Native American Give Away Ceremony

A sacred path lesson that is worth noting at this time of year is the Native American tradition known as the Give-Away Ceremony. Some traditions called it the Potlatch Ceremony and it may have had other names throughout history but the sacred lesson is the same no matter what the name. It is the practice of giving away useful and even beloved possessions to others. Not with the thought of having strings attached to the gift or having regrets from having given the gift but to sacrifice something important to ourselves in order to allow for personal growth in the future.

World governments do not necessarily understand this concept but the Native Americans and other cultures have throughout the centuries. There is a shame to be owned by those of us who are not willing to help those less fortunate than us. I am not talking about giving away useless or broken items but things that would benefit someone else and be a sacrifice on our part. That does not necessarily mean monetary gifts, either. It can be an item that still has a good potential for use but we are not using it any longer. It is a way to honor both the item and the person who will use it now. The Give-Away is a way for us to release encumbrances that block our forward movement in personal growth.

Have you heard the term “indian giver”? It is a term that the Europeans used because they misunderstood the Native American tradition of the Give-Away. It was considered perfectly fine to take back a gift if the gift was not being used by the person it was given to. Not using it was a sign of disrespect. So, the First Peoples had no qualms of taking back a gift and giving it to someone who would show it respect and use it.

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Native Tradition has always been one of sharing what one has. No one is ever abandoned, orphaned, or left without the necessities of life like food, shelter, and help. When the People share all that they have then honor and abundance is provided for all. There is no rationale for some people to live in luxury while others of the tribe are starving. Isn’t there a lesson there that we can all learn from?

If you were drawn to this post today, you may be in need of the reminder that sometimes we need to let go or release ourselves from the things in life that are stifling our growth. It could be old ideas, habits, or belongings that we need to release from our mindset. Just let them go. Sometimes even attitudes that we have allowed ourselves to keep, like a need to be needed by others, is a piece that we need to give away, let go of, and allow ourselves to grow. We need to drop the fear of scarcity from our minds and learn to trust that the Great Spirit will take care of us with exactly what we need and not necessarily what we thing we want.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

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Beverly Two Feathers

Beverly Two Feathers is my spiritual name, other places I use my Anglo name you can find me as Beverly Owens on Google +

7 thoughts on “Native American Give Away Ceremony”

  1. I never knew about the origin of the term “Indian giver”. Very interesting and now it will make me smile when I hear it.
    In this day when so many are in need, and at a time when we need to recycle and reuse anything we can, this is an important message indeed!
    Thank you!

  2. This is a profound tradition and I like how nicely you related to:
    1) personal growth in the future
    2) how things can block our forward movement
    3) doing so we show respect for the person who use and the “object” as well
    4) and finally you extended further to “ideas”, “habits”, not just belongings!
    This is the most beautiful and well written post I read it in years.
    Thanks for inspiring the positivity of life.


  3. I love this post, it is so true for what is happening inside of me today.
    A great confirmation that I am letting go of all attachments. I love to give always and have done all my life, it certainly is a great way to bring a smile to the heart of another as well as one’s own xxx

    Thank You Bev for sharing your whats in your heart x Many Blessings x

  4. Yes this is their believe, however it is sad that a lot their youth are not being taught their heritage. I have always admired the Native Americans although some of them would still rather be called Indians. I was common law to two Indian and I care very deeply for the Indians of all kinds and nations. I counseled Indians on the reservation in Oklahoma where I live. It would be my honor to actually be married to one of them. I had two reasons that the other two and I broke up or ended our relationship. Life is too short to be stingy as a lot of us white people are. I don’t feel that I am stingy as I have always given even of my most precious things and expensive things away. However I do not have the money now to really help a lot but hopefully that will come back to me. This is all for now many blessings come your way the rest of your life. Deanna K Dennis Abston

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