In 1911, a man known as “Ishi” (the name just means man in his language), believed to be the last of the Yahi people, emerged from the wilderness after 44 years.
He was taken from Oroville, California to San Francisco by an anthropologist, to work with a group that wanted to learn more about Ishi’s language and culture.
When the train came into the station to take him to San Francisco, Ishi went to stand quietly behind a pillar. Puzzled, the researchers beckoned to him, and Ishi joined them and got on the train.
They asked him about it later, and he said his people had seen the smoky, noisy train snaking through the valley for many years, with faces visible through the windows. The Yahi had always believed it was a demon that ate people.
The researchers asked, if that is what he believed, how could he have possibly gathered the courage to get on board?
Ishi’s response was:
“Well, my life has taught me to be more curious than afraid.”