The Traditional Athabascan Potlach

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The traditional Athabascan potlatch has not change much since it was celebrated by their ancestors in the past. In this essay we will explore what the significance of the Athabascan potlatch and why it is so important to the communities where it is celebrated. We will also explore similar “gift giving” ceremonies by other indigenous people around the world. There are several kinds of Athabascan potlatches, the funeral potlatch, the memorial potlatch, and the celebratory potlatch. A potlatch is a gathering of the community to share in the host's surplus of food and supplies, and it also a show of wealth and prosperity. The potlatch is a connection to their native spiritual ways. It's a way for a community to strengthen those social and emotional bonds within their town or village. It is hard to believe that potlatches were once banned by the government because they believed it promoted poverty among native peoples. Europeans saw that owning property was the only stable and Christian way of an effective economy. The potlatch undermine these ideas so they were made illegal. It was not till currently that the bans were lifted and it was finally understood from outsiders the importance of the potlatch for the native peoples. The funeral and the memorial potlatches are a way for the people living in the community to say goodbye to the deceased. It is a ceremony to remember the dead and to grieve and mourn for the lost. The funeral potlatch is where they would prepare the

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