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Indigenous people tend to be, well, poor. Indigenous people also have a tradition of war, unlike the rest of the world. So of course they're badasses. No matter what era, you're in, if you live in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, indigenous people will be badasses. Rarely seen in the rest of the world, though. The American version of the Badass Native has costuming and prop elements as well. Note that this is Always Male, will often be magical. Overlap with Noble Savage.

Examples of Badass Native include:

Anime & Manga

  • Bora on Dragon Ball.
  • Shaman King has two: Silva and an Ainu example, Horohoro.
    • Only two? The entire Patch tribe is shown to be highly badass. And Horohoro's father is one of the strongest shamans on the planet.
  • Tatanka of Eyeshield 21 is the best high school linebacker in America mainly because he's a whopping 6'10. He also wears his hair in a long braid and wears war paint the field.
  • One Piece: Wyper the Berserker.
    • Don't forget about his ancestor, Calgara.

Comic Books

  • The Proudstar brothers are made of this trope.
  • Peace Party is in many ways a subversion of this trope. They're Hopi, and their occupations don't scream "badass".
  • Turok lives this trope.
  • Quinlan Vos. Dooku's last padawan, saves a Twi'lek girl from slavery who happens to be Force-sensitive herself, survives Order 66, and joins Nejaa Halcyon, Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Anakin Skywalker on the list of, ahem, "code breakers".

Fan Fic

  • The Coming of Munihausen, a Sailor Moon lemon, has the Gary Stu, a Lakota visiting Japan and staying at the temple. He rapes Rei (and she loves every minute of it), and then he and all his friends have sex with the Sailor Senshi, including healing necrophiliac sex with Sailor Pluto.


  • Wind In His Hair in Dances with Wolves.
  • Billy Bear in Predator.
  • Red Blood has a whole tribe of them take on the mob.
  • Victor Joseph subverts this trope; he has a "stoic face" to look badass.
  • The Fetts. George Lucas probably chose Temuera Morrison to play Jango just to invoke this trope.
  • The entire cast of Thunder Heart.
  • Transamerica has Toby talk about how his father's an Indian and a millionaire, only to learn that his father's really a Jew for Jesus who wants to become a woman.
  • Hunter from the third Ginger Snaps film.
  • Mani from Brotherhood of the Wolf, complete with martial arts.
  • Gooch, a huge ex-con just released from prison at the beginning of Dance Me Outside, is certainly playing up to this trope.


Live Action TV

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had Tommy Oliver. Played with because he was raised white and it didn't come into play until late season three of MMPR (and was revisited during Zeo).
  • Deadliest Warrior has had the Apache and Comanche featured in episodes, demonstrating just how lethal and badass they were in real life.
  • Hawk from Twin Peaks is this trope.


  • Litefoot
  • Iron Maiden's song "Run to the Hills" averts this.
  • "The Ballad of Ira Hayes"

Oral Tradition

Professional Wrestling

  • Tatanka
  • Navajo Warrior

Tabletop Games

  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has two extant tribes consisting mainly of American Indians in the present day. The Uktena are Magical Native American, whereas the Wendigo are pretty much this trope down to the core. They're one of the major warriors tribes in what's already a Proud Warrior Race, were quite active in AIM in the Sixties, and still have a bit of grudge with the Europe-based tribes.
  • The vampire tribes of Zendikar were designed with this trope in mind.
  • This trope is taken advantage of by the Imperium in Warhammer 40000 - with countless worlds within its galactic borders and varying conditions and technologies on them, there are some which are so harsh that the world's inhabitants will be at Stone Age technology. Having individuals who survive harsh conditions and prosper with little more than their own strength, they are commonly used as recruits for the Adeptus Asartes.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • King of the Hill's John Redcorn double-subverts this. At first, he averts it, but when Big Mountain Fudgecake is introduced, he plays it straight until he realizes he can make more money with children's songs.
  • Rolf of Ed Edd and Eddy, whose owns farm animals and is one of the strongest kids in the Cul-De-Sac.
  • John Thunder, the Native American member of the Centurions.
  • Jefferson Trueblood from Roswell Conspiracies’’.
  • Nathan Explosion of Metalocalypse’’ is only half native american, bit he fits the trope none the less

Real Life

  • Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Tecumseh, Manuelito, Roman Nose...Take your pick, honestly.
  • Just about anybody in AIM (American Indian Movement).
  • In the 30s, Josef Goebbels, possibly motivated by Karl May novels, declared the Sioux to be Aryans. Pure Aryans, in fact. The Sioux response was to join the U.S. military, where they could hopefully kill Nazis.
  • Indigenous people join the military much more frequently than the majority culture.
  • Cmdr. Ernest E. Evans, USN, Commanding Officer USS Johnston. Half Cherokee and a quarter Creek, he vowed upon taking command of his ship that he would never run from the enemy. He fulfilled that vow on Oct 25, 1944, when his task force, Taffy 3, found itself up against a fleet of Japanese battleships, led by none other than the Yamato, with nothing larger than an escort carrier. He ordered Johnston to turn and charge the enemy line, managing to get close enough for a torpedo attack which blew the bow off a Japanese cruiser, causing another to stop and lend assistance, thereby taking both of them out of the fight. The little tin can took a savage beating afterward, but Evans stayed in command right up to the very end, eventually going down with the ship. He received the Medal of Honor.
  • Hongi Heka, and Te Rauparaha, of New Zealand, Maori chieftains in the early 19th century, who were heavily involved in the Musket wars. Hongi Heka pioneered the use of muskets in Maori warfare, leading to the situation where the Maori, those who survived, were well prepared to take on the British in this matter. Hongi Heka also, in between fighting wars, found time to contribute to writing the first Maori-English dictionary. Te Rauparaha was called the Napoleon of New Zealand because of the large amount of land he conquered.
  • Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu, who was the first Maori to win a Victoria Cross (sadly posthumous), in WWII. To quote: "On 26/27 March 1943 during the action at Tobaga Gap, Tunisia, Second Lieutenant Ngarimu, who was commanding a platoon in a vital hill feature strongly held by the enemy, led his men straight up the face of the hill and was first on the crest. He personally destroyed two machine-gun posts and owing to his inspired leadership several counter-attacks were beaten off during the night. He was twice wounded but refused to leave his men. By morning when only two of his platoon remained unwounded, reinforcements arrived. When the next counter-attack was launched, however, Second Lieutenant Ngarimu was killed."
  • Joe Medicine Crow was the last Indian to become a war-chief did so in WWII. There are four things one must do (including counting coup and taking horses from the enemy) and he did all of them.
  • Spc. Lori Piestewa (Hopi), the first Native American woman to be killed in combat overseas. When the Pentagon presented us with a Rambo-like fantasy built around the capture and (partly staged according to the BBC) rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, Lynch herself went before the House Committee on Oversight to reveal that not only was much of the story false, but that Piestewa was the real hero. Driving in the same convoy as Lynch, she had picked her up when her vehicle broke down in the middle of an ambush. She drove through a hail of gunfire, crashed into a tractor-trailer and was subsequently shot in the head. Truly a Native Badass.
  • Several Mapuche chieftains during the War of Arauco were this, but special mentions go to Lautaro (Valdivia's ex-aid, who escaped from captivity and then became the leader of the Mapuche via teaching them how to fight the Conquistadores), Caupolicán (doubling as World's Strongest Man according to his myth, and ultimately Impaled with Extreme Prejudice) and Galvarino (Hot-Blooded Handicapped Badass).


  1. a.k.a. "Injun Joe"
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