Consumption and Exchange

Consumption and Exchange - The potlatch is a gift-giving...

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The potlatch is a gift-giving ceremony held at major life events. In the words of Agnes Alfred of Alert Bay: "When one's heart is glad, he gives away gifts. Our Creator gave it to us, to be our way of doing things, to be our way of rejoicing, we who are Indian. The potlatch was given to us to be our way of expressing joy" (1980). A modern potlatch generally lasts one day and night and is accompanied by a feast and dances depicting ancient stories. Each family has their own dances which were given to them by the Creator and passed down through the generations. One of the most important gifts of the potlatch is T'lina , made by rendering the oil of the dzaxwan (eulachon fish). Families travel to a sacred location every spring to catch dzaxwan and make T'lina (U'mista 2009). Other common gifts at a potlatch include jewelry, appliances, and money (Kwakiutl Indian Band 2008) Ceremonial distribution of property and gifts practiced among the American Indians of the Northwest Pacific coast, particularly the
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course PHY 372 taught by Professor Melanierodriguez during the Spring '12 term at Ashford University.

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Consumption and Exchange - The potlatch is a gift-giving...

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