Carly McIntosh: Feeling love from elders at naming ceremony


Photo by Carly McIntosh

Writer Carly McIntosh recently received her Ojibwe name of Turtle Woman:
When knowing the end is just around the corner it makes me weak inside wishing I could rewind and start from the beginning again. On the date of August 22, it was my last Traditional Naming Ceremony. We had all received our traditional names given by the elders and were now to all celebrate with a beautiful feast.

As all the women were set at their tables, the men were the ones to serve them dinner. Once everyone had been given their dinner, we all began to enjoy our meal. During dinner laughter was thrown in and even some tears of emotion. When plates began to clear, names for prizes were starting to be drawn. The elders were also given gifts for all the wonderful things they had given us, as well as taught us.

We were all told that after the prizes were drawn that each one of us had to stand up in front of the full size audience and say how our traditional name has changed us in our own way. Once I had heard what we were to do, my heart began to race. The last time I had been in front of a massive audience was when I was a young girl, my music festivals for piano. Before I knew it, names started to be called and I knew mine was coming.

Get the Story:
Carly McIntosh: 'I Feel Love Surrounding Me': The Grace of the Naming Ceremony (Indian Country Today 8/31)

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Carly McIntosh: Tracing roots to Native great great grandfather (08/24)
Carly McIntosh: Native name brings me closer to Mother Earth (07/27)

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