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potlatch


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[Ge]

A ceremonial feast in which the conspicuous consumption of food played a major part. Practised among coastal communities on the northwest coast of North America from perhaps 3500 bc down to historic times, the potlatch was in effect a redistribution system for large accumulated surpluses of foodstuffs in which a few wealthy and powerful individuals controlled the redistribution as a way of gaining prestige.

Subjects: Arts and Humanities.


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