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True names or secret names were the actual names of animals or things and the hidden names of people. Those of people were given to the individual by his or her parents when a child and known to them and to a few select people such as the tribe's shaman and perhaps a favorite lover. True names of animals were not known so shamans gathered to exchange names that they knew in the hopes of including the true name in their magical incantations.

Madyu once averted a war between his tribe and that of a neighboring tribe by learning that tribe's chief's secret name and threatening to do dreadful things to the man's ghost in the spirit world unless he called off his warriors.

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