THE PENDA'U NAMING
The Penda'u have a system of naming that can tell a lot about their culture; the three aspects most valued in a person are reflected in it: family, honour and religion. Also, the deeply patriarchal social structure and their bond with their cattle can be recognized in the method of naming. In this entry I will use the name of one of the most famous Penda'u, Dalum Mear Aechlum, as example.
The first name is only given at an age of three or four, during the annual festival of the Naming. This festival not only marks the acceptation of the children into society, but also the growing adult of the cattle that was born in the same year as the children. Some names given to the kids are connected to the cattle: names like Uyor (The Horned), or Celahuyin (Stronghoof) are not uncommon. Other regular names include Muef (Fruitfull), Elnir (Watcher), Iol (Shepherd) and Dalum (Steadfast). Before the Naming, children are formally unnamed.
During the Festival of the Naming, the children not only become part of the clan, but also of the family, and therefore receive the honour name. This name is passed on from a father to his children, and can roughly be compared to a last name. However, daughters have only their father's last name until their marriage; after that, they will have their husband's name. This name was at first a sign of honour for someone who had performed a remarkable feat, and was later passed on from generation to generation. Of course, if someone with a second name performs another noble deed, he will be able to choose a new honour. Only a few families who have not earned a name for themselves, or lost their's (a punishment that will only be used in severe cases). These families are looked down upon and are normally known as the "Neuryon" or "Those Without History".
Aechlum (Name of the Ancestor)
This name is not a personal name, but a clanname, and is only used in dealings with outsiders. These names are derived from their mythical common ancestor. The name is divided into two parts; the name of the ancestor (in this case Aechlu) and the ending "ar", which literally means "descendant of". However, the clanleader and his family will have the ending of "um", meaning "chosen by". This name will only pass on to the next chieftain, and from him to his family. If a leader dies, his family will again have the "ar" ending. An outsider who wants to join a clan will not have the clanname, but his children will. An outcast will lose his ancestor's name, as he is no longer recognized by the clan as one of theirs.
Information provided by Lamertu K'Thaen