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Archaeologist Finds The Cave Of The Lone Woman AKA Karana From “Island Of The Blue Dolphins”

Wow. This takes me back. Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz has found the cave of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas island—a.k.a. the woman who inspired Scott O’Dell‘s YA classic Island of the Blue Dolphins, one of my favorite books growing up.

The woman was a member of the Nicoleño tribe, which had to leave its island home off the coast of California after an 1814 massacre perpetrated by sea otter hunters from Alaska (those darn sea otter hunters) left the tribe devastated. Franciscan fathers packed all the Nicoleños on a ship and took them to the mainland—all except the Lone Woman, who went back because her baby had been left behind. (In O’Dell’s book it was her brother.) The Lone Woman lived alone on the island for 18 years before being found in 1853 by a rancher and taken to Santa Barbara, where she died seven weeks later of dysentery. Read more…

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