Braids for Cole Offers Tribute and Support for Late Native American Actor's Family

Native American actor Cole Brings Plenty, known for his role in '1923' was found dead on April 5, 2024. The Native community called for a tribute.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 8 2024, Published 10:29 a.m. ET

Cole Brings Plenty at the Red Nation Celebration Institute's 28th RNCI Red Nation Awards at Fine Arts Theatre on Nov. 12, 2023
Source: Getty Images

With the final episodes of Yellowstone on the horizon, fans aren't eager to see the critically acclaimed series end just yet. Luckily, there are still plenty of spin-offs that take place within the same continuity to keep viewers satiated in its eventual absence. One of them is 1923. This prequel series follows a past generation of the Dutton family as they endure pivotal moments in U.S. history such as Prohibition and the early days of the Great Depression.

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The series features several prominent white actors, but it also offers a spotlight on Native American and Indigenous actors and artists. One of them was Cole Brings Plenty (Mniucouju Lakota), who portrayed Pete Plenty Clouds on the show. He had a guest role in Season 1, which premiered in late 2022 and ended in February 2023. As of April 2024, however, his name is being honored after a sudden tragedy with the Braids for Cole movement. What happened to Cole Brings Plenty?

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Actor Cole Brings Plenty is being honored posthumously with the Braids for Cole movement.

On the morning of Friday, April 5, 2024, Cole was found dead in Johnson County, Kan. The Kansas County Sheriff's Office reported that his body was discovered in the woods close to an abandoned vehicle. He was 27 at the time of his death.

According to several reports, he was identified as a suspect in a domestic violence dispute. Some also claim that in a related incident, his braided hair had been cut off, which is highly offensive in the Native American community.

Shortly after the news, members of the Indigenous-led Rising Hearts organization started the "Braids for Cole" movement, which takes place on April 8, 2024. Supporters are encouraged to wear their hair in braids or otherwise share social media posts of braided individuals in solidarity for Cole in the wake of his passing. Braids are considered sacred in Native American communities, so people are being asked to honor both Cole's life and his heritage.

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Is there a reported cause of death in Cole Brings Plenty's case?

As of this writing, there is no known cause of death. Kansas authorities are currently investigating the situation.

However, Cole's death has rekindled discussions on the unjust and disproportionate murders of American Indians and Alaska Natives happening all over the country. According to studies conducted by the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs, American Indian and Alaska Native men and women both experienced the second-highest rate of homicides in 2020.

In 2024, the murder of Nex Benedict — a non-binary teen of Choctaw Nation descent — became a topic of national concern for both Indigenous tribes and the transgender community.

As many continue to stand in solidarity for the Native American community in the U.S., people now mourn the loss of Cole Brings Plenty in the same breadth.

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