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What's My Name? - ASAH Tribe Naming Ceremony [View All]

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-19-09 01:25 AM
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What's My Name? - ASAH Tribe Naming Ceremony
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Edited on Mon Jan-19-09 01:39 AM by Dover

When Votesomemore posted the headsup about DU's 'name change' opportunity, I was reminded of just
how important a name is and the ancient Native American tradition...a naming ceremony.
The naming of Obama as our next president is a milestone for all of us as well. It's been a long and winding road, and we've all been through so much together and separately, experiencing important changes in our lives.

This is NOT an exercise to suggest a new DU name (although if anyone wishes to adopt one of the names given to them by changing their DU name, that's fine). This is simply a ceremonial and symbolic gesture to acknowledge and honor one another's journey as has been experienced within this cyber-community by GIVING one another names (as opposed to naming oneself).

So, here's one way to structure this:

Those who would like to be given a name by our fellow ASAH partcipants can enter their current DU name in all caps in a subject line below and our ASAH tribe can reply beneath it if they feel so moved. Also, if you would
like to nominate someone who's name has not already been entered, please do so using the same format.

If you are replying and 'giving' a name, enter just the name into your reply/subject line and then if you wish to explain why you chose that name for the person enter that in the text box. And just to keep things clearer visually DON'T capitalize your given name replies in the subject line. Just use normal upper and lower case.
What I'm shooting for is something that looks like this:

DOVER (all caps)
(reply subject line) __ Editsoooomuch
(text box)___________ "I chose the name 'Editsoooomuch' for you because I can always recognize your
posts by the red edit message at the top, and the many changes in text and imagery that take place as you craft your message right up until editing time expires. I almost chose the names "Needsdeadlinepressure" or "Justspititout!" but decided my first choice summed it up better" ;) . Edited on Mon Jan-19-09 12:23 AM by Dover

Humor is also welcome and of course even though this is modelled after a Native American ceremony, it's not important to draw on that source or name-format for your name offering. Also if you feel like someone's current name still strongly resonates and represents them, then you can either re-enter their name in your reply as the 'given' name, or simply not reply. Again...if you would like to provide an explanation for your name offering please put that in the text box. That way we'll be able to look at the thread and just see the original and given names at a glance. Feel free to offer more than one name for an individual if another one occurs to you to give.

I'm currently working on a project and can't stop right now to participate, but will join in tomorrow or the next day. Also will be bringing my computer in for some long overdue work tomorrow
(MERCURY RETROGRADE anyone?), but hope to get it back the same or next day. It took me an hour to
type this because some virus has a grip on my keyboard strokes!

Anyhoo....I think this is gonna be FUN!


For those who missed my initial post in the other thread, here is a brief explanation of the
Native American naming ceremony.

Native Americans Speak Out on Sacred Healing and Transformational Rituals

The Naming Ceremony

Legal names are given, but Native American names are earned. Gabriel Horn gives a personal account of why and how his Indian name was chosen: "By the time I graduated from college, I had already done my battles for the people. I had protested against stereotypes of Native Americans, I had fought for a Native American literature course on campus, and I had asked for participation in the United Nations. My immediate family believed that I had earned a name. The name came to my uncle, a traditional Cherokee man, who had a vision of a white deer coming to him and singing my name. He knew it was to be White Deer.

"My godmother, my uncle, and some close friends attended the ceremony. A pipe was filled with tobacco, and offered to each direction, as they called out my name. They called it out to the east, the south, the west, and the north. They called it out to the sky and to the earth. They called it out to the plants. They called it out to the animals. In other words, I was introduced to the universe as White Deer. That was my rebirth. In a sense, I was a born again Indian at that point." Receiving a new name was a healing experience. I was now completely comfortable with my Indian identity, whereas before I felt fragmented, not totally in touch with who I was."

Name changes can be physically as well as psychologically healing. Some time later, White Deer became ill, and a longer name was the solution: "I had gotten very sick, and was near death. A very old Ojibwa medicine man from Canada came down to Minnesota. I believe he was over 100 years old, and he didnt speak any English. During the ceremony of healing for me, a manifestation appeared in the room. At that point, the medicine man said that the entity wanted me to also be called Autumn. I was now White Deer of Autumn. The ceremony ended, and my sickness was healed.

"The name, of course, bestows certain powers and responsibilities. The power of the deer is its awareness, its keenness, and its protective nature. The white is purity, purity of heart, mind, and words. Autumn, I was told, is a time when change is most visible. Its a time when change is at its most powerful. And so, I was named for that season."

Indian names can be passed down, as western names often are. The distinction is that you are not stuck with one name all your life. This represents different beliefs about human potential, says White Deer of Autumn: "Crazy Horse passed on his name to his son, who took the name Worm as he got older. So, we can pass on names, too. The idea is that youre not stuck with the name you were given at birth. In western society, its almost as if you cant change; you cant evolve; you cant grow. From a native perspective, your name reflects who you are. White Deer of Autumn reflects what Ive done. But as I go on in life, I may want to let go of that and take another name. I have that right. So, naming is the ability to evolve and change in your identity. I think this is healing, both physically and emotionally."

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