Many, many years ago a friend of mine was taking classes at the University of Arizona on Native Americans of the Southwest and their cultures.
One class, the Tohono O’odham culture, was having a dinner and my friend asked me to join her.
We were in a fair sized room. The Tohono O’odham women were in their traditional dresses. It was lovely. Talk was lively. All the makings of a great evening.
We watched and chatted as the women placed trays food on a long table. The aromas from the food were so tantalizing and I was hungry!
No one approached the serving table and we began to wonder what was happening. We waited; then awaited some more.
It must have been about 1/2 hour when a young woman approached me saying, "Everyone is waiting for you to start the food line."
"Who? Me? I am to start the line?"
"Yes", she said, "You are the elder and no one can eat until you start!"
I was holding up the communal serving/eating process.
What a shock to find out I was an elder! I had no idea.