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Ishi Last of His Tribe
Theodora Kroeber
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Ishi Last of His Tribe

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  327 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In the early 1900s, a small band of California Indians of the Yahi tribe resisted the fate that had all but wiped out their people, violent death at the hands of the invading white man. Throughout their final realization that they could survive only by becoming a hidden people, this tiny group held to the gentle moral and religious code of their ancestors. In time, one by ...more
Paperback, 213 pages
Published 1973 by Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published 1964)
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Picture that you lived in a forest and every man, plant and animal was destroyed except you. Someone unfamiliar picks you up and tries to find what you are all about while integrating you back into your world which appears destroyed wherever you tread. Picture yourself now in the same world in which you are the only one who knows that it's fake and destroyed. If you can accept that then you are ready to read ISHI!

There will be no more ISHI's from North American for many millenium's.

The explanat
Ishi, which means man, died in 1916 without ever telling anyone his real name. In 1911 he stumbled out of the wilderness of northern California, sick and malnourished. He ended up spending his last years living in a museum at the University of California as a sort of living exhibit. This book tells the story of his life from his point of view. It is mostly how he and his tribe lived and his life after going to the museum to live. He tells how things changed as the white men came to the area & ...more
JRobin Whitley
This book is a beautiful writing of the story of Ishi. I had to set it aside at one point as his family died and he was left alone. I was concerned he would be tortured. The book is one showing how Ishi mad the best of a terrible situation.
Cristina López
I don't know how, or why, but this book popped into my head, and I happened to remember the title!

I'd like to re-read this!
This is a must-read, although I would like to follow it up with a historical account of Ishi's life and "discovery," since this is essentially a novel and Theodora Kroeber never met Ishi.

Ishi was a native Californian whose entire tribe, the Yahi, was driven out from their home or killed during his lifetime. After a time living in solitude, he traveled west, was called to the attention of the anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, and spent the rest of his life living in the museum of the Berkeley School
another one of the fourth grade books that kind of changed my experience as a reader (all my teachers throughout my school career - with the exception of the bastard that taught first year english - had us reading things that were really quite complicated for our age level).

in california, fourth graders at most schools do california history. at a catholic school, that means mission projects, but for everyone, i think, it means studying the indians.

so for our unit, we got to read ishi. the stor
This was a pretty good book. I had to read this for summer reading. I rated it 3 stars out of 5, because it just wasn't very good or amazing. For the most part, it was really boring. However, I did kind of like it. The characters were very well-developed. I really liked the end, because it has a deep meaning behind it, and there are many different theories of what the ending means. On the other hand, this book just didn't keep me at the edge of my seat or made me want to read it in my spare tim ...more
Erik Graff
Nov 16, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: American kids
Recommended to Erik by: Lajla Stousland
Shelves: biography
Spending every childhood summer at Dad's mother's place in Lake Charter Township, Michigan, led to the reading of many books left there by her or by the stream of family friends who would visit. There was no telephone, no phonograph, no tape machine, no television. Reading, conversation, card playing and radio were the only sources of amusement inside the house. Consequently, I read a lot and until I started earning money to buy my own books, I read on a catch as catch can basis.

Ishi was one of
Paul Brewer
Very Interesting Read. Ishi was the last Stone Age Indian in N. America. After his last relative died, he left the forest and was befriended by Saxton Pope (Pope & Young Club). He taugh Saxton and Pope how to make bows, arrows and flint arrowheads. He lived in the museum until he died years later of TB. Very interesting to hear from Ishi how they survived off the land as he taught these skills to his new friends. Sad that he died of a disease that he had no immunity to.
Sarah Sammis
The book is probably better suited for a younger reader but I think I appreciated it a little more now that I've been to the places described in the book. As with many books that try to write from the perspective outside the culture of the person who is writing the book I think the author tried too hard to avoid using any words or concepts outside of the Yuni language. There are times when it would have been better to let the narrator step in and fill the blanks.
I really, really, really loved this book. I wish it was still part of the curriculum in California public schools. May Waganupa always stand tall and may we never forget the gentle people that lived around her. And the sorrow that Ishi must have felt, having lost his entire world and everyone related to him, is such a deep sorrow that I can never fathom it.
David Saslav
Sep 03, 2007 David Saslav rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children
This is one of the first "adult" books I remember reading in its entirety as part of a Humanities class in 6th grade...I think I thought of it as fiction until my late 30s when I learned that Ishi was a real person!
I read this book quite a few times as a kid. I was fascinated by the way Native Americans lived and Ishi's story was amazing and heartbreaking. It would be interesting to re-read as an adult.
Since first reading this book many, many years ago Ishi's story continues to haunt me. It may even be a story that effected my politics throughout my adult life.
The tale of Ishi, the last "wild" Indian of California. It talks about his integration into modern/anglo culture of the 1910s.
A story about the elimination of the Native American culture. The protagonist, Ishi, was a real person!
Jeff Shaner
Ishi means man in Yahi, it wasn't his name, the Yahi never told their names to stranges... good book!
Did anyone else read this in 7th grade?? I think I was the only one in my class that actually liked it. :)
This is an amazing story...sad and disturbing, but also fascinating. An excellent read.
Mary Ann
Story of life of last of Yana Indian tribe in No. CA, born 1862-1916.
Thomas Lang
Incredible true story of an indian. Literally the last of his tribe.
I think I read this in 4th grade. Even then I found it depressing.
How can i download it? It doesnt have add to books
Definitely on my BEST books list!
Robin Davis
Robin Davis is currently reading it
Nov 30, 2014
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Theodora Kracaw Kroeber Quinn was a writer and anthropologist, best known for her accounts of Ishi, the last member of the Yahi tribe of California, and for her retelling of traditional narratives from several Native Californian cultures.
More about Theodora Kroeber...
Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America The Inland Whale: Nine Stories Retold from California Indian Legends Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration Green Christmas Timeless Woman, Writer and Interpreter of the California Indian World: Transcript 1976-78

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