Chief John Big Tree

Buffalo - New York - USA


Chief John Big Tree was born on June 2, 1877 in Buffalo, New York, as Isaac Johnny John. He was an actor, known for She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) and Devil's Doorway (1950). He died on July 6, 1967 in Onondaga Indian Reservation, New York. One of three men who posed for artist James Fraser for the profile which became the famous "Indian head nickel" or "buffalo nickel" minted 1913-1938. The other two were Chief Two Moons (of the Cheyenne) and Chief Iron Tail (of the Lakota Sioux). The image was reused for a special commemorative $50 gold piece in 2006--the USA's first 24k (pure gold) coin. Big Tree was a member of the Seneca Nation.