Chief John Big Tree

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Chief John Big Tree
JEFEndOfTheTrail.jpg
James Earle Fraser's sculpture, "End of the Trail", for which Big Tree claims he was the model.
BornIsaac Johnny John
(1877-07-02)July 2, 1877
Michigan, USA
DiedJuly 6, 1967(1967-07-06) (aged 90)
Onondaga Indian Reservation, New York, USA
Other namesBig Tree
Chief Big Tree
John Big Tree
Years active1915–1950
 
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Chief John Big Tree
JEFEndOfTheTrail.jpg
James Earle Fraser's sculpture, "End of the Trail", for which Big Tree claims he was the model.
BornIsaac Johnny John
(1877-07-02)July 2, 1877
Michigan, USA
DiedJuly 6, 1967(1967-07-06) (aged 90)
Onondaga Indian Reservation, New York, USA
Other namesBig Tree
Chief Big Tree
John Big Tree
Years active1915–1950

Chief John Big Tree (June 2, 1877 – July 6, 1967), born Isaac Johnny John, was a member of the Seneca Nation and an actor who appeared in 59 films between 1915 and 1950.

Big Tree claimed to be one of three Native American chiefs whose profiles were composited to make the portrait featured on the obverse of the United States' Indian Head nickel, designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser. The other two chiefs were Iron Tail and Two Moons. Big Tree claimed that his profile was used to create that portion of the portrait from the top of the forehead to the upper lip.

Big Tree also claimed to be the sole model for Fraser's most recognized work, the doleful "End of the Trail".[1] Both of these claims are broadly disputed, and Fraser identified other models.[2][3]

He also appeared on the March 1964 cover of Esquire magazine, in a pose commemorating the Indian Head nickel.[4]

He was born in Michigan and died in Onondaga Indian Reservation, New York. His interment was also there.

U.S. Indian Head nickel, for which Big Tree claims he was one of three models used although the sculptor states that another Chief Big Tree, Adoeette, from the Kiowa tribe was one of his models [5]

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chief John Big Tree appearance on CBS's I've Got a Secret, December 11, 1961. Rebroadcast on Game Show Network and viewed January 29, 2008.
  2. ^ "The Flip Side". Numismatic News. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  3. ^ http://articles.netshoppers.com/article/the-history-of-the-buffalo-nickel-part-i-by-keith-scott-894-1.html
  4. ^ [1] Esquire Cover Gallery
  5. ^ Robert R. Van Ryzin. "Which Indian Really Modeled?" Numismatic News, February 6, 1990

External links[edit]