was born in Denver, Colorado, and lived her first seventeen
years in Telluride, a mining camp in the Rocky Mountains. Across
the range, a day's horseback ride from Telluride, was another
mining camp, Ouray, named for the Ute Indian, Chief Ouray. Mrs.
Kroeber says, "My brothers and I took Indians pretty much for
granted. Our horses came from Ute Indians who trained them to
take the steep trails at an easy gait which did not jolt and
tire horses or rider. We rode horseback to visit cliff dwellings
before the road was put into Mesa Verde Park; and the floors of
our home were covered with rugs from the looms of Navajo women
who wove them."
husband, Alfred Kroeber, was Chairman of the Department of
Anthropology and Curator of the Museum of Anthropology and
Ethnology of the University of California when Ishi was
discovered in 1911. He and Ishi became close friends. Professor
and Mrs. Kroeber and their four children came to know many
Indians, some of whom visited the Kroebers in their home in
worked with Mr. Kroeber, dictating to him the words of their
language, and telling him the Way of Life of their people. Many
returned year after year to spend some weeks --- perhaps their
vacation --- with the Kroebers. When work for the day was done,
then children and grown-ups played shinny in old Indian way: or
they practiced shooting the bow; or they went swimming; or
played croquet. And in the evening, they sat around the fire and
talked and told stories. Sometimes they sang songs and danced an
Indian dance to the accompaniment of a gourd rattle.
is the author of The Inland Whale, a collection of
California Indian tales, and Ishi In Two Worlds, and
anthropological study of Ishi's life and times. Mrs. Kroeber
says, "When I write, I turn most often to something Indian. This
is not because I am [an] Indian 'specialist,' or feel that I
have anything novel to say about Indians, but because I find
their stories beautiful and true and their way of telling a
story to be also my way."
Theodora. Ishi, Last of His Tribe. 5th ed., 1973;
rpt. A Bantom
Book/Published by arrangement with Parnassus Press, 1964, P.