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RE: What's the Point(less)?
Poster: Gregory Stapleton <gregsta@MICROSOFT.com>
I did say that there was a lot more to it than this, Milady. :)
Yes, it is a redistribution of wealth as you describe, but I also have
video of potlatchs done in the late 1800's - early 1900's, as well as
interviews with elders, which show/describe much destruction of the
"Wealth goodes" as well. I did a major research paper on this when I
was in college as my degrees are in Anthropology / Archaeology and
Computer Science. I can provide citations, if you like.
>Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 1996 10:43 AM
>Subject: Re: What's the Point(less)?
>In a message dated 96-07-17 10:19:56 EDT, you write:
><< For those of you unfamiliar with the term Potlatch, it is a
> practice developed by the Kwakutel (sp? Northwest Coast) Indians. They
> would get together and build a large fire and you gained prestige by
> being the one to burn up / destroy the most valuable goods. There's a
> lot more to it than this, but I believe you get the idea. >>
>My understanding of a potlatch is that wealth is redistributed, not
>destroyed. The persons goods were given away, with particular attention to
>the needs of the elderly and poor. Persons spent years collecting sufficient
>items for a give-away and entire families contributed so that the host would
>have enough items to gain prestige.
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