…one gives away what is in reality a part of one’s nature and substance, while to receive something is to recieve a part of someone’s spiritual essence. To keep this thing is dangerous, not only because it is illicit to do so, but also becaue it comes morally, physically and spiritually from a person. Whatever it is, food, posessions, women, children, or ritual it retains a magical and religious hold over the recipient. The thing given is not intert. It is alive and often personified, and strives to bring to its original clan and homeland some equivalent to take its place.
-Marcel Mauss “The Gift”