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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 5: Research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Contains  rough drafts typed by Nora Dauenhauer concerning Tlingit oratory project, and copy of research paper entitled  “Levels of Mediation in Tlingit Oratory” also written by Nora Dauenhauer, 1975.

`Fd 2:  Contains notes concerning Jessie Dalton oratory, 1971-1972, 1975, contains handwritten notes on Tlingit/English translations.

Fd 3:    Contains documents concerning “Mrs. Florendo,” an organizer of the Marks Trail Tlingit Dancers, and who was knowledgeable about the Tlingit language, and had an extensive background in teaching Tlingit in local Juneau schools as well 1967, one document concerning Jessie Dalton, outline of oratory and themes in her speech, undated.

Fd 4:    Contains notes and rough drafts on oratory speech by Jessie Dalton, 1971.

Fd 5:    Contains drafts of translations of oratory speech by David Kadashan, from ANB conference in Hoonah, 1976.

Fd 6:    Contains drafts of translations of Kake Totem speech given by Jimmy George, February 18, 1987, August 1985.

Fd7:    Contains drafts of translations of A. P. Johnson’s speech and sayings, 1987.

Fd 8:    Contains notes on various subjects being covered in the oratory project, 1984, and a draft of introduction to the Tlingit oratory project.

Fd 9:    Contains rough drafts of research paper entitled “Because We Cherish You: Treatment of Shaman Spirits in Contemporary Tlingit Oratory,” presented by Nora Dauenhauer in Zagreb, Yugoslavia (in 1988) at conference on shamanism and spiritualty, also contains letters and faxes to and from academics in Hungary regarding the conference.

Fd 10:  Contains rough drafts and notes regarding explanations of Tlingit memorial services, especially potlatches, and translation of memorial service for Philip James.

Fd 11:  Contains documents concerning Johnny C. Jackson, contains rough drafts of biography, 1988, correspondence regarding accuracy of documents in the biography, sent to Jackson family member, July 1988, memo concerning biography, July 1988, hand written research notes from 1980s, family tree, newspaper article on Kake totem raising, 1971.

Fd 12:  Contains drafts and documents concerning oratory speech by Tom Peters (from 1972), contains revisions and translations from 1987 and 1988.

Fd 13:  Contains documents concerning a memorial oratory by Willie Marks, delivered while he was hospitalized in 1976,  rough drafts of translations, January 1989, handwritten and typed notes on translations, 1980s, 1979, 1976.

Fd 14:  Contains documents concerning welcome oratory by Jennie Thlunaut, given in 1985 to her apprentice weavers at the Chilkat Weaving workshop, contains typed rough drafts of speech, January and February 1989, July 1988, handwritten rough drafts of translations.

Fd 15:  Contains documents concerning oratory by Jimmy George and Johnny C. Jackson re Kake totem raising in 1971, includes typed notes on translations, 1988, 1986.

Fd 16:  Contains documents concerning oratory by Charlie Joseph, given at memorial for Susie Paul, in 1972, typed rough drafts of translations, December 1988, handwritten drafts of translations.

Fd 17: Contains documents concerning oratory given at memorial for Jim Marks, 1968, in Hoonah, contains typed rough drafts of translations, with handwritten notes, undated.

Fd 18: Contains correspondence concerning Haa Shuka, including suggestions regarding formatting and other editing issues, 1987, correspondence regarding inclusion of book in University of Washington Press catalogue, 1987.

Fd 19:  Contains documents on acknowledgment of NEA funding for Dauenhauer book project, documents on inclusion of books in University of Washington Press catalogue.

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