Essay: Concept of potlatching in relation to commodity

Essay: Concept of potlatching in relation to commodity

This paper aims at analysing the concept of potlatching in relation to commodity and gift exchange. In the conclusion the results will be able to confirm whether there is such a thing as ‘pure gift’.

Potlatches were social events that aimed at marking an important occurrence such as marriage and child birth. These events were common among the North American Indians at around 1500 AD. The host offered food and gifts to the guests as a symbolic way of showing their ranks in social stratification ladder. Leaders and owners of capital were known in such occasions since they offered gifts lavishly to their guests. In fact, potlatching went out of control since people tried to offer gifts wastefully in order to outdo their counterparts.

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