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.

Native American Reporter Tells Story of Ishi


This year marks the 100th anniversary of Ishi, or the man known as "the last wild Indian in North America." Ishi was a Yana from the Deer Creek area, about 150 miles northeast of Berkeley, California.

Terria Smith, a Golden State Native American reporter, tells Ishi's story and dispels some myths about Ishi in a story for Crosscurrents from KALW News. "Imagine spending three years alone in the woods of California," she begins. "You’ve lost your entire family, and all of your close friends, to war, disease, and starvation. Every day you fish and hunt to feed yourself, and try to avoid being spotted by other people. Then, one day, you wander into a place that’s slightly foreign. A town. And everything changes."

To read the full story, visit KALWNews.org.

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