Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Year Of" Movie TODAY at the Funk Heritage Center: The Last of His Tribe

On behalf of the Year of North American Indigeneous Peoples committee, I would like to invite you to come out to the Funk Heritage Center today at 2 pm for a showing of the 1992 HBO production The Last of His Tribe, starring Graham Greene, Jon Voight and David Ogden Stiers. This film is based on the true story of "Ishi", believed to be the last member of the Yahi Nation. Ishi is also believed to be the last indigenous person in California to have lived most of his life completely outside the European-American culture.

The film is set in the early 20th century, when a group of ranchers "discover" Ishi. When it is learned that Ishi is that curiosity known as a "wild Indian" and the lone survivor of a people thought to be extinct, he starts to attract attention. He is taken into custody by the local sheriff and then brought to the San Francisco Museum of Anthropology. There he meets Professor Alfred Kroeber, who wants to write a book about him. Professor Kroeber gives Ishi a job and teaches him English. As the two men grow to know and to trust each other, Ishi tells Kroeber the heartrending story of how his people were wiped out by the white man.

The Last of His Tribe is based in part on the book Ishi in Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber, Alfred's wife. (Theodora and Ishi never actually met in person).

As always, "Year Of" chairman and Library Director Michael Martinez will be on hand to offer his commentary and answer questions about the film.

Don't forget our contest! If you watch any "Year Of" movie or read any "Year Of" book and write a brief review (one or two paragraphs), you could win a t-shirt and a flash drive! Submit your reviews to Karen Preslock at by the 15th of each month to be eligible for that month's prize. Every entrant will be entered into a drawing for a Nintendo Wii to be given away at the end of the school year. The more times you enter, the better your chances of winning!

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