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Ishi - Is there anything mankind can learn?

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posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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Ishi was said to be the last Northern Californian Native American, who had lived most of his life without white contact.
It is estimated that he was born around 1860 and came out of the "wild" in 1911.
He passed in 1916.

Some older books call him the last "Pre-Columbian Indian" in the USA.
They make much of his excellent survival skills, some of which he had passed on to academics before he died.
But, considering that his tribe of Yahi people were attacked and massacred by settlers, he was hardly "pre-Columbian".

The survivors hid in the wilderness for 40 years.
Eventually the genocide was long forgotten, and the idea of "wild Indians" became a myth.
There was the occasional arrow, but for a long time nobody took too much notice.

Imagine what a life that must have been.

I wonder if any body else has some more information on Ishi.
How did people survive - virtually invisible - outside their prime hunting grounds for 40 years?
Then I also wonder why they say "Northern California" - were there other people or tribes who avoided white contact elsewhere in the USA?

en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 17-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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1911: Ishi wanders into the wider wold.
The look of starvation and terror is haunting:



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:22 PM
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Intersesting, the Youtube tag to the following footage:

A more oral-historically accurate re-telling of the story of a Northern California Indian named "Ishi" by anthropologists. He was the last member of the Yahi tribe by the year 1911 and became a living museum exhibit in San Francisco until his death in 1916. Originally directed by Robert Ellis Miller, the tele-play was written by black-listed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. The film originally aired on TV in 1978. Dennis Weaver plays anthropologist Thomas Waterman.



edit on 17-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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A guided tour to the Ishi "discovery" spot.
Wow, I didn't know it was so well known that they built a monument!
How ironic that the guide calls Ishi "stone age", when all that is made of stone here is from our age.

They all first thought it was a Mexican.
I suppose nowadays he'd just be deported to some foreign village (from what I read on ATS)?

I guess luckily for him he had a nose and ear piercing, which was not known in 1911 culture at all, and signified his "wildness" and identity.
Seeing his photos, I also think they cut his hair, because it looks like a prison chop.


edit on 17-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 07:54 PM
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Making an "Ishi Stick" for flaking pointed bi-face stone and other items:



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:27 PM
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I guess maybe the silence is right.

For one culture to drive another into extinction tells us all we need to know about "civilization", and there is nothing to learn.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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From the 1978 remarkable version of the dramatization of Ishi's autobiography ("Ishi -The last of his tribe").
All 9 pieces are on Youtube, and a great freebie movie.
Much better than the 1992 version (which deals more with Ishi in the last years of his life in "civilization").

Anyway, this version shows the world becoming increasingly invaded and claustrophobic.
It's almost an irony, considering the wild landscape, and the stereotype of tribal peoples.

Perhaps starvation drove Ishi to finally arrive in white culture.
But ultimately, when all his people were dead it was also loneliness.
Yes I think the fear of being completely alone drove him over the fence.


edit on 17-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 11:10 PM
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I think it shows that one must always carry on in life, and push for the best.
I mean one can look at stories like that and say: "Hey, compared to that, my life is pretty good".

It's weird to think, but any of us could suddenly become the last of our tribe and our culture.
I think a lot of us are in a way.
But at the end of it all the survivor passes on the story and the narrative.

So perhaps survival and the narrative is strongly entwined.
It's like the princess from "One thousand and one nights" - each night she told a story to keep the evil king hooked.
But what is a story without an audience?
Clearly Ishi is not a popular topic, although for me as an outsider, it is the most astounding thing I've ever heard out of the USA.


edit on 17-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 12:23 AM
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I wonder about the species of living "manimals", like the Bigfoot and Almas, or Orang Pandek.
We are trying so hard to catch them.
When we have them, what will we do?
What will their story be, assuming they can talk, or even really exist?

In many places it must be sheer terror for them: the shrinking habitats, and the people who go to these places just to find them.
I bet they live their lives with a great deal of anxiety nowadays.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 11:41 AM
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Reviewing the story, it makes one think of the post-colonial condition, where many people are immigrants in a wider, foreign culture.
It brings the realization that without a few family members one is all alone, in a cultural sense.
One thinks of Freudian theories like sudden "unhomeliness" where we suddenly realize that we are not at home where we thought we were.

But one thing that baffles me is the human capacity to drive something to extinction before it is appreciated.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:28 PM
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This reminds me very much of locating the last !Xam, or "mountain Bushmen" in South Africa.
(The ! indicates a tongue click.)

By that time the !Xam were considered extinct, or at least the culture and identity was gone.

The San (Bushman) culture in the Northern Cape and Kalahari was not yet officially extinct.

I recall reading in Pippa Skotnes' "Miscast: Negotiating the presence of the Bushmen" that isolated !Xam speakers were still found in the colored community.books.google.com...
One old man in the late 1980's was thought to be crazy, but he recalled being caught as a child and put in a cage.
The gibberish he spoke was thought to be fantasy, but it was sent to the University of Cape Town.
Amazingly the sentence he spoke was indeed !Xam.
It said: "Run, the Boers (farmers) are coming!"
However, the man died before more studies could be done.
Although nobody knew his exact age, they say it was older than 90.

In the 1980's myself and a brother met a man who claimed to speak Bushman at the Goudini Spa.
He did odd jobs for half a bottle of wine.
Even as a child I wanted to know more about his life, so one day my brother took me to his shack.
It was right next to the sewage plant.
I'll never forget, he sat there completely drunk, talking to himself, and his wife had green curlers on her head.
She told us to go away - it was no place for white children.
His name was Untahman.
At that point our borders were closed, so he could only have spoken Naro or !Xam.

They say Naro only has 11 speakers today, and !Xam possibly 1. www.khoisanpeoples.org... (On the peoples' link of that site it claims that Ouma (granny) Van Rooyen still speaks !Xam).
I wonder often about that, and how people and languages just passed silently.
edit on 19-6-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:25 AM
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Perhaps that is our existential irony as human beings.
Like Satre observed, "Hell is other people".
But it is also true that no man is an island.
Home is humanity.
Without other people we are lost, we can no longer perform our identity.
Even if we avoid them, it matters to know they exist, and that they know we exist.

I suppose this is why the wind was so important for the desert Bushmen.
If it didn't blow away the footprints of those who had died, the living might think they are still alive, and live accordingly.

The wind does thus when we die, our (own) wind blows; for we, who are human beings, we possess wind; we make clouds, when we die. Therefore, the wind does thus when we die, the wind makes dust, because it intends to blow, taking away our footprints, with which we had walked about while we still had nothing the matter with us. And our footprints, which the wind intends to blow away, would otherwise still lie plainly visible. For, the thing would seem as if we still lived. Therefore, the winds intends to blow, taking away our footprints.

Dia!kwain, San People


www.humanistictexts.org...
edit on 13-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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I cannot believe what I just stumbled upon!

Can it be?
A Native American who lived traditionally well into the the twentieth century?
And then in the Bronx, of all places.

One author's father claimed he knew an Indian who chose to live traditionally, even as the historians say the last Algonquin speaking natives to the New York area became extinct in the 1820s.
Fact or fraud?

Certainly illuminating, because to me "the Bronx" is something you hear in American movies for a kind of urban slum.

Was Joe Two Trees the last Algonquin around New York?


edit on 4-5-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


Wow, thank you for posting this - the title caught my eye immediately.

My absolute favorite book since about age 10 has always been Ishi - The Last of His Tribe. It is written from his perspective and based on stories and information he gave while he was in San Francisco. The book covers his life from teenage years through to his residence at UCSF. (www.amazon.com...)

I cannot tell you how much this story has always affected me, in some very deep way.

Yes, there are stories that people have survived in the various mountain ranges of the world, but I don't think there has ever been any conclusive proof of their existence.

Though some people do choose to live traditionally, and other people choose to be mountaineers or hermits, it is very rare to find someone who was "born wild" and had little or no contact with the outside world.

The closest thing we have in these modern times in the US are the folks out in the Appalachia known as "Melungeons" or various types of "Mountain People".

Truthfully, the only reason they would come out would be if they were starving and completely desperate.

I know there are many tribes out in the wilds of South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa who are very isolated from the modern world, but I can't say how many there might be that are completely undiscovered.

There are many things we can learn from Ishi, and from those who came before him, and from those who live lives of isolation from "society". Frankly, though, I think we need to leave them alone.

Thank you so much for posting about this.

edit on 5/4/2012 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
I cannot believe what I just stumbled upon!

Can it be?
A Native American who lived traditionally well into the the twentieth century?
And then in the Bronx, of all places.

One author's father claimed he knew an Indian who chose to live traditionally, even as the historians say the last Algonquin speaking natives to the New York area became extinct in the 1820s.
Fact or fraud?

Certainly illuminating, because to me "the Bronx" is something you hear in American movies for a kind of urban slum.

Was Joe Two Trees the last Algonquin around New York?


It is a fact that there are people who were able to stay hidden. Years after some of the original pilgrim settlements disappeared, stories began to surface about "blue eyed Indians" glimpsed in the forest. It is likely that even if we walked right past someone who lived their entire life hidden, we would not know.

I don't see a reason that Sasquatch couldn't have survived and thrived up to this point. Honestly, there are still lots of places of wilderness in the US, and the mountains are wild. Very few people actually venture into the interior of mountain ranges. There are many things we do not know about.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 03:01 AM
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I came across an article from 2000 that speaks about the burial of the remains of Ishi (by descendants of the Yana speakers, although exact details of the people and how they were related to Ishi were kept secret).

Apparently the location is also highly secretive, and cannot be revealed to outsiders.

www.sfgate.com...



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