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history
American history
Native American

Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America

 
 
Author
Douglas Cazaux Sackman.
Publisher Oxford  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.5 x 0.85 inches
ISBN 9780195178531
Pages/Publication Date 365/2011
Daedalus Item Code 61717
This item is not available.
Description
When a lone Native American named Ishi came out of hiding in the wild in 1911, he was whisked away to San Francisco to meet Alfred Kroeber, a founder of American anthropology. When Kroeber and Ishi came face to face it was a momentous event, not only for each man but also for the cultures they represented. Ishi was a survivor, and he viewed the bright lights of the big city with a mixture of awe and bemusement, adapting himself to the city while maintaining his sense of self and his culture. Kroeber, seeking to document Ishi's culture and his civilization, couldn't guess that working so closely with the man would lead him to question his own profession and civilization. Though other books have been written about Ishi, this is the first to focus on his personal relationship with Kroeber.

"[Douglas Cazaux] Sackman adds to the extensive writings on Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi tribe of Northern California, by delving into the unique relationship between the 'wild' man and Alfred Kroeber, head of the Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley. With the Sierra Club, Kroeber and Ishi took nature walks around San Francisco, and Ishi shared his knowledge of the artifacts at the museum with his mentor, who had him installed there as a janitor. Three years after emerging from the wild in 1911, Ishi joins Kroeber and others for a three-week tour of his former homeland, which proved to be an emotional visit as it now seemed to be a strange and lonely place. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915 is a symbolic moment as Ishi appears with a Blackfeet group as their guest of honor, and Kroeber bristles at ethnographic displays he described as of the 'cheap show variety.' The encounter between these two men 'embodied the whole story of the American frontier,' Sackman maintains, a story still debated today."Booklist

 
 
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