The separation between the new hit film Les Misérables and the Ioway Indians isn't six degrees.
It's Victor Hugo.
Hugo's French historical novel Les Misérables was published in 1864 and the fictional story he told starts in 1815 and ends in 1832 with the June Rebellion in Paris.
But how and where do the Ioway and Victor Hugo intersect?
In 1844, fourteen Ioway Indians and an interpretor set sail for Eurpope. In England they ran into their old friend, artist George Catlin. Catlin was traveling with his Native American portraits and a group of Ojibwe. But the Ojibwe were gone and Catlin asked the Ioway to join his exhibition.
Hugo first met the Ioway after their arrival in France and later attended the funeral of the wife of Ioway Little Wolf. His baby son and his best friend Roman Nose also died while the Ioway were in Europe.
Catlin published a two-volume account of his European travels entitled Adventures of the Ojibbeway and Ioway Indians in England, France, and Belgium; Being Notes of Eight Years' Travels and Residence in Europe with his North American Indian Collection.
It's hard to watch Les Misérables without recalling similar depictions of extreme poverty observed by the Ioway during their time in Europe. Catlin documents the generosity of the Ioway who he said gave "...many pounds sterling..." to the poor they encountered on the streets.
More details regarding the Ioways' dramatic trip to Europe are featured in the new historical documentary films Lost Nation: The Ioway 2 & 3.
Preorder the new Ioway films here: http://iowaymovie.com/dvd.htm