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Indian Names
In the old days the Cherokees all used to
have just one name; but back when everybody had
to get enrolled, they had to give two names
before they were given a roll number.
That was so there would be no confusion
about people with the same name.
Well when people went down to
enroll they would pick out
just anything for a second name,
because they thought it was all
just some sort of whiteman's joke anyway.
I guess that's how the Drywaters and
Rattlinggourds and Roastingears and Nakedheads and
Dreadfulwaters all got their names.
One time there was a white man that came and
hired a crew to work on a government project.
They all went down to work the first morning
and that white man had a list of roll numbers and
everyone was supposed to give him their names
so he could write them down in his book.
Well, he read out the first number and Crabgrass
Gritts gave him his name. Then he read the second
number and hickadee Augerhole gave his name.
Then he read the third number and Groundhog
Rooster told him his name. That was when that
white man quit writing and said,
"Now come on, you fellows,
this is a serious business.
I've got to have your real
names to put down here;
and I don't want you fooling
around and stringing me along like that.”
Well, after a long time,
we got him quietened down so he believed
that all those names were real names sure enough.
So then he called out the fourth roll number,
and nobody remembers now if it was Hawkshooter Pigeon or
Birdtail Nofire that answered. Come to think of it,
it might have been that old man Peacheater Pitspitter.


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