An indian giver
is someone who expects that a gift
will be used and appreciated by the person who accepts it. Most indian
tribes considered the giving of gifts to be a sacred
thing. If a person accepted a gift
that they did not like or would never use
it was considered disrespectful
. It was an insult
to the giver and to the gift itself. It was also the duty
of the giver to retrieve
any present that was not truly appreciated and respected
, that was not received in the same spirit
that it was offered.
It was considered honorable and righteous to take back a gift, not cheap and greedy as most european cultures
seem to think.
Editor's Note: To the best of my knowledge, the above is incorrect. Reciprocity was/is a fundamental mode of exchange for the native american indians. When a gift was given, a gift (of approximately equal value) was expected in return. This is common in hunter/gatherer cultures the world round. When Europeans first observed this, it was misunderstood to mean the native expected his own gift returned.