Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Kyrie Irving on Thursday was given the Lakota name Little Mountain in a powerful naming ceremony performed by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in Cannon Ball, N.D., reports ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“We’re welcoming home two of our own,” Standing Rock chairman Mike Faith said of the sacred ceremony. “This definitely is history.”
The emotional ceremony, attended by about 1,000 people, as described by Windhorst.
Wearing a traditional shirt with ribbons, Irving stood on a buffalo skin and was prayed over by a tribe elder, Vernon Iron Horse. As a drum group played and chanted, Irving was wrapped in a blanket, had an eagle feather tied into his hair along with a medicine ball made of porcupine quills, and had a beaded medallion placed over his head as his name was revealed to him.
Irving revealed in 2016 that his mother, Elizabeth Larson — who passed away when he was four — was a member of the tribe but adopted as a child.
Tribal elders determined after research that Irving’s grandparents and great-grandparents were members of the White Mountain family on South Dakota’s Standing Rock reservation.
Windhorst’s report also notes that Irving has a tattoo of the tribal logo on his neck. Irving has become more involved on several fronts with the Standing Rock tribe, making a six-figure donation last year and releasing a Nike shoe bearing the tribe’s logo.