Friday, May 6, 2016

Science: Lone Native Island Woman (video)

Sifting Facts from Fiction: The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, coastal Los Angeles

Possible photo of "Karana" (Juana Maria)
A US Navy scientist reveals recent discoveries about what really happened to the lone Native American woman at the center of the fictional book by Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins. She was Tongva as the Los Angeles tribe inhabited the southern Channel Islands rather than Chumash, who inhabited the northern islands.
  • During the November 2012 "From Shore to Sea" lecture, US Navy senior archeologist and historian Steve Schwartz tells the story of the remarkable and recent discovery of a long-sought-after cave on San Nicolas Island that was likely the home of the "lone woman" (
A Visit to San Nicolas Island

Karana, Island of the Blue Dolphins
A unique cluster of artifacts was found eroding out of a cliff face along the coast of San Nicolas Island. Two asphaltum-sealed redwood boxes, three asphaltum-coated water bottles, and other Native American (Tongva, Alaskan, European) artifacts were discovered cached on a ledge above the shoreline. Numerous artifacts of Californian and Aleutian design were found within the boxes as were items indicative of European contact, including iron nails and glass artifacts. This film includes selections from over 3,600 still photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and 20 hours of video footage documenting the recovery of the cache and the laboratory excavation of the contents of the redwood boxes.

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