Names of individuals are an important part of the identity of Native Americans. The Native Americans are named uniquely so that their names reflect the culture, heritage and history to which they belong.
Most Native Indians have names that are inspired from nature. Others have names that denote their physical features, such as physical strength. Some Native American names may also refer to the historical events or important occasions which fall close to the birth date of the individual.
Following are some popular Native American names. These names belong to various Indian tribes.
Ameyali is a Native American name that is popularly used by in the Nahuatl culture. It means a spring or a fountain. The name is gender-neutral and is equally suitable for males as well as females.
Antiman is a name that is used by the Native Indian tribe of Mapuche. In the Mapuche language, this name means ‘condor of the Sun’. The name is generally used for males.
This name also belongs to the Mapuche culture. In the Mapuche language, it means ‘eagle of the sun’, and is generally reserved for the male members of the tribe.
Ahiga is a name that is used by the Navajo tribe of Native Americans. This name is typically used for the male members of the tribe and is often given to someone with a strong disposition. It means ‘he fights’ in the Navajo language.
Akecheta is a name popularly used by the Sioux tribe. In the Sioux language, the name means ‘fighter’. It is typically used for men, especially the ones who have strength and good fighting abilities from a young age.
This is a name that comes from the Hopi tribe. It is typical of the Native American philosophy that is deeply entrenched in the nature. Aponivi means ‘where the wind blows down the gap’.
Balam is a name that has been famously used by historical figures in the Mayan history. The name means ‘jaguar’ which was one of the most significant animals in the Mayan culture. It is typically used for male members of the tribe.
Catahecassa is a Native American name specific to the Shawnee tribe. In fact, a famous warrior chief of the tribe was named Catahecassa in the 18th century. The name means ‘black hoof’ and is specifically used for the male members of the tribe.
Cochise was a 19th century chief of one of the Apache tribes. His name belongs in the Apache tradition and means ‘oak’ or ‘wood’. It is probably used to signify the strength and reliability of a person. The name is typically used for males in the Apache culture.
Ehecatl is a name that has almost divine significance among the Aztecs and Toltecs. The Aztecs and Toltecs believed in a wind god who was very powerful. This wind god was known as Ehecatl. This is why today the name means ‘wind’ in the Nahuatl language.
Gouyen is a name that has historically been used by the Apache tribe. It was the name of a warrior woman of the tribe who fought alongside male Apache warriors in the 19th century. The name means ‘wise’.
Geronimo was one of the most renowned Native American warriors and leaders in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He was given the name of ‘Geronimo’ by the Spanish. The name roughly means ‘sacred name’ although it is not a Native American name. The real name of Geronimo was Goyathlay. This name comes from the Apache tradition and means ‘one who yawns’.
Mahpiya was the name of a Native American leader of the Sioux tribe. The name means ‘cloud’. The complete name of the Sioux chief was Mahpiya Luta which means ‘Red Cloud’. This name is typically reserved for the males in the Sioux culture.
Pocahontas is one of the most famous figures of the early Native American history following the arrival of white settlers. Pocahontas was the daughter of a powerful chief of the Powhatan tribe. Her name means ‘playful one’. She helped the white settlers on many occasions and eventually married one of the settlers, John Rolfe. She then traveled to Britain and became one of the first Native Indians to visit the country.
Quetzalli is a name that has historically been used in Aztec culture and related traditions. The name means ‘feather’ or ‘precious thing’. It is used as a feminine name in the Nahuatl language.
Sacagawea was a Native American woman who famously served as the guide on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The name ‘Sacagawea’ belongs in the Shoshone or Hidatsa tradition. It simply means ‘bird woman’ and is specifically used for females.
Tatanka means ‘bull’ in the Sioux tradition. This was the original Native American name of the famous Sioux leader Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull led the Native American warriors in many battles against the U.S. army.
Tecumseh was a famous leader of the Shawnee tribe in the early 19th century. He led a spiritual revival among the Native Americans and gathered a large number of warriors to resist the expansion of USA into Native American territory. His name means ‘panther passing across’. This name signifies strength and is generally used for males in the Shawnee tradition.
Tasunka was the name of the Sioux Lakota warrior and leader in the 19th century. Tasunka is one-half of the name and means ‘horse’. The complete name of the Sioux leader was Tasunka Witko. This translates into ‘Crazy Horse’ and it was by this name that he was popularly known.
Tenskwatawa was the name of the brother of famous Native Indian leader Tecumseh. Tenskwatawa means ‘open door’ in the Shawnee language. It is typically used as a masculine name.
Xochipilli is a name that historically belongs in the Aztec and Toltec mythology. This was the name of one of the Aztec gods. It means ‘flower prince’ and the god named so was the god of games, songs, love, and other festive things.