Native American Names

Native American Names

Many of us have heard and admired Native American names. They are often very poetic and have a mysterious allure to them and many people today have opted for Native American names for their children. It is important however, to do a little research into Native American names, since names that might sound pleasing to the ear may have unpleasant meanings!

Some Native American names consist of English words such as Proudfoot or Blackfeather. These are often used in surnames and are usually used only by Native American people. Non-Native Americans often use words from Native American languages like Cherokee when they look for a unique and special name.

Names and Meanings

Native American names have a deeper meaning than many people realize and are bestowed after a period of introspection on behalf of the person who is to be named. The name is given by a community elder and reflects the actions and life of that person. This may sometimes be a single word or even a phrase. The name-giving ceremony is a serious ritual, as it represents the destiny of that person.

As time passed, many of these names fell out of use because they were either too long or difficult to pronounce. Others became corrupted over years of mispronunciation and lost their original meaning. Ironically, some Spanish and Greek names that fell into corruption were mistakenly thought to be Native American names. Other names were often made up by writers and journalists who wanted to paint a romanticized picture of the Native American Indians.

As a result, a number of names are in circulation today that may not be Native American at all. Before choosing the perfect Native American name, do a little research. The internet offers a wide range of resources that offer Native American names as well as their meanings and which tribe the word belongs to.