The Daughter of Dawn

In 1920, a feature film was shot in Oklahoma starring an entirely Native American cast -300 people from the Comanche and Kiowa nations, in authentic sets and costumes they themselves provided. It was a love story. Such a thing was completely unique in an era when movies only showed Indians as foils for the cavalry or gunfighters. The film, The Daughter of Dawn, received critical acclaim at preview showings, but was not widely distributed. As years went by, those associated with the movie assumed it was lost or destroyed, as so many of those early films were.
In 2005, Brian Hearn, the film curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, received a phone call from a private investigator offering to sell him a silver nitrate film that he had received as payment from a client. The PI hadn’t watched it, but he thought it was The Daughter of Dawn. The museum did not have a film collection at that time, so Hearn enlisted the aid of the Oklahoma Historical Society. After copious fundraising, the OHS was able to purchase the reels and restore them so this priceless record of Comanche and Kiowa history, Oklahoma history and early film history could get the audience it never had a chance to get in 1920.

The Daughter of Dawn was screened for the first time in almost a century last month at the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City. Future screenings haven’t been scheduled yet, but keep an eye on the website for news. The Oklahoma Historical Society also plans to release the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray, complete with features on the history of the film and one particularly important artifact therefrom.

Read the story of how The Daughter of Dawn was filmed, meet the historic cast, and see the first ten minutes of the film at The History Blog. Link -via Metafilter

Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Daughter of Dawn"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More