Thursday, March 20, 2008
The Glass Bottle Knife Made By Ishi
This is one of two glass bottle knives known in existence made by Ishi at the Museum.
This one was crafted out of a green glass bottle and resides in a private collection that will remain classified information. It is probable that Ishi made a number of these in Deer Creek before he came to civilization. It is very sharp and made for function, it is not bifaced, but is very symmetrical. This specimen is very similar to the one described in the late Charlie Shewie collection.
The Shewie Ulu
"The next morning Charlie got up and took the bus
inland to Stockton, California in the Central Valley
(not far from Bakersfield). There in Stockton was a
museum called "The Ishi Museum" it had several dozend
of Ishi's points as well as a wine bottle ulu crafted
by Ishi. " (From the interview with Charlie 1998)
Rare Ishi Points From Private Collections
Through a shadowy maze of secret connections and back room meeting and a plethora of mass mailings fallowing up on leads and dead ends. Here is a portion of the Ishi points given away or sold by Ishi from his museum flintknapping demonstrations. All on this first post verified as authentic by chain of position and eye witness testimony and expert lithic technology diagnostics.
Most of you have heard the story of Ishi a thousand times, the tear
filled tale of the last natural American. Ishi wandered out of the
wilderness in 1911, starving. confused and mourning the loss of his
family and race. The last Yahi-Yana of Dear Creek, California.
Rescued and given sanctuary in the Museum at University at California
Berkley where he lived doing odd jobs and demonstrations until his
death by TB in 1916. Ishi was said to be a reserved and intelligent
gentleman, and an excellent flintknapper. Ishi's friend Dr. Saxton
Pope wrote this of Ishi when he died; "He closes a chapter in
history. He looked upon us as sophisticated children, smart, but not
wise....He knew nature which is always true. His were the ualities of
character that last forever. He was kind; he had courage and self-
restraint, and though all had been taken from him, there was not
bitterness in his heart. His soul was that of a child, his mind that
of a philosopher."
Of late, Ishi has been in the news quite a bit, Researcher Steve
Shakely, of Kroeber Hall at Berkley, states that Ishi may not have
been a Yana after all but, based on physical and anatomical
measurements of Ishi himself and the point type he made, he may have
been a Wintu, a neighboring tribe. Furthermore in the news, the
California Indians have been trying to get the existing remains of
Ishi back from the Smithsonian for burial. Originally Ishi wanted to
be buried in the traditional Yahi-Yana fashion, but the powers that
be at the time had dismembered and burned his body. Before they
burned his body they cut out his brain and sent it to the
Smithsonian. In recent news releases it appears that Ishi's remains
may be returned to his Dear Creek home for burial. The delay in
returning the remains had to do with the fact the Ishi had no living
relatives, recent DNA testing has resolved the issue. In addition,
another bit of Ishi news came about when researcher, Dennis
Torresdale discovered a small cash of authentic Ishi points in Ishi's
waste flake collection in an old coffee can in the basement of the
museum at Berkley. Dennis was extremely noble and turned the points
in to the museum, according to Ishi collector Charlie Shewey, the
last authentic Ishi point sold at auction for a cool $27,000.00.