All About Our

Naming Ceremonies

Naming ceremonies are the traditional way in which Natives receive their name. Each tribe has a different way of preforming these ceremonies. Our tribe's ceremonial process has been passed down for generations.  Names are traditionally given to an infant during their six month of life, and are subject to change after major life events. There are two different ceremonial processes that our tribe preforms. There is one for a child and then a different one for an adult. Bellow you will be able to view the differences, and learn the process involved in each one. 

If you are interested in having a naming ceremony there is a request form bellow. This form can be sent in via email at vanessarosemary1997@gmail.com

anas naming ceremony 2016 Wanona.jpg

Child Naming Ceremony

The parents inform the council or Elders of the child’s gender. Then the council or elders pray for guidance, and then discuss what names they think is best. They decide on three names for the infant and assign each name to a sacred herb (Cedar, Sweet grass, Tobacco, or Sage). When the infant is six months old the ceremony takes place. Then, the parents and infant gather with three guides/witnesses, at least one elder or council member, and an elderly family member (usually a grandfather). A circle is to be set up ahead of time. This includes marking the four cardinal directions with the proper colors, starting the ceremonial fire, and preparing the assigned sacred herbs. Then music is played as everyone smudges and enters the circle counter clockwise. The drummer, if there is one, goes in first. Everyone must walk the circle twice before coming to a stop. Everyone stands in a circle and the father of the infant holds the infant down in front of the sacred herbs. When the infant reaches for one of the sacred herbs and the name assigned to that herb is the name chosen. That herb is then thrown into the fire by the infant’s father and the infant is held up and the name is presented to the Great Creator and all who are present. Then the elder family member presents the infant with a naming feather. Now the drumming starts again and everyone walks counter clockwise and exits while saying “A'ho” Then there is a feast held for all there as a celebration.

Adult Naming Ceremony

The adult informs the council or elders that they are ready to receive a name. Then the council or elders pray for guidance, and then discuss what names they think is best. The adult receiving the name can request certain names but they must be approved by the council or elders. They decide on four names for the adult and assign each name to a sacred herb (Cedar, Sweet grass, Tobacco, or Sage). Four guides are chosen to hold one of each sacred herb. Then, the adult gathers with four guides/witnesses, at least one elder or council member, and an elder family member (usually a parent or sibling). A circle is to be set up ahead of time. This includes marking the four cardinal directions with the proper colors, starting the ceremonial fire, and preparing the assigned sacred herbs. Then music is played as everyone smudges and enters the circle counter clockwise. The drummer, if there is one, goes in first. Everyone must walk the circle twice before coming to a stop. Everyone stands in a circle and the guides then pick up their assigned herb with the name, and stand at each cardinal direction. The adult then takes a moment to decide which herb, and guide, seems to be the one that the Great Creator is pulling them towards, and that is the one that is chosen. That herb is then thrown into the fire by the guide holding it, and the guide presents the name to the great creator and all who are present. Then the elder family member presents the adult with a naming feather. Now the drumming starts again and everyone walks counter clockwise and exits while saying “A'ho” Then there is a feast held for all there as a celebration

anas naming ceremony 2016 Wanona.jpg
Aquene and Ayita with Chief Gobele.jpg
Winona and parents.jpg
Ellis's naming ceremony 2020 Canowikate.jpg