Born To The Wind
1 9 8 0 (USA)
4 x 60 minute episodes
This short-lived NBC series starred 6-foot-7 American Indian actor Will Sampson Jr, who began his screen career in the film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
Indian Chief Painted Bear (Sampson) feared that his people's pride and survival were at stake as they secretly prepared for war against the Shining Mountain tribe over the disputed guardianship of Yellow Fox, an orphaned baby boy.
Painted Bear's village had assumed responsibility for the baby when a young mother died in childbirth. However, the baby's dead father was a Shining Mountain warrior, and the chief, Broken Foot (Ned Romero) asked for a tribal parley on neutral ground to decide which tribe would raise Yellow Fox.
Equally suspicious, both sides appreciated the importance of the boy as another potential warrior.
Born To The Wind was a genuine effort to treat in a dramatic format the society and culture of the American Indian with sensitivity. Only once in the series - in the concluding episode - did a white man appear.
Will Sampson Jr died in 1987, 41 days after undergoing a heart-lung transplant. He was just 53.
Guillermo San Juan