Teonna Rainwater is a Native American attending a boarding school for Native American females in the 1920s. The boarding school is run by white Catholics from the turn of the century who treat it like a religious concentration camp and punish students harshly if they don’t follow the rules.
Even though 1923 is about The Dutton Family, the C plot gives us glimpses of Teonna’s scary story. Teonna’s family is supposed to be on its way to a place set aside for natives, but she worries that they never got there and that she’s on her own. Who plays Teonna on the show?
While a nun beats Teonna over and over, we learn at the end of the first episode that the nun’s boss, Father Renaud, also beats her. So the patriarchal church is causing trauma for the nun, and the nun is abusing Teonna because she is projecting her own trauma onto the people she is supposed to be teaching.
At first, Father Renaud seems to be on Teonna’s side, but he doesn’t take long to whip the backs of Teonna’s legs so hard that she gets scars.
Who Plays Teonna Rainwater in 1923?
Aminah Nieves plays Teonna Rainwater in 1923. Even though she just started her career a year ago, she has already been in the V/H/S/99 series. The 31-year-old Indiana native has only been in three projects before this one, but she could have the most interesting character arc in a series with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.
The Duttons may be the main characters and the backbone of the story, but Teonna is a unique slice of life that shows how a young Native American girl saw the world back then.
There are many parallels between how the Father, the nun, and Teonna interact and how Native people were treated in the past. Father Renaud can do whatever he wants because he has the power, and that power is kept in place by fear and violence.
He makes the nun, the rest of his staff, and the students afraid by threatening them with the death penalty. Meanwhile, none of his students are white, and with the religious and racist zeal of a 1920s Catholic, he and his administration punish the girls more for having brown skin than for anything else.
No matter what, Teonna Rainwater has to get out of that horrible school. She has to make sure people are okay, for one thing. For another thing, no one could stay sane while in Father Renaud’s “care.”
Following her journey will either carry us across the country to find her family or keep us captivated as she attempts to escape the school. At the moment, it looks like she is getting ready to run away.