What Are Some Traditional Cherokee Names?


Quick Answer

Traditional Cherokee names for girls include Salali, Sequoia, Ninovan, Inola and Ayita. Cherokee names for boys include Unaduti, Tsiyi, Adahy, Waya and Kanuna. Traditionally, names varied from tribe to tribe and were mainly based on gender, nature, totem animals and the appearance and features of the baby.

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Full Answer

Cherokee names have meanings behind them, for example, the female name "Ninovan" means "our home." More examples include "Ahawi," meaning "deer," "Goga," meaning "summer," "Leotie," meaning "flower of the prairie," and "Sasa," meaning "goose."

Cherokee boys' names with meanings include "Koatohee," meaning "chief corn tassel," "Mohe," meaning "elk," "Ahuli," meaning "drum," "Cheasequah," meaning "red bird," and "Onacona," meaning "white owl."

Kanagagota was the name of a famous Cherokee chief who visited England in 1762. More names of historically important Cherokee leaders include Oconostota, Sequoyah, Tsali, Cui Canacina and Duwali. The Cherokee are known as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes" because they adapted many of the customs of the white colonists. As they interacted with the settlers, the Cherokee people began to give their children traditional English names, such as Charles and John. In 1831, the Cherokee and other Native American tribes traveled over 1,000 miles on foot on what is now known as the "Trail of Tears," losing many members to fatigue, illness and injury.

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