ATAHUALPAmIndigenous American, Quechua Means "hen of fortune", from Quechua ataw meaning "lucky, fortunate" and wallpa meaning "hen". This was the name of the last sovereign Inca emperor. He was executed by the Spanish in 1533.
CUAUHTÉMOCmIndigenous American, Nahuatl Means "descending eagle" in Nahuatl. This was the name of the last Aztec emperor, ruling until he was captured and executed by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the year 1525.
HIAWATHAmHistory, Indigenous American, Iroquois From the Iroquoian name Haio-went-ha meaning "he who combs". This was the name of a Mohawk or Onondaga leader who founded the Iroquois Confederacy, possibly in the 15th century. He was later the subject of a fictionalized 1855 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
IARAfIndigenous American, Tupi Means "lady of the water", from Tupi y "water" and îara "lady, mistress". In Brazilian folklore this is the name of a beautiful river nymph who would lure men into the water. She may have been based upon earlier Tupi legends.
IRACEMAfIndigenous American, Tupi Means "honey lips" in Tupi. This is the name of an 1865 novel by José de Alencar, about the relationship between a Tupi woman and a Portuguese man during the early colonial period. Alencar may have constructed the name so that it would be an anagram of America.
IXCHELfMayan Mythology, Indigenous American, Mayan Means "rainbow lady" in Mayan. Ixchel was the Maya goddess of the earth, the moon, and medicine. She was often depicted with a snake in her hair and crossbones embroidered on her skirt.
MAHPIYAmIndigenous American, Sioux Means "cloud, sky" in Dakota and Lakota. This is the first part of the names of the Dakota chief Mahpiya Wicasta (1780-1863), known as Cloud Man, and the Lakota chiefs Mahpiya Luta (1822-1909), known as Red Cloud, and Mahpiya Iyapato (1838-1905), known as Touch the Clouds.
NAJAfIndigenous American, Greenlandic, Danish Means "boy's younger sister" in Greenlandic. It was popularized in Denmark by the writer B. S. Ingemann, who used it in his novel Kunnuk and Naja, or the Greenlanders (1842).
POCAHONTASfIndigenous American, Powhatan Means "playful one" in Powhatan, an Algonquian language. This was the nickname of a 17th-century Powhatan woman, a daughter of the powerful chief Wahunsenacawh. She married the white colonist John Rolfe and travelled with him to England, but died of illness before returning.
SACAGAWEAfIndigenous American Probably from Hidatsa tsakáka wía meaning "bird woman". Alternatively it could originate from the Shoshone language and mean "boat puller". This name was borne by a Native American woman who guided the explorers Lewis and Clark. She was of Shoshone ancestry but had been abducted in her youth and raised by a Hidatsa tribe.
SEQUOYAHmIndigenous American, Cherokee Possibly from Cherokee siqua meaning "hog". This was the name of the Cherokee man (also known as George Guess) who devised the Cherokee writing system in the 19th century.
TASUNKAmIndigenous American, Sioux From Lakota tȟašuŋke meaning "his horse". This forms the first part of the name of Tasunka Witko (1840-1877), translated as Crazy Horse, a Lakota war leader.
TATANKAmIndigenous American, Sioux From Lakota tȟatȟáŋka meaning "bull". This is the first part of the name of the Lakota holy man and chief Tatanka Iyotake (1831-1890), translated into English as Sitting Bull.
WAHUNSENACAWHmIndigenous American, Powhatan Meaning unknown. This name was borne by a 17th-century chief of the Powhatan people. He was also known as Powhatan, as a result of confusion between his name and his birthplace.
WICKANINNISHmIndigenous American, Nuu-chah-nulth Possibly means "having no one in front of him in the canoe" in the Nuu-chah-nulth (or Nootka) language. This was the name of a chief of the Clayoquot in the late 18th century, at the time of European contact.