A potlatch is a periodic feast held by Indigenous tribes in the Northwest region of North America. Potlatches are meant to display wealth and power and to cement community relationships.

Potlatch is from Chinook Jargon and a Nootka root, patshatl, which means "gift." The giving of gifts is a vital part of this Native tradition; in some tribes, potlatches are an intrinsic part of the economy. Wealth, status, and even hunting and fishing rights are distributed through these ceremonial feasts. They are also legitimate celebrations, often marking weddings and births, and usually include dancing, singing, and theater.

Definitions of potlatch
  1. noun
    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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    type of:
    feast, fete, fiesta
    an elaborate party (often outdoors)
    ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance
    a formal event performed on a special occasion
Word Family

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