Aurelia Stacona: Passing Down Names

Aurelia Stacona talks about her Native name and naming ceremonies for babies.

Bio: Bio: Throughout her life, Aurelia Stacona has been a dancer and beadwork, and has attended pow-wows nationally. She also opened up a church and ran a 12-step program on the Warm Springs Reservation. She passed away in 2019, three years after the interview was conducted.

Transcript: But we had given even some of our babies their Indian names. Just recently in August. They live up in Seattle but they came down and got their Indian names. It was a wonderful experience to be able to give them their name and to explain where it came from and what they’re about. And to give away the things that they have; we’re a very giving people. My Indian name is Kawa-Kawa. It was my father’s mother, it was her Indian name and it got passed down to me. So I carry that name really proud. She was a beautiful lady, she lived a real old age and she died.

Of course ‘Kawa’ means short. One of my uncles used to say ‘I’m going to give her that Indian name Kawa-Kawa cause she’s so short’. [laughs] He used to tease me. And so when they did give me that name it was part of being like from my dad and passed down to me.

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