Q’orianka Kilcher is a Hollywood and TV actress, playing leading roles in Terrence Malik’s The New World, and Princess Kaiulani and Sons of Anarchy. She is also a tireless human rights and environmental activist.
She – and her great name – very graciously agreed to be Name Curator’s first Q&Aer: thank you, Q’orianka!
Is there a story (that you’ve been told) about where your name comes from?
Yes, my mom made up the name… she put together two words in Quechuan: Q’ori = gold, Anka =Eagle.
The reason my mom wanted to name me ‘golden eagle’ is becaue she found a feather of a golden eagle falling from the sky when she was walking in Alaska on the beach while pregnant with me… and she translated it into Quechua, since I am half-Quechuan from Peru.
What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?
My name means golden eagle in the Quechua language of Peru and I LOVE my name, especially since my mom made it just for me!
Is it good or bad – or perhaps a bit of both – to have a distinctive name?
It’s a great thing and I always loved having a distinctive name ! When I was little there was no one with my name… no one !
Then , after I started to get a “name” as an actress and after my film “The New World” world premiere , many people named their babies Q’orianka… and at first I was super sad and upset, because I felt like people “stole” my name!
Now there are hotels, restaurants and many many kids born after 2006 with this name. I feel honored that people name their kids after me… but I really don’t like the adults who legally change their name to Q’orianka, because I was the first person with this name and I was the one who worked hard to give this name value and recognition.
I also don’t like when businesses use my name… especially if they don’t operate with the same moral and ethics I would operate my business with, because I worked hard to have my name stand for the values I stand for.
Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?
People love my name. every year more and more Q’oriankas are born.
Do you have a favourite name you’ve encountered over the years?