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Dauenhauer, Nora Marks (1927-) | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Dauenhauer, Nora Marks (1927-)

Historical Note: Nora Marks Dauenhauer (b. 1927) is an American poet, short-story writer, and a scholar of the language and traditions of the Tlingit Indians of Southeast Alaska. Nora Marks herself is Tlingit, and was born May 8, 1927, the first of sixteen children of Emma Marks (1913-2006) of Yakutat, Alaska, and Willie Marks (1902-1981), a Tlingit from near Juneau, Alaska. Nora's Tlingit name at birth was Keixwnéi, and following her mother in the Tlingit matrilineal system, she is a member of the Raven moiety, L’ukaax.ádi clan, and of the Shaka Hít or Canoe Prow House, from Alsek River. Emma's maternal grandfather had been Frank Italio (1870-1956), an informant to the anthropologist Frederica de Laguna whose knowledge was incorporated into De Laguna's 1972 ethnography of the northern Tlingit, Under Mount St. Elias. In circa 1972 Nora was selected and endorsed by Tlingit elders to document the Tlingit culture, and since that time Nora collected recordings and interviewed Tlingit elders. Nora earned a degree in anthropology and, with her husband Richard Dauenhauer, a poet and translator, she has authored numerous articles and also co-edited the Sealaska Heritage Institute's highly regarded four volume Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature series, titles which includes, 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 (2009).

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