Leaving the Island: Chapter 29

Woman posing in whalebone hut reconstructed from remains of shelter possibly built by the Lone Woman. Photo taken in 1941. Courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
Woman posing in whalebone hut reconstructed from remains of shelter possibly built by the Lone Woman. Photo taken in 1941. Courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.

Two years later, the ship returns to Coral Cove. Karana sees three men set up camp on the shore. Karana decides to meet them and she prepares to leave the island. She puts on her otter cape, cormorant skin dress, and black stone necklace.

The men spot the smoke from her fire and visit Karana at her home. One of the men wears a long grey robe and a string of beads with a wooden ornament. Karana does not understand what the man’s dress and ornament symbolize, and she doesn’t understand the words the men speak. But she knows that they want her to go with them to the ship. She shows them three baskets she has packed with belongings that she wishes to take.

Karana accompanies the men to their camp on the shore. Although they admire her cormorant skin gown, one of the men also sews her a new dress out of material from men’s trousers. The group stays at Coral Cove for nine days. The men want to hunt sea otters but the otters have gone away.

On the tenth day, the ship leaves the island with Karana, her dog Rontu-aru, and her two birds in their cage.

Life on the Mainland

Last updated: June 26, 2018