Exactly 100 years ago, a starving Indian who spoke no recognizable language was captured near an Oroville slaughterhouse.
Here’s how The Bee described the incident in its Aug. 29, 1911 edition: “Wild Man Caught In Suburbs of Oroville – Evidently Last of Savage Tribe of Deer Creek Indians.”
The Indians – members of the Yahi and Yana tribes – had been massacred in 1865, 1866 and 1871. A few survivors hid out neareast of
Sheriff’s deputies fed the rangy, famished native doughnuts and beans – he preferred doughnuts – and turned him over toanthropologists T.T. Waterman and Alfred Kroeber, who called him “Ishi,” meaning man in Ishi’s Yahi dialect.
Today, the California Museum unveils a new exhibit honoring Ishi, California’s most famous and misunderstood Indian. Read more.