Pictured from left, are Sam Batwi (Northern/Central Yana Indian), Dr. A.L. Kroeber (University of California Anthropologist), and Ishi (Yahi or Southern Yana Indian), 1911.

Pictured from left, are Sam Batwi (Northern/Central Yana Indian), Dr. A.L. Kroeber (University of California Anthropologist), and Ishi (Yahi or Southern Yana Indian), 1911.

The Two Worlds of Ishi at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center

Pictured from left, are Sam Batwi (Northern/Central Yana Indian), Dr. A.L. Kroeber (University of California Anthropologist), and Ishi (Yahi or Southern Yana Indian), 1911. (Courtesy UC Berkeley, Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology)

According to the University of California, San Francisco Library, “in August 1911, Ishi, the last surviving member of the Yahi Indian tribe, walked out of the foothills near Mount Lassen — leaving behind his Stone Age world — and entered 20th-century California society.”

For the next five years, Ishi lived at the Anthropology Museum of the University of California Affiliated Colleges on Parnassus Heights in San Francisco, the current site of UCSF, and shared his culture and language with anthropologists Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodore T. Waterman, as well as Surgeon Saxton T. Pope.

“When Ishi arrived out of the foothills of Northern California into the town of Oroville in 1911, he was mistakenly characterized as a ‘wild’ and ‘primitive’ Indian, the ‘last of a Stone Age tribe,'” according to the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center.

Ishi died of tuberculosis, which his people had never been exposed to on March 25, 1916. “Ishi left behind a legacy of invaluable information about his people, and provided a shining example of a courageous human spirit bridging the divide between two worlds,” states the UCSF Library.

Discuss Ishi and his 100 year legacy April 16 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the CIMCC, at 5250 Aero Drive in Santa Rosa, California.

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The Two Worlds of Ishi at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center

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