Berkeley NewsCenter: Learning from Ishi over a century later

"They came both to bury Ishi — at least the outdated notion of Ishi prevalent in pop culture — and to praise him. They came to learn from him, to remember him not as a research subject but as a teacher, not as an artifact of a vanishing culture but as a survivor and, as Berkeley law professor Karen Biestman put it, “a pioneer of indigenous intellectual property protection.”

Joseph Myers, a School of Law graduate and lecturer in Native American studies here, put it more simply.

“I like the idea of celebrating Ishi,” Myers said. “But let’s celebrate him as a human being. “

Biestman and Myers were among the speakers, panelists and celebrants at a daylong conference, “A Century of Ishi,” to commemorate the life and legacy of the man who walked out of what had long been Yahi territory into Oroville on Aug. 29, 1911, and was promptly arrested. Dubbed “the last wild Indian,” he was brought to live in Berkeley’s anthropology museum, which was then located in San Francisco, by Berkeley anthropologists Alfred Kroeber and Thomas Talbot Waterman."

Get the Story:
A century later, Ishi still has lessons to teach (UC Berkeley NewsCenter 9/12)

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Opinion: Ishi, the 'last' of Yahi people, one hundred years later (8/29)

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