Native American Names & Meanings
1) Use a Native American variant of a Hebrew or Christian name, for example, Kateri (Catherine) or Atian (Stephen). This
is the Native American equivalent of Spanish names like Catalina (Catherine) and Esteban (Stephen).
2) Use or adapt a word from a Native American language. This is the Native American equivalent of Irish names like Colleen
or Shannon (neither of which is traditional as a person's name, but they are inspired by Irish Gaelic words).
ADAHY: Baby name books say this name means "he lives in the woods" in Cherokee. This isn't true, but it probably
does have Cherokee origins. The word is probably a corruption of the Cherokee word Adohi (pronounced ah-doe-hee), which means
"timber" or "woods." If you use this as a name, though, it's a good idea to get the vowels right. "Adahy"
sounds a lot like the Cherokee word for "poison," Adahi'i.
AIYANA: Baby name books claim Aiyana means "eternal blossom" or "forever flowering" in Cherokee. This
is false. It does not have any meaning in Cherokee that we know of, and as far as we know it's not a traditional Native American
name at all (we've never heard of anyone with this name born before about 1970.) Probably Aiyana is really just a spelling
variant of Ayanna, which is an African-American and Jamaican name that's been used for at least 50 years. Ayanna is said to
come from an Amharic (Ethiopian) word for a flower or blossom; we're not familiar enough with African languages to verify
that, but it seems like a likely source of this name to us. (One person has emailed us to say Ayanna is a man's name in Ethiopia,
but of course, many originally masculine names are today used as women's names, particularly in America.) There's also a Hindi
name "Ayana" which may have contributed to the error--Hindi names are frequently mistaken for Native American names
by baby book authors because they are simply identified as "Indian."
ALAWA: Several websites claim that this name means "pea" in the Algonquin language. This is false; it doesn't
mean anything in Algonquin. We have no idea where this name originally came from; it doesn't resemble words for peas or beans
in any Native American language we're aware of, and it certainly isn't a traditional name. There is an Australian Aboriginal
tribe called the Alawa, and perhaps that is the real source of the name.
ANGENI: This name is widely said to mean "spirit angel" in some unspecified Native American language. Almost
certainly it is simply the English or French word "angel" borrowed into one of the many Native American languages
that does not have a letter L. You may still like to use this as a name (or another Native American variant of the word "angel,"
such as the Creek word Incila and the Choctaw word Anchile), but be aware that it's not a traditional Native American name
or a traditional Native American concept, and that it had no meaning before European colonization.
AYITA: This one is supposed to mean "first dancer" or "first to dance" in Cherokee. This is false.
It has no meaning in Cherokee that we know of. It's possible that it has an origin in a Native American language other than
Cherokee, but it definitely is not a traditional name, and we don't know of any Native American language in which it means
"first" or "dancer," much less both together. This is a recent name (we've never heard of anyone named
this born before the 70's). Ayita is apparently the name of a kind of Nigerian dance, and this may be another case of an African
name being mistaken for a Native American name by white writers.
CHAKOTAY: This is not a real Native American name. It is the name of a character on the science fiction show "Star
Trek: Voyager." The actor who plays Chakotay is of Mayan descent, but the character is from a fictional tribe called
the Anurabi and his name means something like "Man Who Walks the Earth But Who Only Sees the Sky" in that language.
But of course, it's not a real Native American language. It's a Star Trek language, like Klingon.
CHENOA: Baby name books claim that it means "white dove," "mourning dove" or "dove of peace"
in Cherokee. This is false. As far as we know it does not have any meaning in Cherokee, nor is it a traditional name at all
(we've never heard of anyone with this name born before about 1970.) There is a town in Illinois called Chenoa, which is probably
the source of the name. The origin of the town's name is not clear either. Local history suggests Chenoa may have been named
after a town in Kentucky, where the town's founder came from. In that case, the original Kentucky town might well have had
a Cherokee name. However, what that original name might have been has been lost to time. It probably did not have anything
to do with doves. The Cherokee word for "dove" is woya, "mourning dove" is guledisgonihi, and "white
dove" is unega woya.
CHOCHOKPI: This is probably the single name that has mystified us the most. Apparently people are going around saying
that it means "throne of heaven" or "throne of the clouds" in Hopi. Actually, it means a step down or
a stepstool. How the meaning got corrupted that much, I couldn't even begin to guess.
CHOGAN: Baby name books claim that this one means "blackbird" in Algonquin. This is false; the Algonquin word
for 'blackbird' is Ishkwakodjekoj. The source of this translation is probably actually the Narragansett language--Roger Williams
recorded the word "chˇgan" as a Narragansett word meaning "black-bird" in 1643. There's no record of it
ever having been used as a name, though, and we're mystified as to how it got misattributed to the Algonquin language--neither
the word Algonquin nor the confusing term "Algonquian" is used anywhere in Roger Williams' book. Someone must have
resurrected this word for the name of a fictional character in recent years and misunderstood its source.
DAKOTA: Baby name books claim that this is a Sioux name meaning "friend," but it is not. It is the name of a
Sioux tribe, and no one within the tribe is called "Dakota" for their first name, as this is not culturally appropriate.
It also does not mean "friend." It is a plural noun meaning "the allies." Naming your child this would
be like naming him or her "Frenchmen."
HAKAN: Some baby name books identify this as a Native American name meaning "fire." Others identify it as a
Norse name meaning "noble." Though I'm not familiar with Norse languages, the second origin seems much more plausible
to me, because an actual etymology is known and also because the current Crown Prince of Norway is named Haakon. On the other
hand, there's no mention anywhere in history of a Native American man named Hakan and no one even seems to know which tribe
the word might theoretically have come from (compare that to the European etymology, where the baby name book writers not
only know that the word is Scandinavian in origin but that it is specifically an Icelandic variant of an Old Norse name!)
HINTO: Baby name books say that this name means "blue" in Dakota Sioux. Actually, it means "blue hair."
If you've got a blue roan horse or something, it might be a good name for it. For a child, it would be rather odd.
HONOVI: This one is claimed to mean "strong" or "strong deer" in Hopi. Probably this originally came
from a typo. Hopi for "strong" is "hongvi," and some baby book author who knows nothing about the language
probably misread the 'g' as an 'o' at some point. The "deer" part is just an Anglo embellishment.
JACY (or JACI or JACIE): This name is said to mean "moon" in Blackfoot or in a generic Native American language.
It certainly does not mean anything in Blackfoot, which doesn't even have a "J" sound ("moon" is ko'komÝki'somm
in Blackfoot, if you were curious.) Jacy is a popular name in Westerns and Western romances (where it is used by both Indian
and white characters, both men and women), and it was probably invented as a creative variant of "Jesse/Jessie,"
which is a popular men and women's name in the American West. As for the meaning ascribed to it, this may have come from the
South American language Guarani, where jasy (pronounced zha-sih) means "moon." It's doubtful that the American name
itself came from this language, since it is pronounced completely differently (the American name is pronounced jay-see) and
since the Guarani people, who live in Paraguay and Argentina, have never had any connection whatsoever to the Wild West where
the name originated. Most likely this meaning was ascribed to the name later, by a baby book author who was in search of any
plausible meaning rather than the true origins of the name; it's also possible that the Guarani word "Jasy" and
the Western American name "Jessy" were combined into the name "Jacy" by some particular Western author
looking for an original name for a hero or heroine, and due to its similarity to the popular English name, it stuck.
KACHINA: Baby name books frequently claim this name means "sacred dancer." In fact, it is the name of a specific
kind of Hopi mythological figure. It is true that there is a kind of traditional dance called the kachina dance, but that
is a ceremony related to calling the mythological figures in question. Kachina never refers to a dancer in Hopi, nor is it
ever used as anyone's name.
KASA: Baby name books claim this name means "dressed in furs" or "fur-clad" in Hopi. This is probably
a mistranslation of the Hopi word kwasa, which means a dress or skirt. Traditional Hopi dresses are woven, not made of fur,
so it's unclear why this mistranslation came about. The Hopi word for furs or pelts is puuvukya.
KATET: Baby name books claim this name means "fate" or "joined by destiny" in an unspecified Native
American language. In fact, the word has the meaning "a group joined by destiny" in a series of fantasy adventure
novels written by author Stephen King. King has stated that he invented this word himself.
KAYA: Baby name books claim this name means "little sister" or "elder sister" in Hopi. This is false.
There is no word like this in Hopi, and I suspect this fraudulent name was intentionally made up because of the popularity
of a Native American character named Kaya in the "American Girl" series of children's literature. In that book,
the real name of the girl in the story was Kaya'aton'my', which means "one who arranges rocks" in Nez Perce. Kaya'aton'my'
truly is a real Nez Perce word--the authors did their research! In real life, of course, a Nez Perce girl would never have
called herself a nickname that was the first two syllables of her name, but since the target audience of young girls would
never be able to remember and read a five syllable name all the time, I can sympathize with the authors' decision.
KEME: Several online sources claim that this name means "thunder" in Algonquin. It does not. I believe this
misconception traces back to a typo: one popular baby name site accidentally printed two names, one translated as "secret"
and one translated as "thunder," or the same line, and many other sites seem to have mindlessly repeated this error
or just reported "Keme" as meaning "thunder." In fact, Keme is the one that means "secret" (it
comes from the Algonquin word Kiim, which rhymes with "seem.")
KOTORI: This is supposed to mean "owl" or "screech owl spirit" in Hopi. Clearly some baby book author
made a typo at some point and no one bothered to check it before repeating it, because the Hopi word for screech owl is tokori,
LAKOTA: Baby name books claim that this is a Sioux name meaning "friend," but it is not. It is the name of a
Sioux tribe, and no one within the tribe is called "Lakota" for their first name, as this is not culturally appropriate.
It also does not mean "friend." It is a plural noun meaning "the allies." Naming your child this would
be like naming him or her "Frenchmen."
MAHALA: This name is usually said to mean "woman" in an unspecified Native American language, or sometimes a
more fanciful meaning like "eyes of the sky" or "tender fawn." Those translations come from 19th-century
romance novels and are fictional; however, Mahala does have at least two distinct Native American sources. One is that "mahala"
(pronounced mah-hah-lah) was a slang word for an Indian woman in 1800's California. It came from a Mission Indian mispronunciation
of the Spanish word "mujer" (which means woman.) As far as we know no Indian women have this name, but it is used
in some place names in California, and "mahala mat" is another name for the plant also known as "squaw carpet."
This is probably where the idea that Mahala means "woman" came from. It is less derogatory than the word "squaw,"
but is not really a native word. The second source of this name is the woman's name Mahala (pronounced mah-hey-lah) or Mahaley,
which was fairly common among the southeastern Indian tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, etc.) during the 1800's.
Unfortunately the origin of this name isn't clear; the word "mahala" does not have any meaning in any Indian language
of the southeast. It may have been one of many Indian variants on the name Mary, or possibly a variant of Michaela. Or it
could have been a corrupted or shortened form of a longer Indian woman's name or names. In the Tutelo and Saponi languages
(two closely related southeastern Indian languages that are extinct today), the word for "woman" was "mahei,"
so it's possible that a name or set of names including the word "mahei" got corrupted into Mahala at some point
in time. Or it's also possible that the name might have had African origins (many of the southeastern Indian tribes, especially
the Saponi, were known for taking in African-Americans.)
MARIAH: Baby name books claim that this name means "wind" in some unspecified Native American language . This
is theoretically possible, as there are many different languages and we do not know the word for "wind" in all of
them. However, the source of this idea is almost certainly a Kingston Trio song from the 1950's, "They Call The Wind
Mariah," in which the rain, wind and fire have the first names Tess, Mariah, and Joe. There are no Indians in the song;
Tess and Joe are not Indian names and do not mean rain or fire, so in all likelihood Mariah is not an Indian name and does
not literally mean wind either. It's probably one of many American variants of the name Mary or Maria.
MEDA: This one is supposed to mean "priestess" or "prophetess" or "princess" in some unspecified
Native American language. This is too generic a claim to entirely disprove (there are hundreds of Amerindian languages, and
we cannot be sure that the name does not resemble a word meaning some kind of woman in one of them.) The combination of the
non-Indian word "priestess" with the lack of a tribal identification makes me extremely skeptical of this, however.
Meda doesn't mean a medicine woman or any other kind of woman in any language we're familiar with, and it is also completely
absent from the anthropological literature (unlikely if it was a real religious term.) Meda is a Hindu family name used in
India, which may be the source of this rumor; Hindu names are frequently incorrectly identified as Native American by baby
book authors because they only hear that the name is "Indian." The Hindu name means "good house," though,
which doesn't have anything to do with women or magic. More likely this name is a corruption of Medea, which was the name
of a well-known witch-priestess of Greek mythology (who also happened to be a princess.)
MIAKODA: I've only encountered this one online, where people claim it means "power of the moon" in either Navajo
or some unspecified Native American language. It definitely isn't a Navajo word, and none of us knows any other language in
which a word sounding like this has anything to do with magic or the moon either. I've never heard of any person or animal
named 'Miakoda' before about 1995. It's possible that the source of this name was an obscure 1990's series of science fiction
books by an author named Jane Fancher, where the moon orbiting a silly pseudo-Native-American planet was named Miakoda; whether
the author made this name up for her book or found it while surfing the same Internet lists that exist today, I do not know.
Either way, it is almost certainly not an authentic name.
MIKA: Baby name books claim this name means "wise little raccoon" or "intelligent raccoon." This is
an embellishment, but the word really does mean "raccoon" in both the Osage and Omaha-Ponca languages (they are
related to each other, like Spanish and Italian, and share some vocabulary.)
NADIE: Baby name books claim that this name means "wise" in Algonquin. This is false. None of us has any idea
where this rumor could even have gotten started.
NAHIMANA: This one is supposed to be a Sioux name meaning "mystical." Probably this is a slight mistranslation
of the Dakota Sioux word Nahmana, which means "secret," not in a mystical way, but in a sly or covert way, like
NAYATI: Baby name books claim that this name means "wrestler" or "he who wrestles" in an unspecified
Native American language. This is possible, but it's nothing we've heard of before and no one but baby books seems to mention
the word in a Native American context at all. The more likely source of this name is the Sanskrit word Nayati, which means
"leader," or possibly the Sanskrit word Nahyati, which means "binds" and is used in yoga. Hindi and Sanskrit
names are frequently mistaken for Native American names by baby book authors because they are identified as "Indian."
NIDAWI: Baby name books claim that this name means "fairy" in the Omaha language. According to an Omaha friend,
nidawį actually means "elephant woman." In the past, this name probably had a more dignified sense to it--anthropologist
Alice Fletcher said it referred to a "mysterious or fabulous being," and Osage scholar Francis LaFlesche wrote that
the Osage used the same word, nida (without the feminine ending -wį), to refer to giant bones they found in the riverbanks.
Despite the higher cachet of that story, I'm still not sure a modern girl would be pleased at being named "mammoth woman"
or "giant creature woman." There really are sprite or fairy-like beings in the folktales of the Siouan tribes, but
nidawį is not one of them. Whatever real or mythological creature nida originally referred to, it was definitely
something known for being enormous.
NITIKA: Baby name books claim that this one means "angel of precious stone" in some unspecified Native American
language. It is possible that this name has Native American origins, but we don't know what they are, and it certainly does
NOT mean "angel of precious stone." It is also possible that Nitika is a Hindi or Sanskrit name, since there seem
to be a lot of women with this name in India. Hindi and Sanskrit names are frequently mistaken for Native American names by
baby book authors because they are identified as "Indian."
NOOTAU: This one is supposed to mean "fire" in Algonquin. It doesn't mean anything in Algonquin; the Algonquin
word for "fire" is "ishkode." We have no guesses as to where (if anywhere) this name originally came from.
It does not resemble the word for "fire" in any Native American language that we're aware of, and may be fictional.
NOVA: Baby name lists claim that this name means "she chases butterflies" in Hopi. This is false. Nova means
"food" in Hopi. Perhaps this was a mistranslation of the Hopi word for "chase," ng÷yva. (It's pronounced
similar to ing-uyr-vah, but it looks a little like "nova," I guess.) There's certainly nothing about butterflies
ONATAH: This one is supposed to be an Iroquois man's name meaning "of the earth." Actually, it is the name of
an Iroquois corn goddess. Perhaps more of a legendary mythological figure than a goddess... but unquestionably, importantly
female. She's a fertility goddess. Please spare your sons some future embarassment and choose a different name for them!
ORENDA: Baby name books claim that this name means "magickal," "magic power," or "tribal soul
on the right path" in an Iroquois language. This is a serious mistranslation. Orenda really does come from an Iroquois
religious term, but it is more commonly translated as "Great Spirit," "divine essence," "Holy Spirit,"
or simply "God." It strikes me as a spectacularly egotistic thing to name your child, but now that you know what
it really means, you can make your own decision about that.
ROWTAG: This one is supposed to mean "fire" in Algonquin. It doesn't mean anything in Algonquin; the Algonquin
word for "fire" is "ishkode." We have no guesses as to where (if anywhere) this name originally came from.
It does not resemble the word for "fire" in any Native American language that we're aware of, and may be fictional.
SAKARI: Baby name books claim that this name means "sweet" in Eskimo (Inuktitut) or in some unspecified Native
American language. This is very doubtful. It's not a traditional Inuit or Native American name, and it doesn't mean "sweet"
in any indigenous American language we're aware of. On the other hand, words like this DO mean "sweet" or "sugar"
in Indo-European languages. (The Latin word for "sugar" is saccharum, Sanskrit is sarkara, and of course there is
the English word saccharine.) Most likely this is a Hindi or Sanskrit name (such names are frequently mistaken for Native
American names by baby book authors because they are identified as "Indian.") It might also be Greek. It's also
possible that this is a word that has been borrowed into Inuktitut from English to refer to coffee sweetener.
SATINKA: This name is said to mean "magic dancer" or "sacred dancer" in an unspecified Native American
language. This is almost certainly false, because if did, the term would surely be mentioned in tribal history or anthropological
literature (or anywhere at all prior to 1990, for that matter.) It's possible that it does mean "dancer" or "dance"
in a Native American language we're not familiar with, but given that it's not a traditional name and is of very recent origin,
it's more likely that it was inspired by the Russian name Katinka.
SHYSIE: This one doesn't even make the baby name books; I have only ever seen it on the Internet, where it is claimed
to be a girl's name meaning "quiet little one" in some unspecified Native American language. Almost certainly it
was invented by combining the common name Susie with the English word "shy."
SIPALA: This error is an amusing one. Websites claim it means "peace" in Hopi. Actually it means "peach."
Someone must have either misunderstood something a Hopi speaker told them, or read the wrong line in a Hopi dictionary.
SVAHA: Baby name books claim this name means "the time between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder"
in some unspecified American Indian language. In fact, it is the name of a science fiction book by Charles de Lint about Native
Americans in an alternate universe, where it has this fanciful meaning. It does not come from a real Native American language.
TAHNEE MARA: Baby name books claim this name means "lonesome wind" in some unspecified American Indian language,
or that Tahnee by itself means "wind" or "longing" or "desire." This comes from the John Wayne
movie "Chisum," where the script says Tahnee Mara means "lonely wind." In those days they didn't really
go around and find a speaker of a Native American language to help them make movies the way they did with "Windtalkers"
or "Dances With Wolves," the writers usually just made up names and phrases on their own. As far as we know this
was what happened here. Certainly the phrase does not mean "lonesome wind" in Comanche or Apache, the two Indian
tribes that the movie was about.
TAIMA: Baby name books claim this name means "loud thunder" or "clap of thunder" in Blackfoot or Navajo,
or in some unspecified Native American language. It certainly does not have this meaning in Blackfoot or Navajo, and it is
not a traditional Native American name. It's possible that the word means 'thunder' in some other native language, however,
or that it comes from a place name with Native American origins.
TALA: Baby name books claim this means "princess of wolves" or "stalking wolf" in Cherokee. This is
false. There isn't any word "Tala" in Cherokee, there isn't any word for "princess" in Cherokee ("Cherokee
princess" is a white myth), and the word for "wolf" is "Wahya" in Cherokee. Furthermore, it's highly
unlikely that a simple word like "Tala" means "princess of wolves" in ANY language, but particularly an
American Indian language, where words tend to be longer, not shorter, than English ones. It's possible that the word means
"wolf" in some American Indian language other than Cherokee, and the rest is an embellishment. More likely, Tala
was the name of a Cherokee heroine in a Western or romance novel, and her name was given a completely fictional meaning like
"princess of wolves" in the story.
TAMSYN: Some baby name lists claim that this is an American Indian name. Not so; it is just a respelling of the English
name Tamsin, which itself comes from the even older name Thomasin, used by women in England as far back as the early 1800's.
TAREVA-CHINE (or TAREVA-SHANAY): We've been asked about this name twice now, and been left scratching our heads. It is
said to mean "beautiful eyes" in some unspecified Native American language. Unlike many "Native American"
names on the Internet, this one doesn't sound obviously fake to me--it is the right length and has consistent sounds. However,
the name is also recent (surfacing in the 1990's), appears only on baby name lists, and no one seems to have any idea which
tribe it came from. (One fellow suggested it was Chinook, but this is definitely false.) It's possible that somebody recently
discovered this name in their family tree and decided to popularize it, or it's possible that it was invented by a literary-minded
non-native person. If anyone has more information about the origins of this name, we'd be interested in hearing it.
TEHYA: This name may well have real Native American origins, but if so we have no idea what they are. All we know for
sure is that it does not mean what it is rumored to, namely "precious" in Cherokee. It doesn't mean anything at
all in Cherokee, in fact. I don't have any guesses as to where this name actually did come from, though. Perhaps it is a name
from a different Native American language and was mislabeled at some point; perhaps it was the (invented) name of an Indian
heroine in a popular novel or movie; or perhaps it is just a variant of the name Taya.
ABEDABUN: Cheyenne name meaning sight of day."
ABEQUA, ABEQUE: Cheyenne name meaning stays at home."
ABETZI: Omaha name meaning "yellow leaf."
ABEY: Omaha name meaning "leaf."
ABEYTU: Omaha name meaning "green leaf."
ADOETTE: large tree
ADSILA: Cherokee name meaning blossom."
AIYANA: eternal blossom
ALAMEDA: grove of cottonwood
ALAQUA: sweet gum tree
ALAWA: Algonquin name meaning pea."
ALGOMA: valley of flowers
ALSOOMSE: Algonquin name meaning independent."
ALTSOBA: Navajo name meaning all war."
AMADAHY: Cherokee name meaning forest water."
AMAYETA: Miwok name. Meaning is unknown
ANABA: Navajo name meaning returns from war."
ANGWUSNASOMTAQA: Hopi name meaning crow mother spirit."
ANKTI: Hopi name meaning repeat dance."
ANNA: Algonquin name meaning mother."
ANPAYTOO: Sioux name meaning "radiant."
ASDZA: Navajo name meaning woman."
AT'EED: Navajo name meaning girl."
ATEPA: Choctaw name meaning wigwam."
AWANATA: Miwok name meaning "turtle."
AWENASA: Cherokee name meaning my home."
AWINITA: Cherokee name meaning fawn."
AYASHE, AYASHA: Cheyenne name meaning little one."
AYITA: Cherokee name meaning first to dance."
CATORI: Hopi name meaning spirit."
CHA'KWAINA: Hopi name meaning one who cries."
CHA'RISA: Hopi name meaning elk."
CHAPA: Sioux name meaning "beaver."
CHEPI: Algonquin name meaning fairy."
CHOCHMINGWU: Hopi name meaning corn mother."
CHOSOVI: Hopi name meaning bluebird."
CHOSPOSI: Hopi name meaning bluebird eye."
CHU'MANA: Hopi name meaning snake maiden."
CHU'SI: Hopi name meaning snake flower."
CHUMANI: Sioux name meaning "dewdrops."
DEZBA: Navajo name meaning goes to war."
DIBE: Navajo name meaning "sheep."
DOBA: Navajo name meaning "no war."
DOLI: Navajo name meaning "bluebird."
DONOMA: Omaha name meaning "sight of the sun."
EHAWEE: Sioux name meaning "laughing maiden."
FALA: Choctaw name meaning crow."
GALILAHI: Cherokee name meaning attractive."
HAKIDONMUYA: Hopi name meaning time of waiting moon."
HALOKE: Navajo name meaning "salmon."
HALONA: of happy fortune
HANTAYWEE: Sioux name meaning "faithful."
HAUSIS, HAUSISSE: Algonquin name meaning old woman."
HEHEWUTI: Hopi name meaning warrior mother spirit."
HELKI: Miwok name meaning "touch."
HONOVI: Hopi name meaning strong deer."
HUATA: Miwok name meaning "carrying seeds in a basket."
HUMITA: Hopi name meaning shelled corn."
HURIT: Algonquin name meaning beautiful."
HUYANA: Miwok name meaning "falling rain."
ISI: Choctaw name meaning deer."
ITUHA: sturdy oak
ITUHA: white stone
KACHINA: Hopi name meaning spirit, sacred dancer."
KAI: Navajo name meaning "willow tree."
KAKAWANGWA: Hopi name meaning bitter."
KALISKA: Miwok name meaning "coyote chasing deer."
KANTI: Algonquin name meaning sings."
KASA: Hopi name meaning dressed in furs."
KAYA: Hopi name meaning elder sister."
KEEGSQUAW: Algonquin name meaning virgin."
KEEZHEEKONI: Cheyenne name meaning burning fire."
KIMAMA: Shoshone name meaning butterfly."
KIMI: Algonquin name meaning secret."
KIMIMELA: Sioux name meaning "butterfly."
KIWIDINOK: Cheyenne name meaning of the wind."
KOKO: Blackfoot name meaning night."
KOKYANGWUTI: Hopi name meaning spider woman at middle-age."
KOLENYA: Miwok name meaning "coughing fish."
KUWANLELENTA: Hopi name meaning to make beautiful surroundings."
KUWANYAMTIWA: Hopi name meaning beautiful badger going over the hill."
KUWANYAUMA: Hopi name meaning butterfly showing beautiful wings."
LEOTIE: flower of the prairie
LENMANA: Hopi name meaning flute girl."
LEQUOIA: meaning unknown (probably an alteration of sequoia, name of a giant redwood tree)
LILUYE: Miwok name meaning "singing chicken hawk that soars."
LISELI: Zuni name. Meaning unknown
LITONYA: Miwok name meaning "darting hummingbird."
LOMAHONGVA: Hopi name meaning beautiful clouds arising."
LOMASI: pretty flower
LUYU: wild dove
MACAWI: Sioux name meaning "generous."
MAGASKAWEE: Sioux name meaning "graceful."
MAHU: Hopi myth name.
MAKA: Sioux name meaning "earth."
MAKAWEE: Sioux name meaning "mothering."
MAKKITOTOSIMEW: Algonquin name meaning she has large breasts."
MALIA: Zuni name meaning "bitter."
MALILA: Miwok name meaning "fast salmon swimming up a rippling stream."
MANABA: Navajo name meaning "return to war."
MANKALITA: Zuni name. Meaning unknown
MANSI: Hopi name meaning plucked flower."
MAPIYA: Sioux name meaning "sky."
MARALAH: born during an earthquake
MAUSI: plucks flowers
MELI: Zuni name meaning "bitter."
MEOQUANEE: Cheyenne name meaning wears red."
MIGISI: Cheyenne name meaning eagle."
MIAKODA: power of the moon
MIGINA: Omaha name meaning "returning moon."
MIKA: intelligent raccoon
MIMITEH: Omaha name meaning "new moon."
MISAE: Osage name meaning white sun."
MITUNA: Miwok name meaning "wraps salmon in willow leaves."
MONA: gathered of the seed of a jimson weed
MOSI: Navajo name meaning "cat."
MUNA: Hopi name meaning overflowing spring."
NADIE: Algonquin name meaning wise."
NAHIMANA: Sioux name meaning "mystic."
NAMID: Cheyenne name meaning star dancer."
NARA: from Nara
NASCHA: Navajo name meaning "owl."
NIABI: Osage name meaning fawn."
NIDAWI: Omaha name meaning "fairy."
NIJLON: Algonquin name meaning mistress."
NITA: Choctaw name meaning bear."
NITTAWOSEW: Algonquin name meaning she is not sterile."
NOKOMIS: Cheyenne name meaning grandmother."
NOVA: Hopi name meaning chases butterfly."
NUKPANA: Hopi name meaning "evil."
NUMEES: Algonquin name meaning sister."
NUTTAH: Algonquin name meaning my heart."
ODAHINGUM: Cheyenne name meaning rippling water."
OGIN: wild rose
OMINOTAGO: Cheyenne name meaning beautiful voice."
OMUSA: Miwok name meaning "misses with arrows."
ONATAH: Iroquois name meaning of the earth."
ONAWA: wide awake
ONIDA: the one searched for
OOLJEE: Navajo name meaning "moon."
OOTA DABUN: Algonquin name meaning day star."
ORENDA: Iroquois name meaning magic power."
PAKWA: Hopi name meaning "frog."
PAKUNA: Miwok name meaning "deer jumping downhill."
PAMUYA: Hopi name meaning "water moon."
PAPINA: Miwok name meaning "vine growing around an oak tree."
PATI: Miwok name meaning "break by twisting."
PAUWAU: Algonquin name meaning "witch."
PAVATI: Hopi name meaning "clear water."
PETA: Blackfoot name meaning "golden eagle."
PETUNIA: flower name
POLIKWAPTIWA: Hopi name meaning "butterfly sitting on a flower."
POLOMA: Choctaw name meaning "bow."
POSALA: Miwok name meaning "farewell to spring flowers."
POWAQA: Hopi name meaning "witch."
PTAYSANWEE: Sioux name meaning "white buffalo."
PULES: Algonquin name meaning pigeon."
SAHKYO: Navajo name meaning "mink."
SALALI: Cherokee name meaning squirrel."
SANUYE: Miwok name meaning "red cloud at sundown."
SATINKA: magical dancer
SHADI: Navajo name meaning "older sister."
SHESHEBENS: Cheyenne name meaning small duck."
SHIDEEZHI: Navajo name meaning "younger sister."
SHIMA: Navajo name meaning "mother."
SHIMASANI: Navajo name meaning "grandmother."
SHUMAN: Hopi name meaning "rattlesnake handler."
SIHU: Hopi name meaning "flower."
SINOPA: Blackfoot name meaning fox."
SITALA: Miwok name meaning "of good memory."
SITSI: Navajo name meaning "daughter."
SOKANON: Algonquin name meaning rain."
SOKW: Algonquin name meaning sour."
SOOLEAWA: Algonquin name meaning silver."
SOYALA: Hopi name meaning "time of the winter solstice."
SULETU: Miwok name meaning "flies."
SUNKI: Hopi name meaning "to catch up with."
TABLITA: Hopi name meaning "tiara."
TADEWI: Omaha name meaning "wind."
TADITA: Omaha name meaning "one who runs."
TAIGI, TAINI: Omaha name meaning "returning moon."
TAIPA: Miwok name meaning "spread wings."
TAKALA: Hopi name meaning "corn tassel."
TAKCHAWEE: Sioux name meaning "doe."
TAKHI: Algonquin name meaning cold."
TALULAH: Choctaw name meaning leaping water."
TALUTAH: Sioux name meaning "blood-red."
TANSY: Hopi name meaning "name of a flower."
TAYANITA: Cherokee name meaning young beaver."
TIPONI: Hopi name meaning "child of importance."
TIS-SEE-WOO-NA-TIS: Cheyenne name meaning she who bathes with her knees."
TIVA: Hopi name meaning "dance."
TOLINKA: Miwok name meaning "flapping ear of a coyote."
TOTSI: Hopi name meaning "moccasins."
TUWA: Hopi name meaning "earth."
UNA: Hopi name meaning "remember."
URIKA: Omaha name meaning "useful to all."
UTINA: meaning unknown
WACHIWI: Sioux name meaning "dancer."
WAKANDA: Sioux name meaning "possesses magical power."
WAKI: Hopi name meaning "shelter."
WAUNA: Miwok name meaning "singing snow goose."
WEEKO: Sioux name meaning "pretty."
WENONA: firstborn daughter
WICAPI WAKAN: Dakota name meaning holy star."
WIHAKAYDA: Sioux name meaning "little one."
WIKIMAK: Algonquin name meaning wife."
WINONA, WENONA, WENONAH: Sioux name meaning giving."
WITASHNAH: Sioux name meaning "virginal."
WUTI: Hopi name meaning "woman."
YAMKA: Hopi name meaning "blossom."
YAZHI: Navajo name meaning "little one."
YEPA: snow woman
YOKI: Hopi name meaning "rain."
ZALTANA: high mountain
ZIHNA: Hopi name meaning "spins."
ZITKALA: Dakota name meaning bird."
Many Native Americans are looking back to their roots when naming their children. Below is a selection of Native American
names and their meanings. The tribe from which the name originated appears in parentheses.
1. Choose a name that means beauty. For a girl, these include Hurit and Mahwah (Algonquin). For boys, try Hurritt (Algonquin).
2. Decide on a strong name. For girls, Nita (Choctaw) means bear and Winema (Moquelumnan) means woman chief. For boys,
Kitchi (Algonquin) means brave, Menewa (Creek) means great warrior and Tyee (Bannock) means chief.
3. Select a spiritual name. For a girl, Nahimana (Dakota) means mystic and Kachina (Hopi) means spirit. For boys, Achak
(Algonquin) means spirit, Yakez (Carrier) means heaven, Alo (Hopi) means spiritual guide and Cheveyo (Hopi) means spirit warrior.
4. Opt for an animal name. For girls, Ahawi (Cherokee) means deer, Woya (Cherokee) means dove, Kamama (Cherokee) means
butterfly, Migisi (Chippewa) means eagle and Nita (Choctaw) means bear. For boys, Okomi (Arapaho) means coyote, Honi (Arapaho)
means wolf, Wohali (Cherokee) means eagle, Avonaco (Cheyenne) means loving bear and Onacoma (Cherokee) means white owl.
5. Choose a name suggestive of nature's beauty. For girls, Talisa (Creek) means beautiful water, Nova (Hopi) means chases
butterfly, Yamka (Hopi) means blossom and Hateya (Moquelumnan) means footprints in the sand. For boys, Misu (Miwok) means
Keep in mind that these names come from various parts of the country and can be derived from different cultures. The
spellings and meaning may vary slightly from region to region - check with your family or other resources if this is important
in naming your child.
Tips from eHow Users:
If you are considering giving your child a Native American name, I would recommend making friends or penpals with some
Native people, or going to a tribe and asking advice. Names and language vary greatly among the tribes, as do naming customs.
I would also recommend creating your own name (in other words, decide on a meaning and have it translated). It will have
more meaning than a "stock" name, and, in many tribes, this was the only way naming was done.
Last but not least, if you do choose a name from a baby book or such, do some research so you can- 1: be sure the pronunciation
is right, and 2: be sure it means what the book says it means.