H-1 cast was
molded from a point that Ishi had made out of clear glass. The cast has
been tinted black to look more like Obsidian. Ishi used either glass or
Obsidian to make most of his arrow points. This point measures 2 13/16
H-2 cast was molded from an
arrow point Ishi made out of opaque black obsidian. The notching on this
example is very well done. The cast matches the originals' color very
well. It measures 2 1/4 inches long.
DRAWING OF ISHI
PRESSURE FLAKING AN ARROW POINT
BY LIZ KASSLY
Ishi become one of the most famous native American Indians ever known in
North America. He surrendered himself to the European world in 1911 when
he walked out of the foothills near Mount Lassen in California. He came
out not long after his family had all been killed by local white settlers
who had also destroyed their camp equipment. He became known as the last "Wild Indian" and came into the hands of T. T. Waterman and Alfred l.
Kroeber who were
anthropologists that recorded his language and studied his native crafts.
He was well advertised in the newspapers of his time and during the next five
years thousands of visitors watched him chip arrow points, shape bows and
make fire using skills that were developed through countless generations.
Ishi died on March 25, 1916 of tuberculosis. He was the last of his
tribe who he called the Yahi. They were a separate group of Indians not
yet recorded and even spoke a different language. The year of 1911, when Ishi entered
the white man's world, is recognized as the end of the
Historic Period in North America.
The most impressive area of his flintknapping skill was his
ability to do the fine expanding notches these points are known for. The
notches are very narrow as they enter at the edges but expand considerably
towards the center. This type of notching is difficult to do.
GLASS ARROW POINTS
The clear glass
point in the center of this picture was made by Ishi. The other points
were surface collected several years ago on Late Stone Age sites in
California. Primitive cultures used glass when it was available to make
projectile points, scrapers or knives. In Australia, glass in the form of
old bottles and electric insulators were used to make Kimberly spear
PICTURE FOR LARGE IMAGE
POINTSLATE STONE AGE
PRIVATE & ST. LOUIS
SCIENCE CENTER COLLECTIONS
The Large Obsidian blade in this picture is from Siskiyou Co.,
California and measures 30 inches long. The four points in the
center are laying on the Sweetwater Biface from Texas and were all made by Ishi. The two in the center are made of
glass and the two on the ends are made of black Obsidian. The other
arrow points in this picture were all made of glass and were surface
collected many years ago in California.