Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs: Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports

By Alice C. Fletcher | Go to book overview

TAKING AN INDIAN NAME IN CAMP

In view of the significance of Indian personal names, and the dignity and reverence which in every instance surrounded the giving or the taking of a name, it hardly seems appropriate that Indian names should be assumed even for a short period without some regard being shown to the customs and thought of the people from whom the names are borrowed. While there should be no travesty of rites such as those that have been here described, rites that have been held sacred upon this continent for untold generations, still it would not be unseemly to hold to the spirit of those rites when we borrow these names during the camp days in which we seek to live close to the nature that the Indian loved so reverently and well.

When it is decided among the members of the camp to take an Indian name, on the day of the ceremony all the camp should assemble early in the morning. When all have gathered, they should move toward a place where the sun can be seen when it rises over the lake, the hilltops or the woods. There all should pause.

The candidate for the name should not wear any head-band. The boy or girl should stand well to the front of the group, all of whom should face the East. The entire company should then join in the following song:

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