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View Diary: Indians 201: Renaming Indians (32 comments)

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  •  In Germany they don't ... (3+ / 0-)
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    RiveroftheWest, Ojibwa, FarWestGirl

    in the tradition of the tribe of my son's father, each child got his own name, but it was always followed by the name of the father, so that within the tribe or clan, people knew exactly the patriarchial lineage. As polygamy is prevalent this system was also basically surpressing the matrilinear lineage. If you have ten wives and thirty kids with them, it gets a little ... difficult to remember, who is the mother of which child... I guess, so much better to just know who the father was.  

    I have given my son a name according to that tradition the name of his father became automatically is last name, while the name, which would have been considered in Africa as his own real last name, became the first name in the German naming structure.

    In addition the Germans demanded a middle name out of which the sex of the child could be known.

    And BTW primogeniture was practiced in his and neighboring tribes. There is nothing Christian in that. They had their own traditional spiritual ways and though all came under the influence of missionaries, they seldom succeeded to make them Christians by convictions. I am not knowledgable why primogeniture was practiced, but it was, mostly because of the Clan or tribal power structure.

    So, it's about politics too... :-)

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