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A ceremonial feast among certain Native American peoples of the northwest Pacific coast, as in celebration of a marriage or accession, at which the host distributes gifts according to each guest's rank or status. Between rival groups the potlatch could involve extravagant or competitive giving and destruction by the host of valued items as a display of superior wealth.

[Chinook Jargon, from Nootka p'achitl, to make a potlatch gift.]


1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) anthropol a competitive ceremonial activity among certain North American Indians, esp the Kwakiutl, involving a lavish distribution of gifts and the destruction of property to emphasize the wealth and status of the chief or clan
2. informal US and Canadian a wild party or revel
[C19: from Chinook, from Nootka patshatl a giving, present]


(ˈpɒt lætʃ)

1. (among American Indians of the N Pacific coast, esp. the Kwakiutl) a ceremonial festival at which the sponsor bestows gifts lavishly upon the guests and sometimes destroys unbestowed gifts, thereby gaining or increasing social prestige.
2. Pacific Northwest. a party or celebration.
[1835–45; < Chinook Jargon pátlač, páλač < Nootka]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.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)
fete, fiesta, feast - an elaborate party (often outdoors)
ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance - a formal event performed on a special occasion; "a ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor"
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On Monday, July 29, Potlatch (NASDAQ: PCH) will release its latest earnings report.
Funding for the 11 projects supports upgrades to water treatment plants for Tagish and Deep Creek, an expansion of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations potlatch house, updating of the Village of Teslins Official Community Plan and improvements to curling rinks in Whitehorse and Mayo.
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The storm stops, and the thankful villagers decide to perform the Peace Dance at every potlatch to pass on the story and the importance of respect.
To demonstrate its wealth, which North American Indian tribe would destroy it in the ceremony of potlatch, a word that means 'giving'.
One year in early November while I was living in the wilds of the Last Frontier a fellow teacher approached me and asked if I was interested in co-sponsoring a potlatch around Thanksgiving.
Nada mas gratificante que esta oportunidad de explicar por que la informacion se ha convertido en un recurso en alza, en un bien preciado que los museos poseen sobre sus colecciones, volviendo sobre todo lo aprendido sobre el potlatch en mis cursos de doctorado y luego aplicado a mis investigaciones sobre finales de la Edad del Bronce y la del Hierro.
Formerly part of the Potlatch Corp., Clearwater Paper - the leading manufacturer of tissue products for private labeling - has nearly 50 years of experience supplying quality, innovative tissue products for retailers' store brand programs.
Taking second place was 15-year-old Summer-Harmony Twenish for her short story, "Headlights In The Distance." Elise Bilodeau, 18, of Spruce Grove, took fifth place for her creative piece, "The Potlatch and the Smile." Tarene Thomas, 15, from Enoch Cree, was awarded 6th place for her piece which reflects the lack of direction and the disillusionment of so many young Aboriginals in cities and on reserves.
On March 31st, after two years of preparation by his extended family, Maxwxwadziy, Chief George Shaughnessy conducted a Kwixella to memorialize 5 family members and to name those born since his last potlatch in Alert Bay in 2006.