Posted by Silver Surfer on October 20, 2002
In Reply to: Ask and American Indian the meaning of this phrase. posted by Ed Stansell on October 19, 2002
: : It meant someone who gave something then wanted it back.
: : Just guessing, but with this meaning, p'raps it stems from the fact that certain Amerind cultures have a vastly different notion of property ownership than EuroAm culture.
: : "I want to grow wheat on this field."
: : "Sure go ahead."
: : Next year the tribe is encamped there.
: : "You said I could grow wheat here."
: : "Yes and you did. Now I am spending the summer here."
If you want to know what the American Indians, whom you all acknowledge are the
source of this phrase,consider its meaning to be. Ask one. Who should know better
than they, the true meaning of Indian giver?. You will find, as I have, that it
stems from the white man giving to the Indian, only to take back the gift when
it suited him to do so. This happened countless times, in land (which ironically
the Indian already owned), in material gifts, and in promises.
It really does depend on which American Indian you ask, most have never heard of the phrase.