Common Navajo names for girls include Ajei, Chooli, Doli, Haloke and Haseya. Common Navajo names for boys include Hok'ee, Niyol, Tse, Kilchii and Bidziil. The Navajo believe that a name is the very first present that parents give to their child, so parents often give the child a name that reflects his or her potential. Names are sacred to the Navajo and only spoken during ceremonies.
The name Ajei means "my heart," and parents give this name to a female child who is very important to them. Chooli means mountain and is for girls with strength. Doli is the Navajo word for blue bird, and Haloke is the word for salmon. Both of these reflect the child's spirit. Haseya means "she rises" and reflects the process of being born and aging.
Navajo names for boys often reflect the environment around them. Hok'ee means high-backed wolf, Niyol means wind and Tse means rock. Parents also give their sons names that reflect their physical characteristics or potential. Kilchii means red boy, and Bidziil means "he is strong."
Some Navajo tribes change a child's name as he or she grows older to reflect his or her strengths and characteristics, so the name a child receives at birth may not be the same name in adulthood. The Navajo give and change names during naming ceremonies.