1: Nearly all cultures have traditions regarding the exchange of gifts.
2: What are some of the times when people in your family exchange gifts?
3: First Nations people from the Pacific Northwest have long had a tradition known as Potlatch.
4: Among the tribes who practice the Potlatch are the Haidas, Kwakiutls, Makahs, Nootkas, Tlingits, and Tsimshians.
5: In earlier times, gifts such as animal pelts, blankets and furs were common. This carving was a potlatch gift from the 1800's.
6: Today, the gift might be money, jewelry or an appliance.
7: Potlatches are about more than just giving gifts, though. Feasts, dancing, mourning and storytelling are are also a part of the potlatch.
8: Holding a potlatch has always been a great source of pride, as well as being a great responsibility. It takes large amounts of time, effort and resources .
9: Favors and loans were frequently needed to make sure that the potlatch would be the very best possible.
10: A really good potlatch might end with the chief having given away most of his possessions... | But the good favor earned from this would help ensure that the visitors would try equally hard when they held their own potlatch.
11: "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." Agnes Alfred, Alert Bay, 1980
12: Resources: Images sourced throughImages via Creative Commons License 2.0 Some rights reserved by Creature Comforts, Daniel*1977, Nationaal Archief, Smithsonian Institution, http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/119552/Standing_Potlatch_Figure Gary and Anna Satler
13: Information: http://www.kwakiutl.bc.ca/culture/potlatch.html http://www.umista.org/masks_story/en/ht/potlatch01.html Walker, B. (1995). Through indian eyes. Pleasanton, NY: Reader's Digest.