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Island of the Blue Dolphins

From Openwaterpedia
San Nicolas Island among the California Channel Islands
Santa Barbara Channel Islands

Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 1960 novel by Scott O'Dell that was awarded the Newbery Medal. The book tells the story of the most famous resident of San Nicolas Island, known as the "Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island", christened Juana Maria.

Juana Maria[edit]

Maria's birth name was never known to anyone on the mainland. She was left behind when the rest of the Nicoleños Indians were moved to the California mainland. She resided on the island alone for 18 years before she was found by Captain George Nidever and his crew in 1853 and brought back to Santa Barbara. She died seven weeks later.


San Nicolas was originally the home of the Nicoleño people, who were probably related to the Tongva of the mainland and Santa Catalina Island. It was named for Saint Nicholas by Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno after he sighted the island on the saint's feast day (6 December 1602). The Nicoleños were evacuated in the early 19th century by the padres of the California mission system. Within a few years of their removal from the island, the Nicoleño people and their unique language became extinct.

Island of the Blue Dolphins[edit]

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