Ishi, The Last Yahi

Categories: Documentary, History, Biography
56min | 1992
ISHI, THE LAST YAHI begins in 1492 when there were more than ten million Native Americans in North America. By 1910, their numbers had been reduced to fewer than 300,000. In California, massacres of Indians in the 1860s and 1870s had nearly exterminated the Native peoples in the state. Therefore the sudden appearance in northern California in 1911 of Ishi, "the last wild Indian in North America," stunned the nation. For more than 40 years, Ishi had lived in hiding with a tiny band of survivors. When he walked into the white man's world, he was the last Yahi Indian alive.

For young anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, Ishi's appearance was a windfall. Kroeber had been searching for years to find "wild, uncontaminated Indians" who could document their traditional way of life. Through Kroeber's invitation, Ishi left a jail cell and lived out the remaining four years of his life as an informant and teacher at the Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco. Ishi dedicated those years to relating Yahi stories and demonstrating the traditional way of life he knew so well. His quiet dignity and remarkable lack of bitterness toward the people who had destroyed his tribe greatly impressed everyone who met him.

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Topics: Native American, Survival, History_Syndication, Cultural, Indigenous, American History
Reviews: A 27 Fans
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Shay Bloxton
Shay Bloxton
October 23, 2014
A
Samuel Dunphy
Samuel Dunphy
June 27, 2014
B
null
null
May 26, 2014
A+
I have been using this film in my Cultural Anthropology and Indians of North America for several years on a semester basis but it never fails to impact me with each repeat viewing. The serious moral questions raised by this film for American history and anthropology continue to have relevance for contemporary times. It calls into question the very moral foundations of the government of the United States.
Le Tien
Le Tien
May 12, 2014
Who are the most violent people in history?
frederick ward
frederick ward
March 21, 2014
A
julie cahill
julie cahill
February 19, 2014
A
Poor Ishi!
kgberg
kgberg
January 20, 2014
A+
Mark Stone
Mark Stone
January 10, 2014
A
This is a story of California history that must be told. Thank you.
Allen Owens
Allen Owens
January 5, 2014
A+