VARIOUS SELECTED PHOTOS OF ISHI
AND
THE EARLY MUSEUM AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKLEY

An examination of the mythology and reality of the Yahi Indian known as Ishi, who spent the last years of his life, from 1911 to 1916, in the museum's building in San Francisco under study by Berkeley anthropologists.

ISHI WAS FOUND NEARLY STARVED IN A RURAL AREA  NEAR OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA IN 1911.  HE IS SAID TO BE THE LAST SURVIVOR OF HIS TRIBE FOLLOWING A PROGRAM OF GENOCIDE INITIATED BY EUROPEAN SETTLERS IN NATIVE AMERICAN LANDS


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Ishi, In tattered clothing,starving, and in shock, confined in a mental ward,
on the day of his discovery in 1911

 

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Ishi chewing sinew during the process of attaching a point to an arrow shaft (lying at his feet)

Yana style house built by Ishi behind the museum in San Francisco. Sign in foreground says: "Door 33 inches high." Ishi appears to be flintknapping in the doorway.

 

 

Ishi is pressure flaking a biface here, possibly made from obsidian along Deer Creek in 1914.

The tool is a metal tipped pressure flaker used by him throughout his life. This toolmaking style was eventually copied by archaeologists learning to replicate stone tools later in the century. Click on the photo to link to more information on Ishi's lithic technology.

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Ishi's Unique Point Style

 

  

 

Producing a bow on Deer Creek, 1914

                                                                                                             

 

 

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Stone tool production tool kit found by D.B. Lyon in 1889 in the Mill/Deer Creek region in Yahi territory. These tools, including metal tipped pressure flakers and porcelain and glass raw material are identical to those crafted and used by Ishi between 1911 and 1915 in the museum.

                                                                

                             A.L. Kroeber (left) and S.A. Barrett in the old museum building, U. C. Berkeley, late 1950s.

 

                                                                             

                                                                         E. W. Gifford, Professor and Museum Director 1940s-

                                                                             

                                                 Ishi is joined by Saxton Pope and family at a dedication of a monument to Native Americans.

 

                                                                                                               


Excellent books about Ishi

 

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Ishi in Two Worlds; A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America
by Theodora Kroeber

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Ishi, Last of His Tribe
by Theodora Kroeber, Ruth Robbins (Illustrator)

 

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Ishi the Last Yahi : A Documentary History
by Robert Fleming Heizer (Editor), Theodora Kroeber (Editor)

 

Ishi's Journey : From the Center to the Edge of the World
by James A. Freeman, Ron Ellison (Illustrator), Keven Brown (Editor)

 

MORE INFORMATION ON ISHI CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE

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Copyright 1996 Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 January 1997

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