Tonto in new Lone Ranger movie

topic posted Fri, March 30, 2012 - 12:08 PM by 
This posting was deleted by Maggie
  • Saginaw Grant

    Mon, April 2, 2012 - 11:47 AM
    The Actor Saginaw Grant is also in the Lone Ranger movie. Here's his Facebook Page:

    Here's a message from him to those who are criticizing this movie before they've even seen it:

    "i have many people to thank on here. to those of you who have come here to this page to bless me during my work in this production. as i have said and will repeat once again. the people i am working with. everyone involved in this movie have been good to me. they have treated me respectfully as they have also to the many Natives who are all working in this film. if there is any questions in regards to regalias , my regalia in the movie they will ask my opinion. as i said, there are many of our people already cast in this movie and many more will also be cast as extras. when it is time to feed the people on the set everyone eats together. to have negative comments towards the movie is not a good thing and i ask that you wait patiently for the movie to show in the theater. i am honored that i have been asked to be a part of this for my role as Chief. Chief Big Bear who in the movie is Comanche. my assistant Andrea has traveled with me. she has great experience in the industry and looks after things for me. i make sure that our people are treated with respect and those involved in this has done that. now, i ask that you also treat this with respect. as Native people this is what we learn from our grandpas and grandmas. do not criticize other people until you know what is going on. again, i want to thank each and everyone of you, be good to one another."
    • The Lone Ranger movie

      Thu, July 11, 2013 - 12:56 PM
      I had to delete the first post on this thread because it had a link that changed and became dangerous!

      Here's the original first post (with the dangerous link removed):

      By now, most people have seen the photo of Johnny Depp as the movie's new version of Tonto. But did you know that Johnny's image coincides with the image of the Chipewyan legend named: Crow-head?

      Here's an account of the original Crow Head:

      The above article uses painting by Kirby Sattler titled " I Am Crow." Here's an article about that:
  • Re: Tonto in new Lone Ranger movie

    Wed, May 23, 2012 - 7:59 AM
    Johnny Depp was formally adopted as a member of the Comanche Nation:

    Johnny Depp made an honorary Comanche


    A Native American activist who lives in Albuquerque has a new son, who just happens to be one of the biggest superstars on the planet.

    LaDonna Harris, a well-known native activist, learned Johnny Depp was playing a Comanche Indian in "The Lone Ranger," so she wanted to help him build a stronger connection with his own Native American heritage. She invited him over and in a traditional ceremony; the film star was adopted into the Comanche Nation.

    Depp is now an honorary member of the Comanche family and has an Indian name that suits him perfectly.

    "There were prayers and he was smoked with cedar. We went the four directions. It was just a real traditional Comanche naming ceremony," said Harris.

    His newly given Indian name is "Mahwoomae."

    "It (means) 'shape-shifter,' that he can change into all of these entities. So we thought that was a good descriptive name for him," said Harris.

    Depp's adoption into Harris's Maternal family means he's now considered a Comanche. She said she's proud Depp is making his Lone Ranger character, Tonto, into a Comanche Indian because she said he's adding intelligence to the role and that's good for the Native American image.

    Video report with LaDonna Harris speaking about the ceremony
  • Re: Tonto in new Lone Ranger movie

    Tue, June 26, 2012 - 11:45 AM
    Great article about Tonto and Johnny Depp and the Native American energies that led up to this movie:

    (some great quotes from Gary Farmer in there.)
    • Re: Tonto in new Lone Ranger movie

      Tue, July 9, 2013 - 10:41 AM
      Here's an article discussing the portrayal of Native Americans in the movie "Lone Ranger" by Washington and Lee University anthropologist Harvey Markowitz, co-editor of "Seeing Red: Hollywood's Pixeled Skins" (Michigan State University Press, 2013):

      W&L Anthropologist Weighs Johnny Depp's Tonto

      As co-editor of an anthology reviewing movies that portray American Indians, Washington and Lee University anthropologist Harvey Markowitz had low expectations for Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto in Disney's just-released “The Lone Ranger.”

      The steady stream of bad reviews that have greeted the film only added to his apprehension that Hollywood was surely going to get it wrong again.

      On balance, however, and despite many critics' views to the contrary, Markowitz thinks that Depp's Tonto is a remarkably different and rather more accurate portrayal of the American Indian than past movies. It contained, he said, many more subtleties about Indian ways of thinking and believing than has often been the case.

      "The portrayals of American Indians have run the gamut, but they are always white images of Indians," said Markowitz, co-editor of "Seeing Red: Hollywood's Pixeled Skins" (Michigan State University Press, 2013). "It always starts from white assumptions about the nature of American Indians. So even though you have a wide range of portrayals in the movies, the key is that they come from a pool of assumptions that have been created by non-Indians."

      Markowitz argues that it is fraudulent to say that these portrayals have improved over time. Even when it comes to images of "good" or "noble" Indians, he notes that the characterization inevitably includes paternalism.

      "Until very recently, you didn't see Indians as main characters in movies," Markowitz said. "You see them as satellites to stories that basically involve non-Indians, usually white people. That's even true of supposedly the most revisionist of movies, 'Dances with Wolves.' That story is all about a non-Indian who is helping this group of Indians see the greatness of their tradition. But it's the non-Indian's story."
      Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger

      Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger

      In contrast, Markowitz said, Depp's Tonto and the movie's general portrayal of Indians stand apart from past films in important ways. Although Tonto is stoic, which is, in Markowitz's view, a typically "non-Indian way" of presenting Indians, he is also very funny — "a stealth bomber with his humor, which is very subtle and dry and quite in keeping."

      "You also get something in this movie that the original Lone Ranger series on television would never, ever have portrayed, and this is the spirituality," Markowitz said. "You get Tonto's life centered around spirituality. The way he thinks and his actions come out of spirituality rather than western assumptions about how one thinks and believes one ought to act, both toward the environment and toward other humans. Respect and reciprocity are shown over and over again in Tonto's action, and this is a very important element."

      Markowitz also thinks that the way the movie is framed—having an elderly Tonto tell his story to a young boy—illustrates the importance of the Indian oral tradition, which places morality at its center. The point of such storytelling, he said, is to guide young people and to reaffirm values that are important to the group. "I don't know whether or not this was intentional, but I thought it was an excellent device," he said.

      Though his review of the movie is basically positive, Markowitz readily concedes the movie is hardly flawless. For instance, some of the slapstick scenes come straight out of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series in which Depp starred. Then there was the matter of the Comanches discussing "wendigos" — cannibal spirits that entered human beings and caused them to crave human flesh.

      "Wendigos are an Algonquian belief, which is way north of Comanches," Markowitz said. The Comanches live in the West and Southwest; Algonquians live farther east and north, and up into Canada . "It's hard to understand how Comanches would be talking about wendigos. That surprised me. By and large, I thought it was a pretty smart movie, but it did have its stupid moments."

      Markowitz, a member of the W&L faculty since 2003, studies interrelationships among American Indian religions, landscapes, cultures, histories and identities. In addition to "Seeing Red," which he co-edited with Leanne Howe, of the University of Illinois, and Denise Cummings, of Rollins College, he has recently written about the ways in which Lakota Sioux adapted to elements of Catholicism based on their interactions with missionaries.

      (there is some audio on the page as well)
      • Re: Tonto in new Lone Ranger movie

        Thu, July 11, 2013 - 12:48 PM
        Here's another article about Depp's portrayal of a Native American in the movie:


        University of Cincinnati professor and Native American expert Ken Tankersley says Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Tonto is a very accurate portrayal of American Indian customs, dress and traditions.

        In a ”History vs. Hollywood” review posted on the UC Arts & Sciences website, writer Allison Stigler says Tankersley calls the film a “quantum leap” over many other previous film, TV and radio depictions. Disney elevates Depp’s Tonto from sidekick to the lead role; Armie Hammer gets second billing as The Lone Ranger.

        “They did a really good job,” says Tankersley, a Piqua Shawnee and an anthropology professor for the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

        He explains that when Tonto appears to feed corn to the dead raven he uses as a headdress is a blessing, because corn is sacred. Tonto’s raven headdress comes from a painting Depp saw that depicted a warrior, Tankersley says.

        Disney also used creative license to borrow from other Native American tribes. When Tonto calls the Lone Ranger “kemo sabe,” it’s a term from the Potowatomi language meaning “friend,” according to Tankersley.

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