The Naming Ceremony: Cultural Beliefs & PracticeSelena Mills
Over the weekend, our elder came to visit. This woman, this goddess, this Midewin Healer, has brought so much cohesion, knowledge, love, ceremony, healing and understanding into our family.
I am grateful everyday for the relationships that have transpired because of you and me, songbird. Songbird is one of my best girl’s and our elder is her mama.
The Naming Ceremony
This particular visit was to ‘officially’ offer her sema (tobacco, one of the four sacred medicines) to seek a name for our new growing baby, still on the inside, so that she may begin the task of prayer and fasting. For those of you who don’t know, this is part of the process called, The Naming Ceremony, a First Nations Cultural ceremony.
It is where one receives their spirit name, which tells you something about that person, their personality, their mission in this life. Parents may choose to use the spirit name given by their elder as a first or second name.
When a name is decided upon, the naming ceremony begins. Most of the time, the one who presents the name is the one to whom the sema was given, but this is not always the case. The name is presented to the grandfather spirits in the four directions, and everyone who is in the ceremony has to say that traditional name is presented. The family usually prepares a feast and does a giveaway.
What, if any – cultural ceremonies and practices to you conduct surrounding the birth and naming of your child?