What's In a Name?

Jan 10, 2001

Just to get another direction started (O.K., it's comedy relief) Yvsa once said he would let me explain "Walosi".

I once crewed a warehouse in N.C. with one of the best groups I've ever recruited for a new distribution facility - all characters, and just about equally divided among the county's three main ethnic groups - English, Lumbee and Black. Two exceptions - the old "two bloods" and a young Cherokee girl, who always had an excuse for needing Friday or Monday off. We buried one uncle several times, as I recall. One Monday,she brought me a comical little ceramic frog, in a rocking chair, with a quizzical expression on its' face - said I looked exactly like that every time she came up with another excuse for an extra day off, "Just like an ol' Walosi". Now it's my web nic.

Yvsa, on the other hand, uses his Cherokee name in every day life, but has never said how this came about. I've confessed as to how I became a Frog - How did you become a Buffalo, Bro???

For the record, bro, you are Puhi ( poo - hee ) in Northern Paiute.
Yvsa please tell us how to pronounce it too
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rusty:
For the record, bro, you are Puhi ( poo - hee ) in Northern Paiute.</font>


That's AMAZING!!! Now I know that all the girls I dated years ago must have been Paiute. Every time I made a move, they said Puhi......Well, maybe it was Phooey

Well some of y'all know my given name is Tom, but what some of y'all don't know is that I prefer Yvsa or why I do or even that I do.
All of my closest friends call me Yvsa.
And many of my closest friends are on this forum.

I was given the name Yvsa Gigagei by a respected Cherokee grandmother who is also an Elder. Grandma served on the ndn board here in Tulsa for a while and was skilled in some different arts.
I was given the name after I had a vision and told grandma about it.
I have talked a bit about my name here in the past but to refresh or to help some of the new forumites as to what the name means.....
Prairie Fire was called the Red Buffalo by many of the ndns and especially the plains ndns because of the sound it makes when burning before a swift prairie wind.
It does sound like a herd of stampedeing buffalo and it brought
But_ after the destruction the rains soon followed and nourished the earth. Many of the prairie plants need fire to start the process of growing.
My name represents a lot of what I do. I was given the right to lead a Sweatlodge a few years back and being of a traditional mind in my belief's it fits.
I gave up on Christianity as not being something for me and found that there are many others of the same mind.
So the name Yvsa Gigagei is more about new growth than it is about the destruction since a way is provided at our place for those who like myself have came back to the traditional ways.
Not everyone who comes to our Lodge is ndn but those who have found their tribal roots to be deeper than the beliefs that they have been taught by the predominant society.
And that's the how and why I got my name. I do the best I can to live up to it and I wear it with pride an honor.

The reason I don't like to be called Tom is that I don't like him much nor would many of you had you have known him in the past. Tom was too dayumed much like his father who wasn't worth the powder to blow him to hell.
And in reality Tom no longer exists as he once was.
It took me many years to meet and face my enemy which was myself and to accept and bring the darkness into the light embraceing both and creating an entirely new person.
I like to think the world is better off with Yvsa in it than the Tom whom he once was.

I have to use my given name in the non-ndn world because of legalalities and the numbers like Social Security.
And I sometimes get my mail in my ndn name, but sometimes to let someone know both sides of me I give them my given name.
And it's a matter of trust that I do so.
But most of the time I don't have to live in the predominant society's world and I like it that way.
I can be who and what I say I am and that's a huge improvement over what once was.
To all my friends here I ask you to please use Yvsa. It's who I really truly am.

Wado Equa Walosi for posting this thread!!


Indin word for lousy hunter.
Bill if you can say Yuh-suh like you have a cold it will be close enough for me to answer.

It's spoken with a very slight almost unheard 'n` between the yuh and the suh.
Actually it's Texas Cherokee slang for buffalo.
The true Cherokee way of pronouncing it is even too complicated for me.

Walosi, Rusty gave me a Puhi when we met at the khukuri khonvention last Sept.
What's sorta funny now since we have you as Walosi is that Puhi is a frog.

My puhi is green with red and white spots on it.
I have never given rise to the thoughts my ornery little Bro must have every time he thinks about his name for me.


Indin word for lousy hunter.
Interesting stuff.

Bro, some of us are reincarnated a couple of times in this life. If I'd meet myself as I was 30 years back I wouldn't have much in common and probably couldn't even build a friendship.

I met a fellow I'd known in my youth when I was back home a few years ago and he had a hard time recognizing me. He kept looking and finally came up to me and said, "Didn't you used to be Bill Martino." I chuckled but he was dead right. I just haven't changed my name.

Blessings from the computer shack in Reno.

Uncle Bill
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I want to come in here just for a moment. You wouldn't BELIEVE the lack of real knowledge most South Africans have of the "Indians" of North America. I'm not belittling my fellow countrymen - it's just a fact. All I knew of the Indians was from the comics I collected as a young 'un. Buffalo Bill was called Pa-E-Has-Ka by the Indians. Manitou is an Indian god. When we played Cowboys and Indians I always wanted to be a Sioux because I thought they were the best tribe to belong to. I devoured these comics by the armful and regularly clamoured for more. Lately with the advent of TV (since 1976 in SA) the world has grown progressively smaller, but still my knowledge is corrupted by what I see in the movies.

I'm 55 now. Maybe one day I'll have the privilege and honour of meeting a real live "Indian", shaking his hand and saying: "I'm really pleased to personally meet you at last!"

Be careful if you chance to meet any of the Indins around here - We'll soon have you out hunting for old Boer wagon tongues. (That Pink Ivory would make fantastic Khuk handles
) I spent a lot of my early years reading about the wilds of your area, with about the same results.

Wonderful post...and amazing timing, as I participated in my first sweat lodge ceremony this past weekend. I am still in awe, and can only say that my life will never be the same. Another major step in my travel on the path of studying and learning about my heritage, something that I ignored for various reasons (none of them any good) for far too many years.
I am blessed that Creator has recently put brothers and sisters into my life (in the most incredible of ways...some would call coincidence...we know better) who have helped me in learning of the old ways...the right ways...at least for me.

Uncle Bill:

A variation of that cartoon is out and about with the caption "There goes the neighborhood". If it represented Virginia in the 1640s, it could well have been one side of my family getting it's first look at the other
Y'know, it's threads like this one that keep me in the cantina. Blades haven't been mentioned at all (oops, I just did.
) but like Uncle Bill keeps saying "What does this have to do with khukuris? Everything!" I feel mighty privileged to know you all.

I might be tempted to use the word "family" except that when I used to live in Poland (back a ways), Poles used to refer to the Russians as "brothers" and then, if asked (or maybe even if not) would explain why the Soviets were "brothers". It's because you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family. This group is friends, because we choose to be.


Paul Neubauer
A tool is, basically, an object that enables you to take advantage of the laws of physics and mechanics in such a way that you can seriously injure yourself.
Records show that the daughter of a Mayflower couple married a Slate. I haven't looked much deeper 'cause the most likely way a Slate could have beat the Mayflower over here would have been on a prison ship.

Come to think of it, that could explain some things about me that made me wonder...
Town Sergeant
I almost missed your post and had to go back through the threads to find it and then recalled it was here.

My apologies, I wasn't ignoring you intentionally.

And after that's been said let me welcome you home.

Often times our journeys are meant to bring us learning so that we will be able to help others who have had the same experiences in life, but don't know how to deal with them.
I have believed in the ways of our people for many, many years, but only began to actively follow them in all ways the last few years so I know exactly what you mean.
And yes there's no such thing as coincidence.

If you ever get down this way e-mail me and I will send you contact info so we can get together, maybe even call for a Lodge.
Many of us down here are sweathogs and ready to go in at any excuse as if any of us need an excuse to pray to the Great Mystery and Grandfather.
It is good to know that you have came home to the Old Ways.
They have quite literally saved my life.
And for some reason I have been protected in spite of my own folly's
all my life.
Perhaps I have found out why and just don't realize why the Great Ones has seen fit to extend that privilige to me.
I am very thankful for all They have done for me, even the hard lessons before I became wholly human.



Indin word for lousy hunter.
If my trail ever leads West you'll hear from me. You can get some "sweathogs" together and we'll pray and sing and have a big ol' time...
Maybe I'll get to hear that Condor flute...

I also am grateful that Grandfather apparently has plans for me, else I see no way that I survived some of the misadventures of a misspent youth and a quarter century as a street cop...been there, done that, got the scars to prove it. Now I have what I have heard referred to as "a peace that goes beyond all understanding"...and I like it a lot.
Later, my brother.
Another great thread

I agree with prn, threads like this are one of the reasons I hang out here as well