Published on August 19, 2011 by Amy
One of the most enjoyable parts of becoming a new parent is choosing a name for your child. While some parents decide on family or classic names, more and more families are starting new traditions by choosing names that have a cultural tie. There is inspiration for baby names almost everywhere you look; including the strong tradition found in American Indian cultures.
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Many American Indian names are based on geographic formations or natural elements, such as Brook, River, or Canyon. By giving your baby a name such as this, you will be instilling a feeling of natural appreciation in them from the beginning of their lives. Be careful that the name you choose works well with your surname and the childs middle name, and then spend some time deciding if you would want to be called that name for your entire life, yourself. For example, would a feminine woman want to be called Mountain? The name should be one that makes your child proud of his or her unique name, not embarrassed! A walk around a natural area can give you many ideas, and it is okay to try out a name for a while on your newborn before making a final decision. If the name just seems to fit your child once you see him or her, then it is probably the one to choose.
More traditional American Indian names should be bestowed with caution. Families that have an Indian heritage have somewhat more room in choosing traditional names than others, due to the level of cultural respect required. Even if you have an American Indian background, do research on your potential name to be sure it does not have disrespectful connotations or spiritual elements that you do not want. This is especially true if you are considering naming your child the name of an actual tribe; because tribal names generally demand a reverence that makes them off-limits for individuals.