Chairman of the bored
a bit off topic: Indian giver is such a bad word.
[ot]The term originated with European colonists who occasionally made a point to give goodwill gifts to the native Americans when they first settled (and even later). Both European and native American cultures understood the gifts to be offerings intended to establish friendship, but trouble began when the differences in the concept of ownership emerged. In European cultures a gift implies a complete transfer of ownership from one entity to another. The native understanding, however, was that the gifts were pooled into a communal ownership to be shared by both peoples. The idea of some form of giving not being completely reciprical was completely foreign, as all property was communal for them. So great ill will was brought on in those instances when the natives came to use one the items they gave to the Europeans and were refused - in their view that was an unthinkable thing to do with a 'gift' and the Europeans saw this as wanting to 'take it back'. The term 'indian giver' persists as a reflection of this Eurocentric view of ownership even today.[/ot]