The story opens with this character at the age of twelve. She is a girl with long black hair and a member of a small tribe that lives in a village called Ghalas-at on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. She ages throughout the story into an older woman, and when she is rescued, she could be nearly thirty. Won-a-pa-lei is her public name and means "Girl With The Long Black Hair."
She is very family oriented and does things for the good of the tribe rather than just for herself. She has a love of nature and all things living. She is very self-sufficient with wonderful survival skills. She learns great respect for her ancestors and how to cope with loneliness by being happy with herself and making relationships with everything around her.
Karana's six-year-old brother has a very curious, adventurous nature and will...
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