Sunday, April 29

Indians and Their Names

I love meeting new people because new names are so interesting to me. After teaching school for near 6 years I've learned to enjoy the creativity of the individual namesake. Never have I enjoyed learning new names as much as I have here in Montana. And there is one reason why.

Montana has quite a few large Indian Reservations. One of these, the Crow Reservation is right outside of Billings. Because of the proximity to the city, we have a large population of Indians in town. Indian names are incredible, they have normal first names, ie: John, Sara, Dorothy, Brian. But their last names are a combination of an adjective and a noun, or they are a phrase of some sort. I have been making mental notes of some of the Indian names that I am hearing around town. My list is partly from the Billings phone directory, as well. Last names only, below.

  • Bad Bear
  • Bad Horse
  • Bearcomesout
  • Bearquiver
  • Big Hair
  • Bigleggins
  • Birdhat
  • Old Elk
  • Oldmouse
  • Left Hand
  • Littlehead
  • Real Bird
  • Runsabove
  • Shoulderblade
  • Spottedelk
  • Stalkingcat
  • Stiffarm
  • Talks Different
  • Hedoesit
  • Headdress
  • Greathouse
  • Good Luck
  • Falls Down
  • Fasthorse

3 comments:

Brian said...

Ha ha, Those are great. I think mine would probably be Bigleggins! I have heard that Indians give names once the baby is born, and that the Father names the child from the first thing they see as they step out of thier dwellings. I didn't believe this when I heard it but, I am starting to believe it now. Stalkingcat, spottedelk, there may be some truth to it. I hope things continue to go well, miss you.

Carol said...

I hope you will find out the origins of Indian names. If Brian is right, do you think one father may have seen someone falling down or maybe fell down himself? What about Left Hand?
Maybe the last name comes after the child is a certain age and exhibits some notable trait. I'm curious! Please let us know!

Kostaroff said...

I think you need to figure out a name that would suit you. Hmm... what would it be? You let us know so we can help you fit into the culture!