I started this post a couple weeks ago when I learned that Ishi was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. (Along with others including Warren Beatty and Joe Montana – what a weird hall of fame.)
The sentence that stood out for me was, “Ishi means man in the Yahi language and was not his real name. Reportedly, there were no elders left to name him.”
I did not remember hearing this before and thought the world’s saddest story turns out to be even sadder. I haven’t read the book since I was in school. While doing my due diligence on Wikipedia I noticed that this tidbit is in the first paragraph so I probably did already learn this but blocked it out.
It’s a sad, sad story about a man whose entire tribe is wiped out by white people settling in California. Check out this bit from Wikipedia: miners settling in California “put pressure on native populations.”
That’s not how I would tell the story but I don’t have time or the heart to revise it right now. I am on my way out the door for a long weekend in California. I’ll be offline until next week.