The Potlatches of Northwestern Tribes

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In the Metropolitan Museum of art there is a wide verity of objects for the Northwest tribes. In the Northwest coast music is highly associated with ceremonies and feasts known as the potlatches. Potlatches were held by a host to establish or uphold his status position in society. Other times they were to signify a significant event in his family like the birth of a child, a daughter's first menses, or a son's marriage. Potlatches are to be successful and guests are invited to a potlatch to share food and receive gifts or payment. The host provides everything from food, drink, entertainment and, also his gifts to each of his guests. The value of the gift depends on the social status of the recipient, the higher the respect for him the more valuable the gift is. If his gift in not that valuable or wanted it would look bad for the provider. If this happens the host must add another gift to satisfy his guest. A potlatch can last for several days when celebrating a passing spirit that contains feasting, singing, performing ritual dances, competitions and other events.
During these potlatches the events is traditionally marked by ceremonial dances and also by songs. The songs get an extra effect by providing whistles, rattles, and specific vocal utterances. Whistles are associated with the spirits. A main element used by the Northwest coast is the beat of a drum. They are known to play individual hand drums with one another instead of playing a one giant drum like in the Great

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