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Re: Naming customs was Re: (no subject)

From:Matt Pearson <mpearson@...>
Date:Monday, February 22, 1999, 2:47
Padraic Brown wrote:

> On Sun, 21 Feb 1999, FFlores wrote: > > > From: "FFlores" <fflores@...> > > > > Speaking of which, it would be interesting to > > know about naming tendencies in concultures. > > For example, are there first and last names > > (surnames)? Which order do they come in? etc.
Here's some up-to-date info on Tokana naming practices (which have recently been altered slightly): Each Tokana belongs to two clans, a matrilineal clan called the "kame" or "katia nyume" ("earth house") and a patrilineal clan called the "otana" or "katia moin" ("sea house"). Kame affiliation is determined by one's mother, while otana affiliation is determined by one's father. Note that both kame and otana are exogamous, meaning that one is forbidden from having sex with another person belonging to one's kame or one's otana. Note also that the kame is local, while the otana is non-local, meaning that children are raised in their mother's (mother's) household, and when a couple gets married, the husband will leave his mother's household and move into his mother-in-law's household. The oldest female member of a particular kame is considered the head (or 'speaker') of that kame, while the oldest male member of an otana is considered the head of that otana. Kame names generally come from names of trees, while otana names come from names of fish. (Consumption taboos are observed, so that a member of, say, the Douglas Fir kame is not allowed to chop down douglas fir trees, while a member of the Halibut otana is not allowed to consume halibut.) While clan names are determined by birth, Tokana do not receive a given name ("esian") until age sixteen, when they undergo a series of rituals involving fasting, meditation, and 'dreamwalking', culminating in a secret Naming Ceremony. Most esian are unique and meaningless, and are received by the individual in a vision. The Naming Ceremony is considered the primary rite of passage into adulthood. In fact, the word for "adult" in Tokana is "esiamoitoi", "one who has received his esian". Prior to the Naming Ceremony, children go by a nickname, usually the diminutive form of an animal or plant name (e.g. "Kihouna" = "Little Bear", "Kilalin" = "Little Elm Tree", etc.). Many Tokana retain these childhood names as 'use names' even after acquiring their true names, dropping the diminutive prefix and replacing it with the augmentative prefix (so "Kihouna" might become "Tohouna", "Great Bear"). The order of names is: Kame name, otana name, given name. For example, if a man named Sakial were a member of the Red Cedar (= "sekem") kame and the Koho Salmon (= "kioso") otana, he would be known formally as Sekem Kioso Sakial. If he married a woman named Lunthakin Hofkahu Nyia (Nyia of the Spruce and Halibut clans), and if they had a child named Utihia, that child's full name would be Lunthakin Kioso Utihia. Generally, all three names are used only in ritual contexts. In day to day life, an individual will be addressed by his relatives using kinship terms, and by his friends using his given name (or more likely, a nickname). When dealing with people of other tribes, the Tokana will use their tribal name in addition to their clan names and their given name. Thus if Sakial were a trader, he might introduce himself to foreigners as "Tokana Sekem Kioso Sakial", i.e. "Sakial of the Red Cedar and Koho Salmon clans, of the Tokana people". Matt.