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The Ponca Indian tribe has an interesting tradition. When a loved one dies, the family and friends meet to share with one another. They share not in the form of words, but in the form of giving. Now you may think this not too interesting until you hear who does the sharing.

You see, thousands of dollars of gifts are give to members of the tribe and friends. If people need food, the family gives them food. If others need household supplies, the family gives them a basket of supplies. Others are give personal items from the deceased, like blankets and shawls.

Instead of friends giving to the bereaved….the bereaved family gives to others.

And even one year later, the family and friends get together again and the “giveaway” continues.

When asked about this custom a granddaughter of a chief simply said, “We believe you can accept death better by giving rather than getting.”

Instead of giving until it hurt, this custom emphasized that one should give until it heals.

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