Potlatch in Malaysia

Topics: Pacific Northwest, Anthropology, Chinook Jargon Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Subject Title : Human, Society & Culture
Subject Code : SDXM1103
Assignment 2 : Understanding Exchange System in a Society

Prepared by :
Name : Nur Najla Bt Khairuddin
Matric ID : IOC000040

Prepared for :
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Yusoff Bin Ismail
Due Date : 2 April 2013

Potlatch. When we talked about potlatch, many people don’t know what is potlatch nor they didn’t even know this word exist. Potlatch are different than Potluck but they do have similar definition on a certain part of it. A potlatch is a gift-giving festival and primary economic system practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and United States. This includes Heiltsuk Nation, Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, Makah, Tsimshian, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka'wakw,and Coast Salish cultures. The word comes from the Chinook Jargon, meaning "to give away" or "a gift"; originally from the Nuu-chah-nulth word p̓ačiƛ, to make a ceremonial gift in a potlatch.It went through a history of rigorous ban by both the Canadian and United States' federal governments, and has been the study of many anthropologists. While Potlatch in anthropology definition is a ceremonial feast among certain Native American peoples of the northwest Pacific coast, as in celebration of a marriage or accession, at which the host distributes gifts according to each guest's rank or status. Between rival groups the potlatch could involve extravagant or competitive giving and destruction by the host of valued items as a display of superior wealth.

According to Barbara Miller  author of Cultural Anthropology (2007), is "a feast in which the host lavishes the guests with abundant quantities of the best food and many gifts." This is quite a bit more involved in the contributions of favorite casseroles brought to the pot luck meal today. Barbara Miller stated that it is important in the society because as she stated potlatch is used to celebrate naming of children, mourn the dead,...
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