Each brave aims at winning a name. These Indian names are a sort of honorable nickname given in recognition of some exploit or personal gift. Thus Deerfoot was the great runner and Hawkeye had the sharp eyes. Killdeer was famous in our deer hunt, as also was Deerslayer; Grey-wolf was the best scout; Eel-scout was the one who slipped through the enemies' lines as often as he pleased; Little Beaver was the best worker; Chicadee was the smallest; the noisy chatterer, forever showing off without doing any work, was called Bluejay; Spycatcher was given to a warrior who captured a hostile spy by a deed of unusual daring.

On rare occasions the name was an inglorious one. Thus a lazy boy was called " Young-man-afraid-of-a-Shovel," or "Shovel," for short; another was "Scare-cat, "because of his timidity; one small boy whose tears were ever ready to flow was named " Rain-in-the-Face"; a fellow without any grit was called the "Quitter," and an awkward brave who upset the canoe several times was called " Tippecanoe." But they can get rid of them as soon as they do something highly creditable.

Naming The Brave

When the Council decides that a bad name or annoying nickname is to be dropped, the Chief or Medicine Man writes it on a piece of wood or bark. Then, making a speech explaining the circumstances, he burns the bark in the Council Fire, announcing that that name be forgotten. No one must mention it again under pain of punishment.

Then the brave is given his new name of honor; the Chief makes a speech as before, telling of the exploit and announcing the name. It is written down in the Tally; then each Chief and Councilor comes forward, shakes hands with the brave, saying "Bo-jou, Nichy" - followed by the new name.