Something About Indian Names

Typed by : Becky Roberts

    The Indians have a neat way of fixing it. This Rain-in-the-Face, Spotted Tail, Man-Afraid-0f-his-Horses, is good enough to palm off on the whites, but each Indian has another name the whites never hear. First he is named after his mother's gens or family. There are only half a dozen each. Snake, Wolf, Turtle, Bear, Eagle and so on. You remember how in "The Last of the Mohicans." the young Delaware chief was found to have a tortoise tattooed on his breast, that gave his family. He was a Turtle, just as the bulk of the Scotch are divided into a few clans, the Stewarts, Campbells, Camerons, McGregor's and others. To the Indian's family name is attached another. But it would be bad medicine to have it spoken outside the family circle, and give some of his enemies a chance to work spells and hoodoo him. The Spotted Tail business is a nom de chasse, dequerre, or do toot, which gets hitched on in later in life. Washington Post

June 1863