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(This article refers to the novel and plays/movies derived from it. There is also a song named Ramona and a place named Ramona, California.)

Table of contents
1 Novel
2 Movies
3 Play


Ramona is the title of a novel by writer Helen Hunt Jackson and published in 1884.

Jackson's novel is set in the Southern California of Spanish Californio society. It is about a part-Indian and part-Scottish orphan who is raised by the Señora Moreno, who is the sister of Ramona's deceased foster mother. Señora Moreno has raised Ramona as if she is part of the family, giving her every luxury, because her sister asked her to before her death. Señora Moreno, who still considers herself a Mexican, even though California is no longer a province of that country, and hates the Americanss who have cut up her huge rancho and taken away lands, adores her only child, Felipe Moreno, but she does not love Ramona because she harbors ill feelings about her being part Indian.

Señora Moreno holds up the sheep shearing that year so the band of Indians from Temecula that she always hires can arrive, as well as the Priest from Santa Barbara, because she wants to make sure the lowly heathens have mass in her chapel and an opportunity to give confession. Ramona falls in love with a young Indian sheepherder, Alessandro. The Señora Moreno is outraged. Ramona realizes that Señora Moreno has never loved her, and to the old woman's chagrin they leave to be married. Alessandro and Ramona have a daughter. They also have misery and hardship. They are run off of several of their places, due to the land greed of certain Americanss, and cannot find a permanent home. They finally move up into the San Bernardino Mountains. Alessandro looses his mind. He is down in town one day and rides off on the horse of an American. The man follows him home and shoots him. In the meantime, the Señora Moreno has died. Felipe finds Ramona and they are married. They leave to live in Mexico.

Jackson's fiction, which used real locations in Southern California and dramatized various real events, was intended to arouse public concern for the treatment of Native Americans. But readers accepted the sentimentalized Spanish Californio aristocracy that was portrayed and the Ramona myth was born.

Ramona was an instant success. The novel has never been out of print.


The novel Ramona has inspired motion pictures of the same title.

The first was a silent movie filmed in 1910, which starred Mary Pickford and was directed by D. W. Griffith.

Another version of the story was filmed in 1916 and starred Adda Gleason.

A version filmed in 1928 starred Dolores Del Rio.

And another version filmed in 1936 starred Loretta Young in the title role.


There is also The Ramona Pageant, a long-running outdoor play at Hemet, California.

This staged adaptation of Jackson's novel opened in 1923 and is held annually over three consecutive weekends in April and May in the Ramona Bowl, a natural amphitheater in the foothills above Hemet in Riverside County. The pageant features a four hundred member cast, made up largely of area residents, and is described as the largest and longest-running outdoor play in the nation.