The story of ISHI has captivated the minds and imaginations of readers for more than a century now. The amazing story of how his small family, his clan, could have survived undetected by the whites for more than forty years is indeed mind-boggling. For decades this small clan hid out in seclusion in the recesses of a small village beneath a high cliff covered with trees, hidden by a growth of de...
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Publication Date: November 4, 2015
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se brush. It was called “Wowunupo’mu’tetna”, ‘Bear’s Hiding Place’. Ishi, his ailing mother, uncle, and sister lived out the remainder of their lives, sustaining themselves by whatever meager resources were available. Then, in 1908, the tiny village was discovered. The Oro Light and Power Company surveyors stumbled right into Ishi’s village. The old uncle and sister disappeared over a cliff and were never seen again. His ailing aged mother was left at the back of the cave where she was covered with blankets. The surveyors plundered the village, taking everything they needed for survival. Ishi’s mother soon died, and Ishi was left alone. Miraculously, he survived alone for three more years, ultimately surrendering himself to the whites in August 1911.A number of volumes have been written about Ishi during the course of the past century. My purpose for adding this one is to tell his story in a non-fiction novel style, relating his characteristics, his humor, his warmth, his tenderness toward everyone, especially children, his fears and doubts, but most especially, his strong character and will to survive. Faced with the challenges Ishi endured, few if any of us today could have survived. His story, his legend, will live on in the lives and hearts of generations to come.