I'm reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich. I've came across to this expression and I know it normally is a racial slur about white people. The book is about Native Americans and the term is used by one, but I feel like the author meant a whole different thing and used it for an object rather than a person. He says people sit and gape at this round white cracker. Is it the sacrament? For context, the tribe is Ojibwa and the narrator is in the hospital with his parents and calls his aunt and her husband to let them know but they won't answer. Here is the paragraph it's in:

But there was no answer. So I knew my aunt had taken Edward up to adore the sacrament, which got them out of the house on Sunday nights. He said that while Clemence adored the sacrament, he meditated on how it could be possible that humans had evolved out of apes only to sit gaping at a round white cracker. Uncle Edward was a science teacher.

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    It's referring to a communion wafer, a edible wheat cracker used in a religious rite in the Roman Catholic Church.
    – Mitch
    Oct 25, 2019 at 11:16
  • Thank you, so it is really a cracker.
    – PPM
    Oct 25, 2019 at 11:36
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    This is what it looks like: media.famigliacristiana.it/2016/5/eucarestia2_1773658.jpg - also here: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramental_bread
    – user 66974
    Oct 25, 2019 at 11:43
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    In the Anglican churches too, where it is called a "wafer" see 2.1. Oct 25, 2019 at 11:58
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    When my wife and I eat round wheat crackers and cheese while watching the TV, it is my little joke to pick one up and solemnly intone "body of Christ". My wife was raised Catholic. Oct 25, 2019 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


The wafer is said to be 'transubstantiated' into Christ's flesh...

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