Ever hear the phrase "Indian giver"?
The misconception associated with this phrase is one of the taking back of something after it was given...Nothing is further from the truth.
Give-aways can be traced back to the earliest times but not specific to tribal origin. In the broad sense, a give-away is nearly the reverse of the majority culture’s understanding of gift giving.
In the majority culture, the expectation is to receive gifts when being honored, recognized, or celebrated on special occasions. In the Native American tradition a give-away when someone is being honored, the honored or family of the honored has a give away. They lay out a blanket most times at gathering or dance and place the items to be given away upon it.
It's the attempt to honor all in attendance with something, sometimes this can be an impossibility and reminds me of a time some years ago in which a family was holding a give away to honor a family member. I was the last in line to receive a gift and nothing remained. The elder woman hosting the give away immediately removed the watch from her wrist and gave it to me. I said that wasn't necessary and she insisted it was her honor, not her loss.
So in the ceremonial circles I traveled in it's been a tradition to have a give away following 4 years of dancing. You can however have one for any reason, and again it's not mandatory, follow your heart.
"What matters is not what someone has but what the person is able to give away to others...It is not the value of the gift, but the giving itself that is important. Giving a gift that may not have significant monetary worth, but significant spiritual or personal value is a sign of a giving heart.”