Friday, June 19, 2015

First Born Daughter Name: Pearl

First Born Daughter Name: Pearl

Lots of folks have written about this naming practice, and I have mentioned it before in other places but I cannot remember if I covered it on here

so folks,


lets think about the first born daughter in a Cherokee Family.

Unlike male oriented European societies, the Cherokee were/are Matrilineal rather than Patrilineal.
It was a daughter that owned the land and inherited from her family, not the sons.
It was the daughter that carried the family name and not the sons.
It was the mother who bestowed the right to be Cherokee and not the father (this did not change legally until rather recently! Now, both can be claimed)

So, out of this, a special name was bestowed to indicate that this child was the firstborn daughter (a treasure every parent dreamed of and longed for!)

Here is that information in case you wondered:


2 spellings: {See explanation below}




PEARL is the historic name of the firstborn girl child in many traditional Cherokee Families

This practice goes back for generations back to pre contact times and presumably, even before and 

the practice of naming a first born daughter PEARL
is continued even today

Sometimes, today, first born daughters are named Maggie instead.
[a famous Maggie was Snowbird (EBCI) Cherokee Beloved woman: 

Maggie Axe Wahchacha-- see more on her at Megi]

another famous "Pearl" was Wilma Pearl Mankiller, Chief of CNO

Why did they switch to use the name "Me gi"?

ᎺᎩ megi [may ge]

Maggie \m(a)-ggie\ as a girl's name is pronounced MAG-ee, of English origin.

It is the short form of Margaret (Greek) which means "Pearl".


ᎺᎩ       megi     [may gee] Maggie \m(a)-ggie\ CORRUPTION / Borrowed Greek word
as a girl's name is pronounced MAG-ee, of English origin. It is the short form of Margaret (Greek) which means "Pearl".
BEFORE the use of Me-gi, the old name was given; It can be spelled one of 2 ways that we have found in historical documents:

Some refer to Scripture for the name spellings of  ᏓᎬᎾ-ᎢᏳᎾᏍᏗ [dagvnaiyunasdi] {found in ᎹᏚ 13:45 / Matthew 13:45, Rev. 21:21, etc} (this is older usage) read these verses online in English, syllabary and phonetics at Matthew 13

while today, others use a modern (western dialect) spelling of ᏓᎬᏂᏳᏍᏗ da-gv-ni-yu-s-di

MANY Cherokee folks learned to speak not only Cherokee and English, but also became fluent in Spanish, Greek, Latin and Hebrew*.

That is how the use of ᎺᎩ       megi     "MEGI" came into place for "Pearl".

*those languages were extremely easy for them to learn, especially when compared the complexity of their own Cherokee language.


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