Was thinking just now about Tolkien's Noldor. In the mythology presented in The Silmarillion the Noldor were a people uncommonly gifted as craftsmen -- the Elvish counterpart of Durin's Folk, the Dwarves of north-western Middle-earth. Working in earthly materials, they crafted intricate and perilous ornaments and implements that reflected the depth of their collective imagination.
When a group is favored by a particular god or pantheon, it seems likely that such patrons would bestow gifts upon them in return for their love and loyalty.
The "facts" as I know them:
- This "gifting" awakens latent qualities within the people that were only perceptible dimly before or seen in their primitive forms. Imagine a tribe of backwater lizard-men evolving into flange-scaled and tailless cenobites who levitate above a teleportory whorl spinning at the center of primal swamp.
- The gifts can expire as the gifting gods age and withdraw from this plane or find themselves ousted by adversarial powers.
- Hatreds and passions can be awakened/augmented within an entire race by the atavistic gods who cultivate these emotions.