Native Americans Need Not Apply

Dutton Family Home on Yellowstone Ranch

We’ve been watching the TV series Yellowstone these past couple of weeks. It’s well-acted and the writing is intense, violence always threatened to break out anywhere. The series is supposedly set in Montana and near Bozeman. Indeed some of the street scenes are of Bozeman, meaning a movie crew did some filming there, but without the actors in the series.

The series stars Kevin Costner as owner of the Yellowstone John Dutton Ranch, a massive complex that appears to be located in Paradise Valley near Livingston, Montana. In real life, the outdoor sequences were filmed near Darby, Montana, a small town located near the far western border of the state. Indoor sequences are shot on massive sound stages in Park City, Utah.

This post has very little to do with that series. But I will mention one scene. Monica Dutton is a Native American, the wife of Kayce Dutton, John’s son. In one scene she is in a fancy dress shop looking for clothing, and the owner or employee is watching her closely because she is Native.  She sets it up to make it look like Monica stole a necklace, and the police are called.

She is guilty until proven innocent, and the police force her to undress in front of them to prove she is not hiding anything. She calls John Dutton’s daughter, Beth, who is in the downtown area, and Beth comes and tears up the joint, and everyone regrets having crossed Monica. The store owner confesses that it was all because of the color of her skin.

Monica, seen to the right here, is not even made up to look Native, and is actually whiter than the store owner! There goes willing suspension of disbelief.

Kate Asbille, the actress who plays Monica, is of Chinese descent.

She and Kayce have a son, Tate, who I could not find out much about, but who is supposedly half Native, and is whiter than white.

The part of Thomas Rainwater, tribal leader on the nearby reservation, is played by Gil Birmingham, who at least has some Comanche in him, and therefore looks somewhat Native.

Other actors who have played Native Americans are not Native. In the series Longmire, the part of Henry Standing Bear is played by Lou Diamond Phillips, who is Filipino and Scotch.

Jacob Nighthorse, owner of an Indian casino in Longmire, is the prduct of a Mexican father and an American mother from South Carolina.

Indeed, these are all good actors. and I know the reasons for not choosing Native Americans to play Native American parts … dare I say it? Kate Asbille is a beautiful woman of Asian descent, and Lou Diamond Phillips is an attractive part-Asian man whose skin tone is dark enough to pull that off.

People of different races are often not attractive to one another, and that is as far as I can go without treading in racist waters. It is a difficult subject to broach, but the reason that Asbille was chosen for the part of Monica was for viewership’s sake, that white audiences want beautiful women in key roles. So they chose a Chinese woman and gave her a Native name: Monica Long Spear.

There was in the Longmire series one Native American character that was actually played by a Native: Graham Greene, who played the truly evil Malachi Strand. He’s a great actor, with a career that has spanned decades. He played Kicking Bird in Costner’s Dances With Wolves.

It has been this way from the beginning of Hollywood, Native Americans played by actors usually of European descent. Native Americans need not apply.

Of course, there was a need for an Indian Chief in the movie Blazing Saddles. That part was played, for laughs I must remind you, by Mel Brooks, who spoke not Sioux, but Yiddish. Brooks appears as the Indian Chief at about 1:15 in the above clip.

20 thoughts on “Native Americans Need Not Apply

  1. I imagine that only descendants of Pocahontas might have a shot since she was apparently merged with London society. Doubt many native Americans married into the peerage and, as we know, only the families populate the public stage.

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  2. Think now about Tyrone’s comment, That is not his real name. We know nothing about him other than he has been allowed into movies as a Native American. Back years ago, he had to appear white. We know nothing about him.


  3. There are several actors/actresses of Native American descent, and there also are many in the cornstock level. We probably don’t know it if we see them in movies, maybe think confused with latin americans.
    I would never think about it unless it is a cowboy and indians movie. Back in the day white actors for indian roles put on wigs, and got a tan for all those old western movies. I’m sure the well known Native American actors still come out of the military or have some past that would open a door for them. Or a few get lucky and hired based their specific ethnic background. My favorite was Chief Dan George in the Outlaw of Josey Wales movie. A must see classic if you are into Civil war or Eastwood movies.


  4. I remember Chief Dan George. Glad you brought him up. He was in a movie called Little Big Men starring Dustin Hoffman, early 70s I think. He played an Indian Chief in a humorous way, always saying it was a good day to die. Then when he didn’t, he woke up and up and he said “Well, sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t.”


  5. MT,

    So, on Mel Brooks and “Blazing Saddles,” and “history” (as in, the “rest is history,” and who really knows what is real history) . . .

    I was raised watching that film – probably viewed it more times than any other film when growing up (with the exception of “Caddyshack”).

    Being Jewish, I was raised with a healthy dose of Yiddish. I also grew up with stories about Mel Brooks (funny, my daughter actually met his son, Max), as well as stories about our family’s Jewish history. Concomitantly, though, I was also raised with stories about my Cherokee (not Sioux) ancestral background. However, it was not until I was an adult that my dad shared with me the curious connections between the Cherokee nation and the Jews (I will leave some relevant links below, as I think they are worth exploring).

    With all that said, I have to wonder if Mel Brooks was winking a bit here – sort of an inside joke – with respect to the Jewish/crypto-Jewish roots (surprisingly, including European descent) of the Cherokee . . . (note the placement of a photo of Mel Brooks as the Indian Chief here) (references Pocahontas and her London connection)

    I have more resources on this topic, and I also noticed some of the links I had have been scrubbed over time. Perhaps Miles Mathis has previously reported on this seemingly secret Jewish ancestry of the Cherokee nation, but I do not seem to recall.


  6. Nothing from MM on this topic that I am aware of. For me yet another rabbit hole. The woman in the YouTube videos grinded on me, more about me I suppose, a person of either gender who can on a public forum merely open mouth and the words flow. It is a means by which stupid people control forums. That bugs me. We call them journalists. They are drive-by artists, and after her interviews with Yates, she is off to new “stories”, having ingested nothing.

    There is a family connection here to the Cherokees that I will relay to you in more substance. As it is I was awoken by a phone call, “likely scam” and then checked email and am and now going back to sleep. Much to digest.


    1. MT,

      Yes, this is surely another rabbit hole – with potential baiting and traps. I have no answers at all. Nonetheless, it has piqued my interest over the years. As you know, no cows are sacred on my watch; and even being raised Jewish, I have no attachment to whether or not there is some secret Jewish (crypto-Jewish?) history attached to the Cherokee.

      Long before Donald Yates (contemporary theorist of secret Jewish ancestry of the Cherokee) came Scotsman James Adair (in the 1700s), making similar claims. There are books written by him, with one of them listed for 1000s of dollars on Amazon (you have previously spoken to this phenomenon). Adair was presumably embedded in the Cherokee nation, and possibly produced descendants – ancestry that resulted in Scottish/Cherokee blending.

      One side story has circulated that may hold some water – and may possibly explain some of this curious haplotype/genetic/esoteric blending . . . Knights Templars (Jewish) fled from France and embedded into the Cherokee nation. This story has been applied to explaining some of the potential esoteric influences exhibited by the Cherokee – such as some similarities of their language/lore to Hebrew. A few Hebraic influences that have been reported are: the Cherokee name for God is YoHeWaH (Yo- Heh- WaH)/ the Hebrew name of God is written YHVH and is often pronounced Yehovah, Jehovah, and Yahweh; according to the Cherokee story, creation took seven days and man was made from red clay and woman made from first man’s rib/the Hebrew account tells the same, even calling first man “Adam” which means “red earth” in the Hebrew language; the Cherokee word for wife is Havah or Avah/“Chavvah” is the Hebrew word commonly translated as “Eve” and means “Lifegiver.”


  7. Well, isn’t this all very interesting? I was once (mid 1980’s) escorted out of the Mormon cathedral by two human giants in black suits and earplugs in Salt Lake City for challenging the “lost tribe” story of Mormons ancestry discovering America. Seriously. While in a tour group I challenged the discovery notion, exclaiming that Vikings or Irish were more likely the first out of the boat. Got me 86-ed.

    Here’s some “rabbit hole” complication that connects Mormon, Native American and divine intervention in a nice little package with a bow on top. I grow more suspicious of DNA “science” by the day.


    1. Steve,

      Intuitively, I just have a strange sense that the potential Native American/Jewish connection may have more direct relation to a blending that could have occurred via intentional infiltration (à la the Templars in the 1300s?) – having nothing to do with the lost tribe scenario. But I can only speculate based on tidbits and crumbs here and there. I can see how the lost tribe narrative plays into religious agendas (Jewish, Christian, and/or Mormon).


      1. There may be some hints here:
        Templars in America

        In any case, if indeed a Scotsman like James Adair lived (and embedded himself) among the Cherokee nation in the 1700s, then perhaps he could have been a Freemason (think Scottish rite) being sent by the Royals (ostensibly, he did report back to the Royal Society) to perpetuate genetic blending. Only crumbs with which to follow, and thus, I can only speculate . . .


      2. Stephers,

        In a neo-Eternal Recurrence kind of way, we are being driven toward “the singularity,” and not by any means for the first time.

        Monotheism is itself, for all intents and purposes, presents an introductory cultural happening that claims global unity, ie. One (moral) Law. All these weird human genome/double-helix/DNA narratives seem, to me at least, signalling some sort or return, or recurrence of that we may have stored — way down deep, out of consciousness — in our primordial memory bank. The Sumerian double-helix snake god is calling us? Yea, this rabbit hole goes straight to the molten magma at the center of the earth.


        1. Steve,

          On this note – speaking of evoking the DNA spiral and serpent energy (double helix) . . . Did you see the Queen ignite the Platinum Jubilee beacon a few days ago: Note the spiraled and laddered “Tree of Trees” (invoking the unifying Tree of Life). This is highly ritualistic, and deeply primordial – with a high-tech LED spin (signifying the injection of advanced/frontier tech – namely, photonics, given what Alison, Jennifer (Lake), and I are collaboratively tracking).


  8. Steve,

    You heretic, you! 🙂

    It seems the whole DNA ancestry (not to mention the “history”presented in varying religious texts) is ONE HOT MESS! Is there any way to sort it all out? Does it even matter? I am at a loss here. Despite me being interested in my family origins (Jewish/Cherokee) – as well as the origins of humanity (on many levels) – I think I am more interested in where humanity is going. Nonetheless, the controllers do seem obsessed with genetics/eugenics, and gosh knows what is real science vs. pseudoscience in this regard.


    1. A former daughter-in-law of ours claimed that she was part Cherokee, even to the extent of hoping to get some college tuition assistance for the kids. They did the swab and it came back that they were of African descent, in a very small proportion. Like you, Steve, I grow more and more wary of DNA.


  9. I stopped watching Yellowstone in the third season as it became a soap opera and the characters more and more inconsistent. I watched the Outer Range recently till the end of season one and the characters there also became inconsistent after a few episodes. Looks like the writers are not as good anymore. I recently stumbled upon an old western called Soldier Blue, which was supposed to contain some very cruel scenes, but it’s like “old Hollywood” cruelty so no worries there. I watched it till the end, so it didn’t bore me. It was nice to see some good old actors again.
    I think in America it is kind of cool to claim some native blood, right? But it is for the common folks only. The Elite don’t care. I mentioned it before, I’m still hooked into this old world and the mud flood themes. It is all connected of course and I think the what we call Elite are the remnants of the old civilization which left us all the impressive buildings the White House style. This also applies for the famous media people. The history was changed after the last Great Reset, some centuries maybe added maybe deleted, events shifted in time, things like that. We can be sure that what we’ve learned in schools about our past was rewritten to hide some important things. Maybe for good. As for the Elite people there are lots of them everywhere hiding in plain sight and the majority may have some better knowledge about the past but not better skills in anything. Yet still they understand to keep the better jobs for their kin.


    1. It’s fashionable to claim “native” ancestry in America. I think it’s a big relief for folks to find their way into a “victim” category in some way. The baseline level of gaslighting here is quite remarkable.

      As an aside, it’s interesting how much of a cast system is still in place which the masks have made clear.


      1. we are actually living in casts even if it is usually not very obvious. For instance you cannot really open a restaurant if you don’t belong to a family of restaurant owners. Technically you can of course but since you’re not in the network and don’t know the right people, you can’t buy your stuff cheap within the network and if you’ll have to pay the full price every time, you won’t make any money out of it. You can’t open a casino either if you’re not an Indian, right? Or take the American Dream for instance. It makes people believe that they can do anything, become rich and famous, etc. just if they work hard and focus and do the right thing. It is even valid to some extension as you can learn hard in school, study something, make a degree and get a job with pretty good income. You won’t get really rich and famous that way though. That’s for the elite people only. But you still can make a good living.
        Also some time ago I started to think that if something is being fought so vigorously as “racism” for instance, there may be something in it we’re not supposed to see.


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