WGBH Openvault

American Experience; Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian


License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

American Experience
Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

This film tells the story of Ishi--the last surviving member of a small Native American tribe called the Yahi. Ishi's sudden appearance in 1911 stunned the country; the Yahi had long been considered extinct. The press relentlessly hyped him as "the last wild Indian," and the San Francisco Museum built a Yahi house where audiences could watch Ishi make arrowheads and shoot with his bow. Ishi was the last of a people destroyed under an official government policy that for years rewarded white men for hunting Indians. Actress Linda Hunt narrates.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian,” 11/19/1993, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 20, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1282CE6326EB481DA545936716182BE3.
MLA: “American Experience; Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian.” 11/19/1993. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 20, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1282CE6326EB481DA545936716182BE3>.
APA: American Experience; Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1282CE6326EB481DA545936716182BE3
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.