The Native American culture takes baby naming very seriously. Though specific naming traditions vary greatly from tribe to tribe, names usually reflect a certain trait in the person — and sometimes aren't given until the child reaches puberty when the name is innately linked to the child's identity. Now, that's a long time to wait to name your baby girl — but if you chose to celebrate Native American culture through her name, she'll be blessed with one that is beautiful and has a special meaning.
Native American peoples put a lot of thought into naming their offspring, while still following their intuition. For example, the Miwok tribe has a custom of using water names, often chosen by the way the stream flowed when a baby was born — how gorgeous is that?
Follow your intuition while perusing these names. There might be one in here perfect for your baby.
Here are some examples of authentic Native American girl names that would make beautiful first or middle names:
This list of Native American names includes those that are often seen on lists of "Top Native American Name" lists. Some Native American baby name experts caution that not all of these names may be authentic. However, they are still beautiful.
Although the names Dakota, Cheyenne and Cherokee are beautiful names, some Native Americans take offense to these being used as first names because they are also the names of their tribes. They find it inappropriate and compare it to naming a baby God or Christ.
You can still give your child a more authentic Native American name by going through the Native American dictionary and picking out words that correlate with something in your life.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.
Originally published November 2010. Updated April 2017.
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