The Kwakiuti people conferred names according to whether a person gave property – e.g., “For Whom Property Flows” (an elevated name), or received property – “Creating Trouble All Round” (a lowered name).*
It made me wonder, what might be the names given to those who gift their gift?
Just a few days ago, I heard about a group of friends, who, at the end of their work meeting had some fun with trying to name one another.
I love this. I belong to a mentoring community who do just this. After being and learning together, they seek to confer names on one another. A person cannot choose their own name but may receive or reject the name offered to them. It’s based on valuing the things discovered in each person.
Here’s a contrasting story. In his 2015 Non-Obvious Trends report, Rohit Bhargava identifies one of his trends as Everyday Stardom, observing how companies – including Disney with its magic band – are aiming ‘to allow customers to feel like superstars with every branded interaction.’**
The first example – of the Kwakiuti and my friends- are about gift communities conferring names in response to members gifting their gifts. The second example of everyday stardom is a commercial purchase of a story, a name, an experience. Have fun with it, but the danger is missing out on the incredible story already in every person.
We might call this issue dubbing – from the experience of trying to voiceover a film of TV programme – the problem being producing something “overdone, over dramatic, or overladen with emotion,”^ leading to an experience which appears to be “feigned, false, prefabricated.”^^
When you gift your gift, you are already an everyday star.
(*From Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)
(**From Rohit Bhargava’s Non-Obvious.)
(^Author Candace Whitman-Linsen, quoted in Charlotte Bosseaux’s Dubbing, Film and Performance.)
(^^Frederic Chaume, quoted in Charlotte Bosseaux’s Dubbing, Film and Performance.)