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Foreign Languages

Kemo Sabe -Indian phrase meaning "Faithful Friend" or "Trusty Scout" used by the North American Indian Tonto (Jay Silverheels), to describe his close friend John Reid, aka "The Lone Ranger" (Clayton Moore/John Hart) on the western adventure THE LONE RANGER/ABC/1949-57.

The Lone Ranger 'Kemo Sabe' and Tonto
The Lone Ranger ("Kemo Sabe") and Tonto

The word "Kemo Sabe" was actually inspired by James Jewell, the director of the original Lone Ranger radio series that debuted on January 30, 1933.

"Kemo Sabe" was derived from the name of a boys camp called "Kee-Mo-Sah-Bee" established in 1911 at Mullet Lake in Michigan that was owned by Jewell's father-in-law, Charles W. Yeager.

During the 1930s "Lone Ranger Camps" were held at this popular North Michigan campground. The camp closed in 1941.

TRIVIA NOTE: Other alleged origins of the term "Kema Sabe" included the fact it derived from the Tewa Indian dialect per Dr. Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution and his reference to

29th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1916 which that in Tewa, "Apache" equates to Sabe and "friend" to Kema.

An other reference points to a Arizona Indian Yavapai Tribe word  "kinmasaba" or "kinmasabeh" that means "one who is white."


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