Gerring animations by name

Hi, I am trying to create a system for unis; what I'm having trouble with is that my modeller created a skeletal system that has named bones and animations. How do I get the bones by name to attach the right static mesh to them, and then how do I play the animations by name? If you've seen Morrowind's NPC system, that's where my head is at. We are using 3ds max, but we have an exporter for all the formats jme supports.