The year is 1911 and it’s a summer’s day in northern California. Here, some slaughterhouse workers spot a man apparently trying to make off with some meat from their yard. They apprehend the stranger, who is emaciated and apparently starving. But once his true identity emerges, the man’s story hits the front pages and astonishes the world.
The man that those slaughterhouse workers had stumbled across near the city of Oroville in Butte County was actually a Native American. He was a member of the Yahi tribe, a northern Californian offshoot of the wider Yana people. Later, he came to be known by the name of Ishi. That word simply means “man” in the Yana tongue.