beautiful. To achieve this, they spend long periods of time dousing themselves in hot water to temporarily make themselves red-pink and pruny. Because this look is short lived, the Sleag spray themselves with hot water every day. To enhance their look, they rub themselves with white mineral bars to make their skin shine and increase the reddish-pinkish quality. The women wear their hair in a fashion that seems contradictory to their walking lifestyle. Most of the Sleag women and some of the men grow their hair long and wear it down. To the Sleag, this mark of beauty matters more than functionality. Those with long hair wear down no matter the weather, letting the it whip their faces in the wind and become soaked in the rain, which is frequent because they travel almost entirely on foot. Most of the men wear their hair cut short in a fashion more sensible than that of the women. It allows them to eat and walk unmolested by their …show more content…
But though some of their practices may seem strange to an outsider, it is important to remember that every practice has a purpose and every people has a place.
Making the Familiar Strange: Reflection
When I first started writing this essay, I did not know where to begin. I knew I wanted to write about Saint Mary’s students and culture, but I did not have a particular lens I wanted to hold over them. To get started, I picked a practice I felt I could misinterpret in an interesting way: eating habits. I behaved as though I did not know what things like utensils were. Things that I decided to still understand I mistook the causes and motivations that led to them. For example, I still knew that the students were eating in a group, but I misinterpreted why, saying that it was to display strength and dominance.
To name things like the Sleag I took a page out of the Nacirema handbook. Sleag is Gaels backwards, the god Susej is the name of Jesus backwards, llabteksab is basketball backwards, and Ristmaschay is Christmas in

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