American Indian Names

American Indian Names are very special. Often they would describe either the actual person bearing the name so it would include an adjective like "tall" or "brave" or even include a physical attribute, such as their hair color or eye color.

It was very common for many Native Americans to have one name as they were growing up. The name usually involved a childish term such as "little." When the child grew up, though, their childish names were cast off. They would complete a coming-of-age ritual and then would be given a new name, one they had earned. It was even fairly common for someone to get a new name after they did something extremely heroic, such as killing a dangerous animal, saving someone's life or participating in an important battle.

For people who are familiar with American Indian Names, it's not uncommon to find some people given the names of animals. The more beloved the animal the person was named for the higher the respect they commanded from their fellow tribesman. Only those who were highly respected would earn a name with the word "wolf" or "eagle" in it, as for many tribes, those animals were sacred. A less adored animal like "rat" or "dog" was also given to people. However, that doesn't mean that someone labeled with "rat" or "snake" was a bad person. Often someone would be named after an animal because they shared attributes with that animal.

Although they are all lumped into the "Native American" group, there are actually many different Native American tribes and each has special name meanings. Every tribe had a different name for everything from trees to lakes to animals, so the English equivalent of "Pretty Bear" would have a different equivalent in every language. For instance, popular Cheyenne tribe names include Abedabun, meaning "sight of day," Ayasha, meaning "little one." Honiahaka means "little wolf . " Some tribes have names that use hyphens, although that is rather rare.

American Indian Names are very sacred to the tribes that bestow them, so if you are looking to choose a Native American name, it's best to make sure you do a great deal of research to make sure the name you are choosing actually means what you desire!

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