Native American Name Generator
Writing a story? In need of inspiration for a fictional character? Choose a realistic and socially accurate name with The Native American Name Generator.
About Modern Native American Names
Many modern-day Native Americans mix their traditional naming customs with European and American naming conventions. Traditional Native American names are often 'presented' by an older relative, they will have been used previously, and will be appropriate to the clan into which the new child has been born. They also won't be currently in use – it's very much frowned upon to use a name while someone else is using it – and an individual can sometimes go through several different names during the course of their life, often changing their name to reflect actions, important milestones and major achievements.
Adolescence is always one of these milestones, but the others are based on their specific life experiences and accomplishments – they have to be earned, and bestowed by the society around them. The idea is that your name represents your potential – Native American names can represent the ability to evolve and change in your identity. The names can still be passed down to children, but they retain the right to change and acquire new names as they age, to reflect the shape of their life.
A Native American name can often feature a totem or a spirit animal, while they can also be chosen according to gender or the birth order of the baby. It's common practice even today to use terms like 'Uncle' or 'Grandfather' with non-relatives instead of their names, in order to show respect.
Naming traditions can vary massively between the different tribes of Native Americans. The Sioux have no family names, and instead use a complex series of six classes of names – there are birth order, honour, special deeds, nicknames, secret and spirit names, with the spirit and secret names only being known to the tribe's medicine man and the individual themselves. Originally, the Navajo placed such importance on names that they would only be used during religious ceremonies, with family members otherwise referring to each other with appropriate terms like 'Mother' or 'Son'. The Cherokee now use both English names and tribal names, with the tribal names usually chosen by the family's maternal grandmother, and the two names can often have very different meanings from each other.
Our name generator uses US birth name data, listing the most popular names for Native Americans in the United States. This means our character names are culturally realistic, making them perfect for writers, creators, and gamers who want to write minority characters accurately.