Tonto, Johnny Depp And Being Cherokee

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

I think what Mr. Depp, who is part Cherokee (as I am myself) and Cree, was trying to do with his portrayal is to update the Tonto figure and give modern audiences a link to a view of what the native americans may have been feeling and thinking at that time using a 21st century lingo.

The discussion it has generated is long overdue and started in the 70’s.  So much was taken from native americans and so much was lost.


Below From US Historical Archive Taken By Edward Curtis​native-americans


Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952) was an ethnologist and photographer of the American West and of Native American peoples.

See for further research


A Jicarilla 1904

A Jicarilla 1904

Apache maiden 1906

Apache maiden 1906

Struck By Crow (Ogalala)

Struck By Crow (Ogalala) 1907
Below from –

The Warrior Culture – War Paint

Native American Indians had a highly complex warrior culture, especially those who lived on the Great Plains. Their religion was dominated by rituals and belief in a spiritual connection with nature. In their religion they blended rituals by promoting and preserving their hunting and the survival of it’s people with showing respect to the spirit. Their beliefs were handed down from one generation to another. Experienced warriors were held in the highest esteem. The achievements of warriors were often reflected in the symbolic images of their war paint. The clothes, tepees and all of his belongings was decorated with the symbolism of his achievements and acts of heroism or his various spirit guides. Every mark on the face and body of an American Native Indian had meaning.


“Indian Reservation” 1971

They took the whole Cherokee nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife
Took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

They took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation
Though I wear a shirt and tie
I’m still part redman deep inside

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

But maybe someday when they learn
Cherokee nation will return, will return,
will return, will return, will return++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Edward Sheriff Curtis
Self-portrait circa 1889[1]

BornFebruary 16, 1868
Whitewater, Wisconsin, U.S.DiedOctober 19, 1952 (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.OccupationPhotographerChildrenHarold Curtis (1893–?)
Elizabeth M. Curtis (1896–1973) a/k/a Beth Magnusson
Florence Curtis Graybill (1899–1987)
Katherine Curtis (1909–?)ParentsEllen Sheriff (1844–1912)
Johnson Asahel Curtis (1840–1887)



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s