Our Exhibition, Coming Home: Ishi's Long Journey, will be open through July 26th.

The CSUC Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology presents:
Coming Home: Ishi’s Long Journey
Open through July 26, 2012
Tuesday-Saturday 11:00a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Call for group tour reservations or other special arrangements
Location: CSUC campus, Meriam Library complex room 180
Contact:Adrienne Scott or Heather McCafferty

A hundred years ago, on August 29, 1911, Ishi, the last living member of a small band of Yahi Indians, chose to walk into the Euro-American society of the early 20th Century.   As the centennial of Ishi’s arrival in Oroville closes in December, the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology will open an exhibition to reflect on aspects of Ishi’s story. The exhibit will run through July 26, 2012.

The exhibition traces his many encounters, transformations and adaptations to the modern world.  From the beginning of his journey with a short stay in the Oroville jail to entering Victorian society in San Francisco, Ishi became a part of a new chapter in Native American history.  With Professor Alfred Kroeber in the anthropology department of the University of California, Berkeley, Ishi provided many first-hand insights into a bygone lifeway and became a living exhibit on Native American culture for the university museum.  His cooperation with preserving the lifeways of the Yahi people in the face of personal tragedy and the devastating reality of the annihilation of his tribe and American Indian populations, in general,  has left us with insight, information, and material culture that help better explain the cultural practices of California Indians.

The memory of Ishi and his long journey are preserved into the future as many Native Americans and others continue to honor his life. His legacy lives on in the collective memories of other California Indian tribal groups who are still here.  

The exhibit ends with a display titled the Ishi Digital Memory Project, allowing many voices to contribute their reflections on the impact Ishi has made on their lives and this area.  The museum has provided a web cam interactive to encourage our visitors to reflect on the significance and example of Ishi’s life and its continued meaning for a new generation. The museum staff and students recognize that one exhibition, like one man, cannot represent the entire telling of a complex and still unfolding story. We invite you to join the story…

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Museum Hours

Tuesday - Saturday
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Note: The Museum of Anthropology is completely wheelchair accessible.

Our Location

The museum is located in the Meriam Library complex, next to the Janet Turner Museum


Museum of Anthropology
CSU, Chico 95929-0400

Contact Us
Phone: 530-898-5397