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Tag: Potlatch

A potlatch is a gift-giving festival and primary economic system practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and United States. This includes Heiltsuk Nation, Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, Makah, Tsimshian, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka’wakw, and Coast Salish cultures. The word comes from the Chinook Jargon, meaning “to give away” or “a gift”; originally from the Nuu-chah-nulth word p̓ačiƛ, to make a ceremonial gift in a potlatch. It went through a history of rigorous ban by both the Canadian and United States’ federal governments, and has been the study of many anthropologists.
At potlatch gatherings, a family or hereditary leader hosts guests in their family’s house and holds a feast for their guests. The main purpose of the potlatch is the re-distribution and reciprocity of wealth.
Different events take place during a potlatch, like singing and dancing, sometimes with masks or the real regalia, such as Chilkat blankets, the barter of wealth through gifts, such as…

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