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Ishi

Ishi

Historical Category - Bowhunters who have impacted the history of the sport.


For Ishi archery was not a sport or a game but a sacred art that enabled him and his people, the Yana Indians, to live. No aspect of his archery was taken lightly, from the careful selection of a perfect piece of Mountain Juniper from which to make a bow, to the careful chipping of each arrowhead. 

Having lost all of his people Ishi joined the white mans world with the grace of a visiting dignitary. His doctor Saxton Pope became one of his closest friends. They spent many hours in Golden Gate Park shooting various types of bows. Ishi taught Pope the love and lore of Indian archery. Many trips were taken hunting small game with their bows and arrows. In 1914 they returned to Ishi's native land. Pope learned the skills and secrets of real game hunting with a bow and arrow. 

In 1915 Ishi contracted TB. He remained at his home in the Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco until 1916. Ever uncomplaining he preferred to be among those he knew. To quote Saxton Pope, "His soul was that of a child, his mind that of a philosopher. With him there was no word for good-by, he said, "you stay, I go." He has gone and he hunts with his people. We stay and he has left with us the heritage of the bow." 


 
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