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Interesting. N'est pas?
"Potlatches were social occasions given by a host to establish or uphold his status position in society. Often they were held to mark a significant event in his family, such as the birth of a child, a daughter's first menses, or a son's marriage. Potlatches are to be distinguished from feasts in that guests are invited to a potlatch to share food and receive gifts or payment. Potlatches held by commoners were mainly local, while elites often invited guests from many tribes. Potlatches were also the venue in which ownership to economic and ceremonial privileges was asserted, displayed, and formally transferred to heirs.
The significance and nature of gifting in Northwest Coast potlatches has varied through time and across cultures. It is commonly portrayed as extremely competitive, with hosts bankrupting themselves to outdo their rivals and aggressively destroying property. While this form of gifting characterized practices of northern groups such as the Kwakiutl, such competition would have been considered inappropriate during Nuu-chah-nulth or Salish potlatches on the southern coast.'
Buncha savages with quaint customs? Or several millenium of human experience that we choose not to look at?
Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
i know, watching the who smashing guitars, handcrafted with care, and desired by the screaming hordes...
i wonder if any indians slept too cold because the chief was showing off?
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
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