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The Boston Globe

Opinion

farah stockman

Mitt Romney’s tax returns: Can we judge leaders by how much they give?

In 1886, a scientist named Franz Boas traveled to British Columbia to live among the Kwakwaka’wakw Indians and document their tradition of potlatching, which was widely practiced throughout the Pacific Northwest.

If a Kwakwaka’wakw chief amassed riches by fishing or trapping or trading with white settlers, he threw a fantastic feast — a potlatch — at which he gave almost all of his wealth away.

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