So what is in a name, is this why you change your name to be more Indian
By Juan B. Mancias
No disrespect, on my part to those families who from birth carried their name with honor and pride, like the Standing Bear family and others names that too many are very sacred as well, like Crazy Horse. So the QUESTION still remains what is in a name? Another Question why do people change their names from Martinez to Two Feathers, Gutierrez to Two Hawks, Sandoval to Standing Bear and so on and so on? It is predicament that still baffles me.
So STOP changing your names in English to Crazy Horse, Black Horse, Standing Bear, and Running Water Woman and so on and so on. Just because you found you had Indian blood a few years ago and you needed to show how Indian you were you changed your name to make it more Indian. Saying, I am Jane “Running Dove” Jones does not make you more Indian today or tomorrow to me. You are still using the colonizer’s language.
A thin line separates people who adopt sincere names such as Standing Bear or Black Eagle and people who make up joke names such as Runs with Beer or Hung Like a Horse. Indeed, the former practice helps make the latter practice unremarkable and acceptable. Yet these groups aren't going through a traditional naming rite or choosing a name the way Indians chose them. If they were, they'd end up with names like Furry Rabbit, Two Mice, or No Lice.
So both groups are bastardizing Indian naming traditions. One is doing it sincerely and the other is doing it insincerely, but the results are similar. Either way, an Indian tradition gets trivialized into the equivalent of a party game.
For more on the subject, see Phony Indian Baby Names, Real vs. Phony Indian Names, and The Most Common Indians Names.