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126               INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES
Bestowing a New Name
The bestowal of a new name upon an adult generally took place at some tribal ceremony when all the people were gathered together. In this way as much pub­licity as possible was given to the act. Among the Pawnee tribe there were three requirements that had to be met in order to take a new name:
First, a man could only take a new name after the performance of an act indicative of ability or strength of character;
Second, the name had to be assumed openly in the presence of the people to whom the act it commemo­rated was known;
Third, it was necessary that it should be announced in connection with such a ritual as that here given.
These three requirements indicate (i) that a man's name stood for what he had shown himself to be by the light of his actions; (2) that this was recognized by his tribesmen, and (3) that it was proclaimed by one hav­ing charge of mediatory rites through which man can be approached by the supernatural.
The old priest who gave the following ritual and ex­plained it said: "A man's life is an onward move­ment. If one has within him a determined purpose and seeks the help of the powers, his life will climb up." Here he made a gesture indicating a line slanting up­ward; then he arrested the movement and, still holding his hand where he had stopped, went on to say: "As a man is climbing up, he does something that marks a place in his life where the powers have given him an
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III