potlatch

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n potlatch a ceremonial feast held by some Indians of the northwestern coast of North America (as in celebrating a marriage or a new accession) in which the host gives gifts to tribesmen and others to display his superior wealth (sometimes, formerly, to his own impoverishment)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Potlatch Among the Kwakiutl, Chimmesyan, and other Indians of the northwestern coast of North America, a ceremonial distribution by a man of gifts to his own and neighboring tribesmen, often, formerly, to his own impoverishment. Feasting, dancing, and public ceremonies accompany it.
    • Potlatch Hence, a feast given to a large number of persons, often accompanied by gifts.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n potlatch Among some American Indians, a gift.
    • n potlatch An Indian feast, often lasting several days, given to the tribe by a member who aspires to the position of chief, and whose reputation is estimated by the number and value of the gifts distributed at the feast.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Chinook potlatch, pahtlatch, fr. Nootka pahchilt, pachalt, a gift

Usage

In literature:

At their "potlatches," as the raising bees were called by the whites, trading went on vigorously.
"The Red Man's Continent" by Ellsworth Huntington
And when he was very old, being greatest of chiefs and richest of men, he gave a potlatch.
"Children of the Frost" by Jack London
The Potlatch is a feast of gifts.
"The Log School-House on the Columbia" by Hezekiah Butterworth
Twenty years it'll be, come next Potlatch Day.
"The Great Potlatch Riots" by Allen Kim Lang
And he, in turn, gave such a potlatch that nothing but tradition can vie with it.
"Legends of Vancouver" by E. Pauline Johnson
In these houses were held the potlatches, or gift parties, which were made by the wealthy chiefs.
"The Story of Sitka" by C. L. Andrews
The Kwakiutls still play many of their ancient and picturesque gambling games at their potlatches.
"Alaska" by Ella Higginson
It is the white man who is to enjoy a greater than all previous potlatches in that region.
"On Canada's Frontier" by Julian Ralph
Potlatch lemah, shake hands.
"Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon" by T. N. Hibben
Before I came to Puget Sound I had heard of a cultus potlatch.
"Memoirs of Orange Jacobs" by Orange Jacobs
He had just returned from a Government "potlatch" at the Tulalip agency.
"Blazing The Way" by Emily Inez Denny
If successful with a "potlatch," a species of joyous fete.
"A Summer's Outing" by Carter H. Harrison
But I usually hastened to "potlatch" whatever I happened to draw off onto some one else at the earliest possible opportunity!
"The Land of Tomorrow" by William B Stephenson, Jr.
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In news:

LAPUSH — The Quileute will celebrate the tribe's impending move to higher ground with a potlatch at 2 pm Thursday at the Akalat Center in LaPush.
Potlatch land deal all but a done deal - finally.
When Potlatch owned a paper mill plant in Brainerd, the company also owned a large amount of land in Cass County used to grow timber to supply the plant.
One man was killed friday morning in a one-vehicle rollover accident on Highway 95, about ten miles north of Moscow near Potlatch .
According to Tanacross protocol, memorial potlatch gives honor to the deceased and gifts to the family's other moiety.
Tips From the Potlatch , Where Giving Knows No Slump.
A Kwakwaka'wakw Indian potlatch in British Columbia in the 1980s.
Lumber producer Potlatch said it has temporarily laid off 102 employees from its lumber and cedar operations in Lewiston, Idaho.
Potlatch land deal all but a done deal - finally.
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In science:

Generalized potlatch and smoothing processes. Z.
On the uniqueness of the branching parameter for a random cascade measure
They are also related to certain Markov processes called Potlatch models.
A characterisation of transient random walks on stochastic matrices with Dirichlet distributed limits
Consider the following random exchange model, which is a discrete time analogue of certain continuous time Markov processes, called Potlatch models (see for instance and ).
A characterisation of transient random walks on stochastic matrices with Dirichlet distributed limits
Generalized potlatch and smoothing processes. Z.
A characterisation of transient random walks on stochastic matrices with Dirichlet distributed limits
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