John Dunbar
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

John Dunbar

Dances with Wolves

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About Him

Living... in the mid-1800’s on the western frontier. When he first arrived, he didn’t see any signs of life for over four days. He was alone with the open plains, blue sky, and one lone wolf. He soon discovers that there’s a Sioux tribe nearby as well.

Profession... lieutenant in the Union Army.  Several months before, John found out that they were going to amputate his leg. He knew what life would be like after that, so he rode out in front of the Confederate line, hoping to get shot. His charge rallied the Union troops to a victory instead, and he ended up a war hero. He got his choice of postings, and decided to go to the frontier.

Interests… spending time with his Sioux friends Kicking Bird, Ten Bears, and Wind in His Hair. They go buffalo hunting, spend nights by campfires, and share lots of laughs. He is keeping a journal of his adventures. 

Relationship Status... attracted to a beautiful white woman named Stands With a Fist. Originally named Christine, she joined the Sioux tribe after her family was massacred when she was a young girl. Since she can speak English, she serves as his translator and link to the others. They have developed a strong bond, but she is not sure she wants to get involved romantically. Not only are they from different worlds, but she is also still mourning the loss of her husband.

Challenge... convincing the rest of the Union army he’s not a deserter – a deserter who’s trying to become a native.  As Dunbar says, “The soldiers hate me now like they hate no other. I am more than an enemy to them, I am a traitor. They will hunt for me. They will not give up.”

Personality… down to earth. The Sioux tribe has helped him to discover what is most important in his life – the outdoors, good friends, and laughter. He has never been happier. 

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