Set in the Black Mountain region of Wyoming during the middle of
the 19th century, the
western series BRAVE EAGLE/CBS/1955-56 starred Keith Larsen as Brave
Eagle, a young Cheyenne chief who faced the challenges of
daily life with neighboring tribes and White men. Brave Eagle rode a
stallion named White Cloud.
Also titled BRAVE EAGLE: CHIEF OF THE CHEYENNES, the series
depicted the struggles of Native American Indians from their
viewpoint. The Cheyennes lived near Fort Wilson, a newly constructed
US Cavalry post. While Brave Eagle and his tribe are peaceful, they
sometimes have to fend off attacks from the neighboring Piegan
Other Native American characters in the series included:
- Keena Nomkeena, as Keena, Brave Eagle’s adopted son who
survived a Comanche attacked that killed members of his Lota
Indian tribe. Brave Eagle found Keena in a papoose.
- Kim Winona (a full-blooded Sioux) as Morning Star, and
Cheyenne maiden and Brave Eagle's love interest
- Bert Wheeler as Smokey, a sage, half-breed scout who wears a
U.S. Cavalry army jacket with sergeant stripes.
- Pat Hogan as Black Cloud
Smokey, Morning Star, Keena and Brave
Produced by Roy Rogers’ Frontier Productions, the series was filmed
on Roy Rogers’ 130-acre ranch in Chatsworth, California and the
Corriganville Ranch in Simi Valley.
The BRAVE EAGLE series was the
first TV series to feature an American Indian as a lead character.
The real name of the actor who played Brave Eagle's son, Keena is
Anthony Earl Numkena, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona. He is a
full-blooded Indian of Hopi and Klamath descent.
According to an
email sent to TV ACRES: "The change came about as a result of Mr.
Michael North, the executive producer (who) changed the name to Keena to fit the part in the series. He also felt the name Numkena
(a Hopi name) looked too oriental and changed it to Nomkena. In the
later episodes it was changed to Numkena. The name Keena remained."
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