Does the nickname that Tonto calls the Lone Ranger “Kemosabe” mean anything?
Dr. Goddard, of the Smithsonian Institution, was reported as believing that Kemo Sabe was from the Tewa dialect. He supported his contention by calling on the “Ethnogeography of the Tewa Indians” which appeared in the 29th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1916). It seems that in Tewa, “Apache” equates to Sabe and “friend” to Kema. Jim Jewell, who directed “The Lone Ranger” until 1938 said he’d lifted the term from the name of a boys’ camp at Mullet Lake just south of Mackinac, Michigan called Kamp Kee-Mo Sah-Bee. The camp had been established in 1911 by Jewell’s father-in-law, Charles Yeager, and operated until about 1940. Translation of kee-mo sah-bee, according to Jewell was “trusty scout.” A scholar from the University of California at Berkley thought that Kemo Sabe came from the Yavapai, a dialect spoken in Arizona and meant “one who is white,” since the Ranger always wore a white shirt and trousers in the earliest publicity photos.