Researchers have yet to find a culture in which people donâ€™t have names.
â€œI think what it tells us is that names are important and names have symbolic significance,â€ says Tim Kloberdanz, a folklorist and professor emeritus in anthropology at North Dakota State University.
But while theyâ€™re important, names arenâ€™t always fixed for life. Members of the Pawnee Indians of the central Plains, for example, are â€œvery well-knownâ€ for changing their names over the course of life, Kloberdanz says.
And names arenâ€™t necessarily permanent in secular American culture, either. According to various sources, more than 50,000 Americans apply to change their names each year. Locally, more than 70 people in Cass and Clay counties have applied for name changes so far this year.
To understand why someone would want to erase their name, or alter it to a new form, we talked to several people who opted to make some kind of nontraditional changes to their own names. Some did it to escape painful pasts. Others wanted a fresh start. These are their stories:
Read the story: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/291696/publisher_ID/1/
Read about how FMers can do a name change: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/291697/