Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Honored by Mother’s Sioux Tribe
FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — Standing on a bison pelt, Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving was smudged with sacred grasses, presented with traditional quilts and eagle feathers and given a Lakota name that means "Little Mountain" as he was welcomed Thursday into his mother's Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
The All-Star guard and his sister, model Asia Irving, visited the tribe's reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border for a daylong celebration recognizing their tribal heritage and support for the tribe's long battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
In front of a packed auditorium, they were honored with Lakota names during a ritual that tribal spokeswoman Danielle Finn said "is a very special rite of passage for a Lakota person."
Kyrie Irving's Lakota name, Hela, is roughly pronounced (HAY'-law) and means "Little Mountain." Asia Irving's name, Tatanka Winyan, (tuh-TONG'-kuh WEE'-yun) means "Buffalo Woman." Both are associated with their White Mountain family.
The Irvings' late mother, Elizabeth Ann Larson, was a member of the tribe and lived on the reservation until her adoption at a young age. Their late grandmother and great-grandparents also have ties to the reservation.
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