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A comprehensive bibliography of resources available for the study of Ishi, the Last Yahi. For more detailed information about Ishi, visit the UCSF History Site.
Print material concerning Ishi and the Yahi Indians can be located in the UCSF Library catalog. Manuscript materials can be found at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. Yahi artifacts and tools created by Ishi can be studied at the UC Berkeley Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
In August 1911, Ishi, the last surviving member of the Yahi Indian tribe, walked out of the foothills near Mount Lassen -- leaving behind his Stone Age world -- and entered twentieth-century California society. From 1911-1916, Ishi resided at the Anthropology Museum of the University of California Affiliated Colleges on Parnassus Heights in San Francisco (now the site of UCSF), sharing knowledge about his culture and beliefs with Anthropologists Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodore T. Waterman, as well as Surgeon Saxton T. Pope.
L-R: Sam Batwi (Northern/Central Yana Indian), Dr. A.L. Kroeber (University of California Anthropologist), and Ishi (Yahi or Southern Yana Indian), 1911. Photo credit: UC Berkeley, Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
Graciously collaborating with the anthropologists, Ishi provided insight about his language, a dialect presumed lost until his emergence from the Mill Creek region of California. Free to return to his homelands, Ishi chose to remain at the museum as a living interpreter of his culture. Exposed to a society hosting diseases foreign to the Yahi, Ishi contracted tuberculosis and died on March 25, 1916, at the medical college on Parnassus. Ishi left behind a legacy of invaluable information about his people, and provided a shining example of a courageous human spirit bridging the divide between two worlds.
Burrill, Richard. Ishi: America's Last Stone Age Indian. Sacramento, CA: The Anthro Company, 1990.
Doss, Margot Patterson. Ishi's Walk.
Kroeber, A. L. The Mill Creek Indians and Ishi. University of California, 1972.
Kroeber, Theodora. Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America. Berkeley: University California Press, 1963.
Liapes, Michele. Ishi's Cave: A Sutro Legend. UCSF Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 1,4, May 1983.
Pope, Saxton T. The Medical History of Ishi. American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 13, No. 5, pp. 175-213, May 15, 1920.
Wray, Clare Leeds. Ishi and His Friends. UCSF Alumni News, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 8-11, Fall 1984.