Potlatch In Pop Culture

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The word potlatch comes from Chinook Jargon and is defined to give away or a gift. Originally this word comes from the Nuu-chah-nulth word paɬaˑč, which means to make a ceremonial gift in potlatch. A potlatch is a gift-giving feast practiced by Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada along with the United States. The function of the potlatch was to demonstrate status and rank upon peoples, “kin group and clans, and also to establish claims to names, powers and rights to hunting and fishing territories” (Gadacz 2006) as the Canadian encyclopedia outlines. Furthermore these ceremonies were also used to celebrate giving the responsibilities of one chief to the eldest successor, allocate wealth, to demonstrate the passing of a chief or the head of household and to celebrate weddings and births. During these ceremonies, practical good were given away such as firearms, blankets, clothing, boxes, canoes, foods and…show more content…
It is a symbolic cultural tradition which has deeper roots that form a part of their cultural identity. The Potlatch is done to symbolized relationships, the shifting of power structures, and form bonds with others in their community. As culture is all about relationships with others and the world around you, the Potlach demonstrates how cultural practices can signify the deeper embedded meaning of culture. In conclusion, the Potlach is a very symbolic tradition for indigenous peoples and has a complex and deeper significance that goes beyond the biased perspective of the Euro-Canadian settlers at the time. The continuation of the Potlach should be practiced (and thankfully is) because it is a part of the Indigenous identity which should not be banned due to individuals who do not understand another cultures traditions or see them as
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