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Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Biographical and research files

Biographical and research files

Biographical and research files

Research files

Research files

Research files

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Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection, 1968-1994 | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

By Stephanie Brown, Assistant Archivist

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Collection Overview

Title: Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection, 1968-1994Add to your cart.

ID: MS/025

Primary Creator: Dauenhauer, Richard L. (1942-2014)

Extent: 6.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 00/00/1994

Subjects: Tlingit Indians--History.

Languages: English, Tlingit

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains six boxes of working files from scholars Richard Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer while researching and composing their books Haa Kusteeyi, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories (1994), Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, For Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory (1990), and Haa Shuka: Our Ancestors (1987) that were joint published by Sealaska Heritage Institute and University of Washington Press. The Dauenhauers were employees of the Sealaska Heritage Institute while these working files were generated.

Regarding the content of the working files, these consist of interviews the Dauenhauers conducted various Tlingit elders, as well as compiled biographical files on certain Tlingit elders and topics, which contain some primary source materials not published in the books. Some of these working and biographical files contain correspondence, transcripts, interviews, clippings, programs, genealogical information, and other. The collection also contains documents from an oral transcription project (translation of speeches from Tlingit to English) undertaken by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Some of the final translations appear at the end of Haa Kusteeyi and Haa Tuwunaagu Yis. Some biographical information collected in the course of research for this book would also later be included in Haa Kusteeyi. Folder 18 in Box 5 contains documents relating to Haa Shuka, and consists mostly of the University of Washington Press’ correspondence with the Dauenhauers regarding editing and other technical matters. All in all, this collection documents the process of writing these three major Tlingit studies books and provides valuable biographical and cultural information on various Tlingit elders and Tlingit culture.

Biographical Note

Richard L. Dauenhauer (1942-2014) was an American poet and translator who married into, and became an expert on, the Tlingit nation of southeastern Alaska. His wife is the Tlingit poet and scholar Nora Marks Dauenhauer. Richard, who went by Dick, held a B.A. in Russian and Slavic languages from Syracuse University, a M.A. in German from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin Madison, with his dissertation titled “Text and Context of Tlingit Oral Tradition.” He studied in Finland under a Fulbright Fellowship in 1966-1967, before coming to Alaska in the late 1960s to teach at Alaska Methodist University. He was an author and poet and published several volumes of poetry as well as translations of poetry from languages including German, Russian, Finnish, and classical Greek. In 1981, he was named to a four-year term as Poet Laureate of Alaska. In the most recent decades Dauenhauer’s work focused on the Tlingit of Southeast Alaska. He worked for the Sealaska Heritage Institute during the 1980s and 1990s, before moving to University of Alaska Southeast, where he became President's Professor of Alaska Native Languages. The author of numerous articles and book chapters, together the Richard Dauenhauer and his wife Nora Marks Dauenhauer were also the author-editors of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s highly regarded Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature series, titles which include, Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives (1987), Haa Tuwanáagu Yís, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory (1992), Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories. (1994), and Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804 (2008).

Subject/Index Terms

Tlingit Indians--History.

Administrative Information

Repository: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Acquisition Source: Sealaska Heritage Institute

Acquisition Method: The materials in this collection were transferred to SHI archives following the publication of each of the books. Transfers to Special Collections for files concerning Haa Kusteeyi occurred in 1994, Haa Tuwunaagu in 1990, and Haa Shuka in 1987. Accession numbers: 1987.001, 1990.001, and 1994.001

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Biographical and research files],
[Box 2: Biographical and research files],
[Box 3: Biographical and research files],
[Box 4: Research files],
[Box 5: Research files],
[Box 6: Research files],

Box 4: Research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:  Documents concerning references for the Haa Kusteeyi, contains correspondence with university on the proper form of citations, May 1994, note cards listing references, rough draft copies of the reference section, May 1994, March, April 1994, notes on revisions.

Fd  2 : Documents concerning Tlingit language, including charts of various verbs and verb tenses, summary of Dauenhauer book, Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, copy of introduction to book, copies of photos in book, with  handwritten comments, undated.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning NEH oratory translation project worked on by Nora Dauenhauer at Sealaska Elders Conference May, 1980, includes agreement between Nora Dauenhauer stating Sealaska’s support of her project, list of names of people to interview,  research notes, Tlingit and English.

Fd 4:    Austin Hammond and David Kadashan, and Jessie Dalton, oratories, transcripts of interviews in Tlingit, October, November 1983.

Fd 5:    Documents concerning Matthew Lawrence and Jessie Dalton oratories, contains original edited version of oratory, in Tlingit, Draft #1, (on SM disc), September 1983, Draft #2 (on disc), September 1983, Draft #3, October, 1983, Drafts of Jessie Dalton oratory, November-December 1983.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning Johnny Jackson oratory, contains drafts from 1985 regarding his words at the Kake totem pole rising in 1971, January 1985, drafts of translation response to totem speech, 1985.

Fd 7:    Contains glossary terms used in oratory project, 1987.

Fd 8:    Contains introduction to oratory project, contains handwritten rough draft, undated.

Fd 9:    Contains documents giving information on what classrooms, families and communities can do to acknowledge and celebrate Tlingit culture.

Fd 10: Contains transcripts from speeches recorded on wax cylinder 1/2/1987.

Fd 11: Contains translations from Kett Yaahaayee potlatch, 11/19/1979.

Fd 12:  Old oratory printouts, December 1987-January 1988.

Fd 13: Oratory originals, contains rough draft of potlatch oratory project, February 1984.

Fd 14:  Contains documents re Jessie Dalton, translation of speech on the significance of clan crests, undated, with research notes, undated, also contains paper by Nora Dauenhauer “Levels of Mediation in Tlingit Oratory.”       

Fd 15: Contains notes on oratory re Austin Hammond, noting that Nora Dauenhauer transcribed and annotated this speech.

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