The Evil Twin

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My grandmother always used to tell me if I really wanted to embrace my Cherokee heritage I would need an Indian name. Indian names are usually given to you by other members of the tribe or clan and they are something like a nickname in that they are chosen for you by others based on some unusual event in your life, a deed you perform, or a peculiar characteristic you exhibit. I went halfway through my teens without acquiring an Indian name because there were very few Native Americans who knew me that well except those I met at pow-wows, and none of them were around me enough to give me a proper Indian name. I wasn’t exactly sure I even wanted an Indian name because some of them seemed pretty peculiar and I didn’t want to end up with some silly name I’d be embarrassed by. It was my uncle who wound up calling me Evil Twin (just to get my goat!) because my twin sister and I were always fighting when we were teenagers and he thought I should know better than to let her goad me into so many fights.

In Native American beliefs, twins are often an ill-omen. Their spirits are believed to be either split in two or one twin has all the spirit and the other has none. The tribe can never be sure about twins because if one is deprived of a spirit, that twin is suspect, and the people can never be certain which twin is good and which is bad. It was decided, (quite arbitrarily in my opinion) that I was the bad one! My uncle who started calling me the Evil Twin was actually making light of my dad’s (his brother) constant criticism of my behavior. He isn’t even on my mother’s side of the family so he’s not even Indian and shouldn’t be able to name me, but the name stuck anyways, and my grandmother thought it was funny too because I was the wild-twin and the one who was always getting into trouble. My sister was never into the Native American stuff like I was, but she was only too happy when people started calling me Evil Twin because it implied that she was the good twin! It didn’t seem remotely fair to me, but my grandmother said Indian names are sometimes like that. We get what we get, like it or not! Fortunately, very few outside of my immediate family even knew what name I had gotten stuck with, and I rarely told anyone. When I got on MySpace 7 years ago I started using it again just so I wouldn’t need to use my real name online. People thought it was just a name I had made up for myself, so I changed it to the French translation: La Jumelle Mauvaise and people finally quit asking me about my nick-name. But… its really my Indian name.

(c) June 22, 2013 – Bethany Ariel Frasier – The Evil Twin

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2 thoughts on “The Evil Twin

  1. Oh…. the first time I saw you on Myspace and the first time I wondered about your name, something completely different was going through my head. ‘Evil Twins’, hmm… from the twins I saw on your picture I could not expect anything ‘evil’. But this is another story 😉 – However,
    Your uncle was wrong. I know you for such a long time and I never noticed anything evil… au contraire! You are such a lovable person and friend!

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  2. I think I am getting to know you Bethany, and you are one of the most loving and endearing people I have ever met. Besides you are true to yourself, authentic, and that is rare. I would say that if you were the ugly duckling. Besides, your twin has all the fake ideals to live up to.
    Your great courage allows you to be wonderful in every important way.

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