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Ishi in Two Worlds - A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America [Anglais] [Broché]

Theodora Kroeber

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Ishi in Two Worlds, 50th Anniversary Edition A life story of Ishi, the Yahi Indian, lone survivor of a doomed tribe, who stumbled into the twentieth century on the morning of August 29, 1911, when, desperate with hunger and with terror of the white murderers of his family, was found in the corral of a slaughter house near Oroville, California. Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  51 commentaires
55 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The last free Native American in California 18 novembre 2003
Par Peggy Vincent - Publié sur
This book is one of two I routinely give to people who move to northern California. The other one is The Ohlone Way, by Malcolm Margolin. Ishi was the lone survivor of a doomed tribe of Yahi Indians on the slopes of Mt. Lassen. Other members of his tribe were murdered by a planned campaign of genocide during the settling of the West. When Ishi stumbled out of the hills of his birth in 1911, he landed in the 20th Century, huddled in the corner of a cattle corral on a ranch, dressed in rags, starving, desperately lonely, and probably certain he would be killed. Instead, a wise sheriff in Oroville called on some anthropologists from Univ of CA in Berkeley, and Ishi eventually came under the benevolent but somewhat demeaning (he was made the centerpiece of a museum exhibit) protection of Alfred Kroeber. It is Kroeber's wife who wrote this touching, heartwarming, illuminating and ultimately tragic history of Ishi's life in the 'modern' world.
Most moving for me was a long middle section that recounted a magical summer when Ishi took Kroeber and his teenage son back to Mt. Lassen and showed them his native territory. They lived together as unspoiled and free Native Americans for the summer, hunting deer, swimming in cold streams, living in huts and caves, building fires, making bows and arrows... An experience that was destined never to be repeated.
Wonderful archival photographs supplement the imminently readable text.
Don't miss this very special and quintessentially Californian piece of history. But there's no rush: this book is destined to remain in print forever.
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best book I've read this year 15 mai 1998
Par David Graham - Publié sur
Imagine this: it's the 20th century, we have electricity, movies, telephones, trains, cars, the latest audio recording devices, indoor plumbing, and access to the usual luxuries and amenities of our western world. Then one day - here in the United States, out of our own country - a man appears out of the wilderness, almost magically transferred from the stone age to the steel age. Truth is said to be stranger than fiction, and the story of Ishi is one such example. Ishi was the last of the Yahi Indians, living in Northern California under a cloak of fear, secrecy, and evasion from white men, carrying on this lifestyle for the better part of four decades. In this thoroughly researched book, Theodora Kroeber tells Ishi's story. She covers the historical and geographical background of the Yahi Indians, how their lives began to change and their numbers decimated with the coming of the caucasions in the mid- 19th century, and how Ishi and the few remaining people of his tribe lived until Ishi was the last one left. She then tells us about the man himself, the last (happy) five years of his life in San Francisco, and the adjustments and learning Ishi went through in his new home. The author does a superb job of comparing and contrasting Ishi's stone age world with the steel age world, without the tedious prose often involved in such writing. This book is highly readable and strongly recommended.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Twentieth Century Time Traveler 6 juin 2001
Par Plume45 - Publié sur
This poignant portrayal of the most dramatic culture clash in American history reads like a literary bio-drama. Theodora Kroeber's exhaustive research and respectful treatment of aboriginal heritage provide accurate details of a successful Indian culture, which so-called Civilization had effaced from the earth by 1911. Starting with the geology and anthropology of the Yana and Yahi tribes (north of San Francisco Bay), she recreates their vanished lifstyle.
Part One describes the relatively peaceful existence of local native American tribes who learned to coexist both with Nature and each other. But the advent of the white man destroyed the fragile ecological and social balance which had existed for centuries, as Yankees and Hispanics gradually encroached on Indian territory--scorning their customs as "savage." Ishi's tribe was hated and ultimately hunted into extinction. Himself the last survivor, he staggered into a frontier town, gaunt, ragged and in mourning-- expecting instant death. Having lost touch with the last human beings who understood his pre-Columbian world, he had nothing to live for.
Part Two compassionately depicts his amazing metamorphosis from the last wild man to Mr. Ishi. He never revealed his true Indian name to any white man, but accepted the generic word, "Ishi" as his new name which simply means, Man. He emerges as a surprisingly gentle person, who adapted successfully to life in the modern world. Making friends with selected Americans, learning to live and almost thrive in the municipal jungle, he earned respect and admiration for his "primitive" skills. In fact Ishi left indelible memories upon those who were privileged to know him well and enjoy his company. His sentimental jouurney back into his past and former territory was well documented in photographs and (now disintegrated) film. What a privilege it must have been to observe this calm and dignified man demonstrate lost customs and survival skills.
From warrior to janitor/custodian this honorable man maintined his human dignity in all aspects of 20th century life, until his untimely death from TB five years later. In fact Ishi-made artifacts are treasured in Bay Area museums. One wonders if we of the modern world could adapt so well or philosophically to conditions so foreign as a trip through generations of Western achievement; how would we cope if we were transported forward in time by several centuries? Ishi adapted with grace and courtesy, inadvertantly causing us to wonder who the real "savages" are/were. But this book is not a racist guilt trip--rather it proves a personal odyssey which can teach and touch us all.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 excellent book 6 août 2002
Par J. head - Publié sur
This book tells a true story of a common science fiction theme, How would a Stone Age person acclimate himself to modern civilization, if suddenly transported there. Ishi was the last remnant of a California hunter-gatherer tribe. He was starving and near death when discovered by a California rancher. Thus began his journey from primitive beginnings, to journalistic sensation, to scientific curiosity, and finally as a working member of society in the California of the 1920's. and `30's. As the subject of scientific study, Ishi shows that basically people everywhere and for all time are the same, but it is the differences that of course makes it interesting. One example is that at first anthropologists thought Ishi could not count above the number ten. It was later found that he saw no reason to count abstractly. He had a numbering system that extended quite high when physical objects were present. One of the most shocking revelations for Ishi, were not the buildings, cars, trains or machinery of modern life, but the number of people that existed. This is a man who had never seen a crowd of people, he had watched his remote lingering tribe-members die off when he was a child . A hunter-gather lifestyle can only support a sparse population. From Ishi's perspective the largest crowd and perhaps the world consisted of those fifty tribe members when he was a young boy. The book gives a humorous account of Ishi's shock of seeing a crowded San Francisco Beach on a hot summer day. The book is very well written, an easy read and very entertaining. It is surprising that this book is not more popular.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A beautiful, tragic book 21 avril 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
I've read this excellent book three times now, and each time it is rewarding. My family has vacationed near the area where Ishi walked out of the woods, and his story became even more real and more tragic to me when I saw the beautiful land that his people lost. Kroeber has provided an important last glimpse of a Native American living in the old way. In addition to the obvious issue of our decimation of indigenous peoples, the book also raises important questions about the treatment given Ishi when he came to live in white culture.
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