by Jack Nilan            EMail :

The Daughter of Dawn (1920)

Jack   B-

IMDB    6.2

Tribe(s) : Kiowa, Comanche

Language : Silent



   A movie with an all native cast of over 300 Kiowas and Comanche. One thing that makes the movie particularly interesting is that it has two children of Comanche war chief Quannah Parker (whose mother was the captive Cynthia Parker) White Parker and Wanada Parker. White Parker plays White Eagle and Wanada Parker plays Red Wing. Most of the cast brought their own clothing and personal items to use in the film.

   The movie opens with a Kiowa spotting a buffalo herd. We then see the village and the Chief and his daughter. Black Wolf wants to marry Daughter of Dawn so he can become chief someday. Red Wing loves Black Wolf and Daughter of Dawn loves White Eagle. White Eagle leads the buffalo hunt.

   Then the Comanches make one of their periodic attacks on the Kiowa. The Comanche Chief Big Bear thinks might makes right and has his braves steal the Kiowa horses. The Kiowas have a dance to celebrate their successful hunt.

   Black Wolf sees Daughter of Dawn and White Eagle together and is not happy. Daughter of Dawn tells Black Wolf she doesn't love him. Daughter of Dawn's father tells her that Black Wolf would be a good match but she tells him she wants White Eagle. The Chief tells Black Wolf and White Eagle they must jump from a cliff, and whoever survives can have her. White Eagle jumps and Black Wolf chickens out. He is banished from the tribe and White Eagle is made a chief.

   Black Wolf wants revenge. He joins in with the Comanche and leads them back to his village. They sneak in and take Daughter of Dawn. The Kiowas do a war dance and off they go. White Eagle finds the trail and the Kiowas attack the camp. The tribes fight (sort of) and the Kiowas win. White Eagle and Black Bear then square off, like the Indian rivals will always do after, and White Eagle stabs him and rescues Daughter of Dawn. When Red Wing finds the dead Black Wolf she kills herself too.

  The movie ends with White Eagle and Daughter of Dawn going off in a canoe.

   The movie wasn't great but it was very interesting. It is one of the few movies made about Indians without whites. It is also one of the few movies ever made with an all native cast. It also has Quannah's children which is pretty cool. And some of the older Indians in the movie probably rode with Quannah (he finally went to the reservation in 1875).