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Author Topic: How a person receives a Native Name  (Read 1264 times)

WhiteFeather

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How a person receives a Native Name
« on: February 23, 2014, 10:37:16 PM »
In the "Older Days and Ways"  of the Original Native People, where we grew up being among the people, it like all things was done in the proper order of things and cycles of life.

    There being an order to life in Infant, Youth, and Adulthood, Elder hood .  We followed the same order in Nature in all our ways of doing things.

     Most Nations and Tribes ran a common-thread of how these things were done...

One order was the name giving, this was usually in four stages. At Birth, a name was given to the child by the parents. Contrary to popular belief with "Hollywood Versions" the parents did not name their child by the first thing they seen when the child was born!

      This name was one the child was called until they reached the age of becoming a woman-child, or man child around the time of puberty. Then a ceremony is conducted by the Elders and people, and the "Youth" is given a new name by the Grandmother or Grandfather depending on if the Nation/Tribe is Matriarchal or Patriarchal.

    Now in these "Modern-Days," our families are disconnected and apart from each other or has passed away. So, it is up to other Elders maybe not of your immediate family to bestow these names. It is usually not proper to just name yourself, whatever name sounds good or after some animal name you just happen to prefer. And do not feel slighted if an Elder does not name you after the Eagle or Wolf. These do not make you Native, once again, it is what is in your heart and how you conduct yourself in your life.

     An Elder even in these days and times, knows that if they accept the task of naming someone, it comes through much prayer and spiritual fasting for that individual to give a name that is right for that person in every aspect of their lives.

     In older days, the name given stayed with you for life unless otherwise changed by the Elders. This could be through an Intertribal Marriage or Clan change. In rare occasions, recognition and honour of some special deed done for the survival of your entire people and tribe. Or unfortunately, a person could be given a new name of disgraced by the Elders and people for something unspeakable that person did against the people as a whole.  Fortunately, that name could be only temporary until that person corrected the wrong.

     There is one other name you can be  given in life, and it is given by the Creator/Great Spirit Himself.

     This one is a very sacred name that is only used in "Silent Prayer" between you and your maker.  It is given usually to you during a fasting and sacred sweat-lodge ceremony done in the "older ways" of doing.  Not all receive a name when they seek it, but when it is given, you never speak this name to no one as long as you live on this Earth, it is that Sacred!

                      It is the name that the Creator/Great Spirit calls you by.

Now, since we all do not live in the villages or communities as in the past where we are among our Elders from youth on.. The "Modern-Day way to receive a name from an Elder is this..

First off, you will need to write down on a piece of paper a small Bio about yourself, such as for example: Your likes, dislikes, what you like to do, your favourite colours you might wear that you feel very good in, what do you do as a living?, what are your philosophies/beliefs in this life?. These are but a few suggestions that you would give in your story about you.

Then you would buy a pouch of loose (chemical free) pipe tobacco found in any grocery store or regular tobacco store. Wrap it in a piece of red or white cloth and tie it with leather lacing, send the Bio of yourself and the tobacco in the mail to the main office. This then will be handled by the Head Medicine Chief to do the name giving or by one of the many Elders within the Nation itself.

Here is the hard part! PATIENCE! you must then wait until it is accepted by the Medicine Chief or another Elder to take the responsibility to do the "Spiritual" and or "Physical" fasting for seven complete days on your part to receive your name. SOMETIMES, it will take longer for individuals for whatever reason at the time.

Note: these are very sacred names and should not be taken lightly, plus they are not just pulled out of thin air or it be the first thing seen somewhere outside as depicted on Hollywood Television programs. One other fact here, not all names will be of a wolf, eagle, buffalo, panther etc. or some past chief of any tribe or nation. The name will, believe it or not, will fit you and your personality and life pretty well.
"We are not Human Beings having a Spiritual Experience, we are Spiritual Beings having a Human experience"

 

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