The term comes from the trade jargon used throughout the region and means “to give.” A potlatch always involved the invitation of another house (or houses), whose members were received with great formality…, …consumption of wealth in a potlatch ceremony. Important events such as marriages, births, deaths, and initiations into secret societies were also occasions for potlatches; but trivial events were used just as often, because the main purpose of a potlatch was not the occasion itself but the validation of claims to social rank. “Anthropology, Economic.” In Encyclopedia of Anthropology, Vol. 1.) Each person who was born there had a certain status that included specific rights, but these were not confirmed or recognised until the potlatch ceremony had taken place. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! In cultural anthropology and sociology, ... An elaborate example of this in a non-market society is the potlatch, where large amounts of personal resources are ceremonially given away to others in the community according to social status, with the tacit expectation that other members of the community would themselves give away large amounts of their own property in the future. 11885-11889. Ceremonial formalities were observed in inviting guests, in speechmaking, and in the distribution of goods by the donor according to the social rank of the recipients. While that suggests that the potlatch impoverished families, the relative continual redistribution of goods throughout the society ensured that people were taken care of; the potlatch created interdependence among members of the society. Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). Updates? Although each group had its characteristic version, the potlatch had certain general features. 2001 Potlatch in Anthropology, International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds., vol 17, pp. …and publicly announced at a potlatch, an event sponsored by each group north of the Columbia River. Strength Theory. Create your own flash cards! Definition. Paper No. Francisconi, Michael Joseph. Corrections? Black Friday Sale! The potlatch reached its most elaborate development among the southern Kwakiutl from 1849 to 1925. Potlatch, ceremonial distribution of property and gifts to affirm or reaffirm social status, as uniquely institutionalized by the American Indians of the Northwest Pacific coast. & Title: (18/22) Economy: Definition, Kula and Potlatch. A potlatch was given by an heir or successor to assert and validate his newly assumed social position. The proceedings gave wide publicity to the social status of donor and recipients because there were many witnesses. Created. This would enhance the position of the owner and, incidentally, would also ensure the flow of imports and the value of bronze. (Entry 1 of 2) 1 : a ceremonial feast of the American Indians of the northwest coast marked by the host's lavish distribution of gifts or sometimes destruction of property to demonstrate wealth and generosity with the expectation of eventual reciprocation. The potlatch reached its most elaborate development among the southern Kwakiutl from 1849 to 1925. Definition of potlatch. / B.Sc. It represented a very typical ceremony in this area. But a functional interpretation of hoards as a kind of stock cannot account for why these hoards were so often not…, For instance, the Northwest Coast potlatch, a major ceremonial involving feasting and gift giving, was banned in Canada through an 1884 amendment to the Indian Act, and it remained illegal until the 1951 revision of the act. Men tend to be stronger, so hunters. Build a city of skyscrapers—one synonym at a time. Introduction: The nature of economic transactions and economic processes covers production, consumption, distribution and exchange of products. Delivered to your inbox! This includes the Heiltsuk, Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, Makah, Tsimshian, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwakawakw, and Coast Salish cultures. The size of the region differ, often substantially the donor us know if you have to! Of donor and recipients because there were many witnesses - and learn some interesting along! 18/22 ) Economy: Definition, Kula and potlatch primary economic system by... 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