View Full Version : Native American naming ceremonies

06-04-2009, 10:40 PM
I have been reading about various tribal ceremonies performed for the Native American/American Indian naming ceremonies. I am going to try to put something respectable together for my fictional tribe. However, the ceremonies I have read about discuss naming of one person, and not many people. Basically, my characters are being renamed because they are "of age" and considered to have entered manhood now. This ceremony will likely include something along the lines of a "manhood initiation" ritual. But would I be able to have a ceremony like this for more than one person? There are three characters in this ceremony.

06-04-2009, 10:46 PM
Wasn't there a scene in one of the old movies. . .maybe "A Man Called Horse" where the young men were initiated into adulthood. I don't have a clue what tribe he was supposed to be part of or how to go about looking it up, but maybe someone else will recall.

06-04-2009, 10:59 PM
Wow, it's been forever since I've seen that movie! I will have to check it out again. Thank you for mentioning it. :) This story is for the MG crowd, so I'll need something suitable for that age group.

Cav Guy
06-05-2009, 01:30 AM
These (of course) vary from tribe to tribe. You might want to look at some of the warrior society initiation rituals (those of the Cheyenne and Kiowa are pretty well documented if memory serves) to find examples of more group-centric rituals.

06-05-2009, 07:11 PM
The best place for finding some background that may help for naming ceremonies is in anthropology. Most indigenous populations and many religious sects have naming ceremonies or traditions. If you are creating a “tribe” that is essentially North American you may want to incorporate a few traditions from a variety of cultures so as not to offend.

In many indigenous cultures there are multiple naming ceremonies. The name the child receives at birth may be a ‘nick name’, a name that the child will carry until his true name is discovered as he develops his gifts. In other cultures an individual may receive a new name at each critical point in life. A new name is selected when a person makes a commitment to a religious life, regardless of tradition. A new name is given at each new level of initiation in many religious traditions” . http://www.manataka.org/page1579.html (http://www.manataka.org/page1579.html)

In Nepal there is a naming ceremony for boys when they move into manhood and they are awarded a name along with a bow and arrow. Among the Edo’s of Africa the naming ceremony takes place 7-8 days after birth. Much has been written about these types of ceremonies in a variety of ethnographies.

Hope that helps