On our recent trip to Sandy Bay (June 18th) we had a discussion on the importance of the naming ceremony. Below is a quick summery of what the naming ceremony is and it’s importance.
The Naming Ceremony remembers the Original Man’s sacrifice for naming everything. It requires a father and mother to ask a medicine person to seek a name for their child. The medicine person does the seek by fasting, meditation, prayer, or dreaming and the spirit gives the name. The medicine person burns an offering of tobacco and pronounces the name to the 4 directions. Through Ojibwe ceremony the four directions, the earth, the moon and the moon’s cycles, the seasons, the animals, water and the Creator are all acknowledged to remind the people to walk through life in a good way and respect our place within the fabric of all things. The people at the ceremony repeat the name when it is called out by the medicine person. After the name is announced the spirit world can then accept the name and recognize the child as a living thing for the first time. The Spirit World and ancestors guard the child and prepare a place in the spirit world for them when the end of their life comes. At the naming ceremony the parents ask for four men and four women to sponsor the child. The sponsors vow to guide and support the child. Birth, vision quests, prayer and many more are part of the ceremonial aspects of life for the Ojibwe people. Ceremony is more than a religious gathering; it is the way of life. Today, we can offer tobacco to a Traditional Healer, Spiritual Healer or Medicine Person who has the ability to call names and colors through the spirit door.