August 12, 2007

Ishi in Archery Hall of Fame

Tribesman altered archeryNext month, two people will be inducted into the Archery Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mo. One is Dr. David Samuel, who has a long history in the sport of archery and is featured on this page.

The other, called Ishi, was the last living member of the Yahi Indian tribe. He had quite a history, too.

As the last member of the Yahi tribe, which was the last tribe of the Yana people of California, Ishi lived a completely Native American lifestyle.

Ishi is the word for man in the Yahi dialect and, because it was taboo in Yahi society to say one’s name, Ishi’s real name was never known. And because he was the last of his tribe, his real name died with him in 1916.
Why exactly is Ishi being inducted?Legendary archer Pope would probably never had the impact on the sport of archery if he never met Ishi. Therefore, it’s argued, archery wouldn’t likely be what it is today without Ishi.

Dr. Pope learned the Indian method of bow making and went on hunting excursions in the surrounding country with Ishi. On these expeditions, Ishi provided valuable lessons to Dr. Pope in this new system of acquiring game.

“We shot rabbits, quail and squirrels with the bow,” Pope said. “His methods here were not so well defined as in the approach to larger game, but I was struck from the first by his noiseless step, his slow movement, his use of cover.”

This careful approach to bowhunting and his influence on very active archers, such as Pope, earned Ishi a nomination to the hall of fame.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Sometimes, there are odd and outre` connections that people make in life, and they cannot be explained except by sheer random combinations of events. In 1972, writerfella attended the Clarion Writers Workshop that had found a new home at the University of Washington in Seattle. The second week of the workshop, the guest instructor was famed SF writer Ursula K. LeGuin. She was a hippie all the way, going barefoot, wearing merchant marine clothing, and a funny little round hat. We called her Mama Buntho, because without a moment's notice, she would go into her 'chimp act,' and she'd stalk the room as an ape, looking through people's hair and walking on all fours. Ursula most especially took an interest in writerfella, and then we found out why. The 'K' in her name was Kroeber, and she was the daughter of the anthropologist couple who found and then studied Ishi. The books written on Ishi were by the Kroebers and she knew Ishi when she was a little child.
Holey Moley! This is the kind of serendipitous experience with which writerfella always has been gifted and cultivated TOTALLY WITHOUT HIS OWN VOLITION! Today, writerfella still gets Xmas cards from Ursula K. LeGuin, because she said that writerfella reminded her of Ishi...
All Best
Russ Bates