Happy Holidays! Welcome to the 6th issue of the Ko’asek Tribal Tidbits! Today’s exciting segment is on the Naming Ceremony, a mutual idea Bridgette Hocks-Hendry and I mentioned at the same time. Thank you Bridgette! And, also a segment on a new tribe member!
Today’s quote for December is from “365 Days of Walking the Red Road” by Terri Jean (Thank you Chief Paul):
Some of you think an Indian is like a wild animal. This is a great mistake.” Chief Joseph, (HIN-MAH-TOO-YAH-LAT-KEKT), Nez Perce, 1879.Addressing Politicians in Washington DC.
Did you know?” Kansas” is the Sioux word for “south wind people
The Naming Ceremony
I had the privilege of asking Chief Paul some questions about the tradition of the Abenaki Naming Ceremony. These are the answers and it was very enlightening to read. I have encountered some that name themselves, however, those in tribes follow the tradition. My family was very honored to receive our names. Thank you Chief Paul!
1 Is the Abenaki naming ceremony different from other tribes?
Yes. The actual ceremony is done live honoring our 4 directions, and with 4 elders/officials in each direction with a fire in the middle of the circle. Each direction has sacred items like corn, tobacco, sage, cedar, sweet grass, etc The person getting the name is dressed in regalia, as the chief/Spiritual person or elder gives the name to each direction person. After it is approved the naming person announces the name to the member. He/she will accept or decline the name. Drums are played through the ceremony. Some of the order of things may differ depending on tribe or person doing the ceremony. Tobacco is placed in the fire by each direction person and the naming person. Then the last one is the person with the new name which is called out to everyone. This process can vary from tribe to tribe.
With our case, we perform both. In person when we can, but others living far away are done the following: Chief Paul collects a bio on the person, likes, dislikes, feelings, etc. He looks at the genealogy and family heritage and character of the person. Once collected, he drums and prays to great spirit and looks and feels for signs. A smudging ceremony is done each time and the search can go a day to a few weeks. Once a vision or sign appears to be the strongest, that is the one picked. A combination of words and descriptions are collected to form the name. Then chief Paul finds the spelling in Abenaki and the process comes to an end and he notifies the person of their name.
2. Why do we have Naming ceremony?
Naming is to honor that person. Sometimes there are a few names given in a lifetime. Many are those given at childhood and possibly outgrown. Many cultures around the world do naming ceremonies.
3. What must I do to request a Naming Ceremony?
When time is permitting Chief Paul can do a naming ceremony as described above.
My name is Cherie Pernaw and I am a new member of the Ko’asek Tribe, of the Abenaki people. I joined as a way to honor my late father, who after a life time of wandering found a home and sense of belonging with the Native American’s in Tucson, Arizona. He was proud of our genetic connection to the original people of this land and he pass that onto me as well as his talents of: creativity, thinking outside the box, a cow lick and a nose that can be seen in family pictures back to his grandfather. I have done many things in my life and all of them involved the gifts he and my mother gave me. I raised three children as a single mother and dragged the four of us to college; one by one, each one of us have earned a degree over time. I have worked from home, waitressed, after graduating from UNH went on to become a drafter, office manager and then onto run my own business. I remarried a great man and life became in many ways a little easier. Yet, because of life’s unexpected turns I now work for my husband, plus manage our rental properties. I am utilizing all my creativity and humor into writing fiction under the pen name Izzy Amlaw (to honor both my grandmothers). I hope to bring my new discoveries of this amazing culture into my writing but also to my grandchildren; then it will become their culture also. Knowing your roots makes a person feel more complete, stronger and able to endure and move forward
Would you like to be featured in an issue? Have an idea? A skill to share? Please send an email to me. I’d love to hear from you!
Have you seen our new website? http://www.koasekabenakination.com
Our next Meeting is Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 1pm (Eastern Time). Come share your thoughts and ideas!!
For comments and submissions, please email GIGI at firstname.lastname@example.org