2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 01:58 pm
@hawkeye10,
I have maybe half a dozen books on etymology, I don't remember ever reading about "Indian Giver" in any of them....nothing stands out anyway. If I run across something, I'll remember this post and get back to you....it may be 5 yrs from now, but I'll remember.

Other than what you already know....a misunderstanding between two cultures on gift giving....that's about all I've ever seen, sometimes this is lumped in with the explanation that a few centuries ago "Indian" was a synonym for false/fake. But I said that in my first post.

I have never seen much written about any of the "Indian" slang terms, seem them used, but not explained....at least not in detail.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 01:59 pm
@JPB,
given the importance to our nation of the breaking of the relationship between the indians and the europeans i would find it surprising to learn that up till now no one has tried to piece together what went wrong with the gift giving. what i know so far leads be to suspect that the europeans tended to cheap out, that the gifts were not exchanged in good faith, but we should know. somewhere in my past i heard that the europeans tended to get the indians drunk during these exchanges, maybe this was on purpose to swindle them.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 02:03 pm
@2PacksAday,
Quote:
I have never seen much written about any of the "Indian" slang terms, seem them used, but not explained....at least not in detail


we want to ignore such things i think, pretend that thy never happened
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 02:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
Some do, sure....believe me I know what you mean.

I am actually looking....in my Dictionary of Phrase and Fable {org. published 1959}, I found an entry for "Giver", which is the same as I already stated, but in their entry for "Summer", it gives a different answer, eh....that Indians lived where this effect {temporary warm spell} was most common....Indians lived everywhere, so that makes little sense to me, but I've seen that explanation on-line about as often as the "false/fake" one.

I am part Cherokee, I have a picture of my great-great grandmother who was full blooded, mean looking little woman. None of this bothers me in any way, but not much does....unless somebody starts picking on the redneck race, then I become quite offended....we may not be a "race" but we might as well be.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 02:33 pm
@2PacksAday,
Quote:
I am part Cherokee, I have a picture of my great-great grandmother who was full blooded, mean looking little woman. None of this bothers me in any way, but not much does....unless somebody starts picking on the redneck race, then I become quite offended....we may not be a "race" but we might as well be.

so where do you come down on non indians adopting indian fashion, ala Victoria Secret? this "you have to be a certified indian to do anything that looks indian" mindset got too nuts for me a long time ago.

for the record i am told that i am 1/32 Sioux.
2PacksAday
 
  4  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 02:50 pm
@hawkeye10,
I don't have a political correctness bone in my body, none....so I think it's all a bunch of bs.

We, my family, associate ourselves with being Scotch/Irish, and then Dutch/Cherokee...we are nearly all blonde, with blue eyes...with high cheekbones....one of my daughters and myself have an odd coloring, we are very yellowish-light brown. She and I often joke that we are the colored folk in the family....everybody else is about the color of this page, sometimes I call my wife paleface, when she is annoying me.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 02:56 pm
@JPB,
You guys need to hang out with more Indians. I have.
The Cherokee, the Osage and the Pottawatomie of present day Oklahoma all throw potlatch ceremonies where the chief or chiefs distribute many gifts to all the attendees. The catch, I guess for those who aren't familiar with the ways, is that at sometime in the future, all those attendees are expected to reciprocate in some form or deed. Those who do not are sometimes (not so often these days) asked to give the gifts back.


You can see how white people might misunderstand such a system unless you know, as I do, some Italian families out on Long Island.

In those families, they keep careful records of who attended their weddings and/or baptisms AND what gift they brought.
When attending a wedding or baptism of that family, it is expected that you will bring a gift at least as expensive or of sufficient quality to match the gift your family received.

I have never known of anybody asking for a wedding gift to be returned but, believe me, if after receiving a solid silver set of candlesticks, you try to get away with giving that family's new set of newlyweds a set of towels, you will find yourself personae non grata until and unless you make things right.

Joe(so, what favor can I do for you in return, Godfather?)Nation

0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 03:39 pm
@hawkeye10,
I found this to be an interesting read.

My ex- boyfriend is Native American. It reminds me a little of "Aborigines and white folk" in as much as, white folk provide benefits for taking their land, not alot and it makes me feel a tad, pissed in a way. It's like saying you are beneath us.

When the Europeans began their settlement of the New World, it was both complicated and aided by its indigenous inhabitants. The native people alternately became allies and enemies of the newly arrived settlers from Europe. These two totally dissimilar cultures were hurtling toward each other in a clash of cultures that would be the end for one of them. Did either of them expect what was to come when the first Europeans came to America?

What did the settlers expect of the Native Americans when they arrived? Surely there was a sense of dread among the arriving Europeans concerning these mysterious people who had warred with the early Spanish colonizers. What did they think would happen? And conversely, what did the locals think of these strange intruders?

When the colonists set sail for America, they knew that they’d not only have to find a way to survive in the wilderness, but would also have to deal with rival nations that were claiming their own share of this vast new land. There had been long animosity between France, England, and the Dutch. These were obstacles which would be difficult to overcome. The wild card in all this would be the native population who they knew little about. They’d read the stories of Columbus and his voyages, and heard rumors from traders and fishermen concerning the “primitive” people of the continent, but so few clear cut facts existed. How would they be received? They had some hopes of trading with the natives. Would these hopes be realized or were they walking into the lion’s den?

The Europeans had a very mixed view of the Indian natives. On one hand, they were told that Indians could be gentle and receptive, helpful and eager to trade. This may have been a true depiction, or the propaganda of the English government and trading companies which had a vested interest in promoting colonization; it was a very positive image and gave intended settlers hope that they would be welcome with open arms and helping hands. They wanted to believe that they were heading to the Garden of Eden.

However, there was an opposing image of these same Indians. Perhaps these came from the Spanish or from visitors to America who’d had bad experiences with the locals.

Whichever the case, Indians were often described in very unflattering terms. Among these descriptions were terms like, “Flesh eating primitives,” “Savage, hostile and beastlike,” and “Crafty, loathsome half-men.” These various metaphors could not have inspired much confidence in the people who heard them.

The English had an ace-in-the-hole that kept their courage up. They knew that they had the same level of technology and weaponry as the Spanish. Therefore, they knew that if push came to shove, they could defeat the American natives in a fight, just as the Spanish had. Conquest was always in the back of their minds, as an alternative to peaceful integration.

English pessimism due to the Indian’s history with the Spanish was no doubt exacerbated when a Chesapeake Indian tribe ambushed the first arrivals making landfall. Things didn’t start off well and the settlers became very suspicious of the indigenous people. And the Indians surely felt the same, but they had their own motivations for contact.

Powhattan, leader of the powerful Algonquian tribe of Indians, was a proud and clever man. He saw the newcomers as a source of power. They had things of value, like guns and knives. Powhattan was in the process of consolidating his power in the region. He already controlled 25 bands of united warriors, and was looking for another advantage.

Weapons would be invaluable to him. To this end, he became a friend and benefactor to the new settlement. Although their presence was a potentially destabilizing element and a dangerously double edged sword, he felt they were worth the risk. He brought them food to help them survive their first long, cold winter, known as “the starving time”. He continued to trade with them afterwards, supplying corn and other foods in exchange for weapons.

It was, perhaps, this dependency on the Indians that helped to increase their distrust of the locals. They needed Powhattan’s food to get through the winter and were very much afraid that he would take advantage of their weakness. They expected the local Indians to act as treacherously and heartlessly as Europeans often did. Many rationalized that the Algonquian assistance was really initiated by their Christian God who was looking out for them. It made them feel better to believe that they were in the hands of God, not the Indians. Colony leader John Smith wrote, “If it had not pleased God to have put a terror in the Savage’s hearts, we’d have perished by those wild and cruel Pagans, being in that weakest state as we were.”

Looking at it from the Indians point of view, they probably had little reason to suspect the horrors that were to come. They’d had limited interaction with the white man. Most tribes probably had no idea what happened down in South America with the Spanish. Up in Canada, the French had made strides in co-existing wit the regional Indians and even advocated inter-racial marriages. So it’s likely the Indians were leery—the unknown is always frightening—but naïve and confident enough not to view the newcomers as anything to fear. The Europeans came bearing gifts to trade, and some tribes did initially profit off their arrival.

0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  5  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 05:09 pm
Indian giver is a miss representation of the potlach ceremony. The native culture/s had no money, when they had big parties or gatherings - tribes would come from all over and people would bring gifts. For every gift given, a gift in return was expected but not mandatory. So potlaches could bankrupt a community and did.
White man, not understanding the system, coined the term. It didn't start out as a slur. Potlach ceremonies were then banned and have only come back recently. I once saw a huge potlach in Bella Bella, carved tribal boats from all along the Pacific coast, from Alaska to Washington, had paddled to the island just south of Prince Rupert BC. I've been to Pow-wows where thousands of dollars in gifts were handed out. It's part of their culture to this day.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 05:34 pm
@Ceili,
What has any of that got to do with indians asking for their gifts back from white men, and those white men getting offended??
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 06:01 pm
@Ceili,
On a seperate note I would love to understand why so many tribes are always broke...our local nisqually tribe has so much money that every year every adult gets a check for $25-30K, their cut of the profits from the casino, fireworks sales, and the tribes for profit prison.
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 06:04 pm
@hawkeye10,
It doesn't.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  3  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 06:05 pm
@hawkeye10,
You'd have to ask them.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 May, 2013 02:56 pm
@2PacksAday,
I said....

....I have maybe half a dozen books on etymology, I don't remember ever reading about "Indian Giver" in any of them....nothing stands out anyway. If I run across something, I'll remember this post and get back to you....it may be 5 yrs from now, but I'll remember.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so I found one of my missing books, many of them are still in storage...anyway, under the "Indian giver, etc..." section, they quote another book and the print date of that book was 1904 {or 07} regardless of the exact year....at that time....in the time of T. Roosevelt....the whole idea of "feeling sorry for the Redman" did not exist yet....well to the extent that we now know...the whole revisionist proud-noble-warrior thing.

I also bought another etymology book a few weeks ago, that gave the same definition as I {and others} have given before. It was written in 1962, and alluded to the fact that, only recently had the phrase changed from "expecting a gift of higher value in return" to simply "a gift taken back"....but no attempt was made to further explain that.

Some things of this nature, are near impossible to figure out, without resorting to wild speculation.

Why did the phrase change and became popular in the 50's - 60's.....was the original phrase always around...and like most things, has simply waxed and waned.....and evolved....that would be my assumption....I will keep looking.

I also picked up a "Dictionary Of Borrowed Words"...pretty snazzy little book.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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