One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(among North American Indian peoples of the north-west coast) an opulent ceremonial feast at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige.
- ‘He was an anthropologist who worked on the potlatch originally and became fascinated with these cycles by which a thing had value, lost value, regained value.’
- ‘‘Potluck’ is derived from the word potlatch, a special occasion of many West Coast First Nations peoples.’
- ‘And on this chilly Friday afternoon, the group is creating button blankets, traditionally used in First Nations ceremonies such as the potlatch.’
- ‘Patrick, dressed in a cedar-bark shirt and basket-like hat, filled us in on the Northwest Indians, whaling, copper mining, totem poles and potlatch ceremonies.’
- ‘We arrived in the middle of winter to participate in that village's annual Stick Dance, a weeklong ceremony for the dead that culminates in a traditional potlatch.’
- ‘Social Darwinism should be made to work in reverse - those that have too much should be forced to hold a potlatch and divest themselves of their loot with those who have nothing.’
- ‘In the society of survival, where the agonistic and vertiginous play of the potlatch is displaced by accumulation, an awareness of this has a deleterious effect on humanity.’
- ‘Perhaps the most familiar example of a gift culture is that of the native Americans of the Pacific Northwest such as the Kwakiutl and their famous potlatch ceremonies.’
- ‘Some cultures have potlatches; others prize spirituality.’
- ‘In New Guinea they have been used as a form of currency and in the Indian cultures of the Americas they were included in the ancient custom of potlatch, a system of gift-exchange amongst chiefs.’
- ‘Collars were ceremonial regalia among the Tlingit, and there are many period photographs of them being worn at potlatches and other special ceremonies.’
- ‘This kind of destruction should not be confounded with the burning of valuables during a potlatch.’
- ‘Perhaps the opensource software movement is actually a contemporary form of potlatch, in which one gains prestige by the extravagance of the resources one ‘wastes.’’
- ‘In his Whitehorse office he has an aluminum coffee pot, a potlatch gift from a gathering in 1998.’
- ‘In the potlatches of the Chinook, Nootka, and other Pacific Northwest peoples, for example, chiefs vied to give the most blankets and other valuables.’
- ‘The Inuit who held the potlatch would often give away his most valuable possessions at the ceremony.’
- ‘In addition, I participated extensively in silviculture work, potlatches, hunting and trapping expeditions, and political and community meetings.’
- ‘The consumerist potlatch is especially striking because the brand names are nearly all American.’
- ‘This potlatch feast demonstrated social status and wealth.’
- ‘Take the widespread tribal custom of potlatch, for example, where gifts are exchanged between families or communities.’
Hold a potlatch.
- ‘As I showed previously, this was possible due to their strong system of private property rights enforced through sophisticated reciprocity relations known as potlatching.’
Chinook Jargon, from Nootka p'ačitł ‘make a gift at a potlatch’.
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