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Lena Farkas and Nellie Lord
montage of lena farkas and nellie lord

Lena Farkas and Nellie Lord were interviewed by Bill Schneider on July 11, 1995 at the National Park Service office in Yakutat, Alaska. This is the second interview conducted by William Schneider with Nellie Lord. She set up the interviews and in this one was joined by her sister, Lena Farkas. Lena tells the migration story of the people who came from Copper Center and both women demonstrate how this is depicted on beaded blankets and jackets.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 95-71-32

Project: Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Date of Interview: Jul 11, 1995
Narrator(s): Nellie Lord, Lena Farkas
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Introduction and the different clans in Yakutat

2) Origins of the Yakutat clans

3) The blanket migration story

4) Description of a Mount St. Elias crest blanket made by Lena and Nellie's mother

5) The Copper River Staff and the care of blankets

6) Interaction with people from the Copper River area

7) A dance shirt made by Nellie and Lena's mother

8) Description of a Diving Raven Dance shirt made for Dick Henry by Emma Johnson

9) Description of another Diving Raven dance shirt

10) Description of a dance shirt made by Marie Shodda

11) Description of a dance shirt that belongs to Lena's grandson

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Lord, Nellie\ Farkas, Lena\ clans -- Eagle\ clans -- Raven\ clans -- houses\ (Bell) House\ Bear House\ Shark House\ Bear Paw House\ Thunderbird House\ Beaver House\ clans -- Kuskokan\ Owl House\ Loon House\ (Fort) House\ Mount Fairweather House\ Boulder House

Section 2: Dry Bay\ crests -- Thunderbird\ (Ahrnklin) River\ Situk River\ Lost River\ Yakutat Bay\ Katalla Bay\ crests -- Beaver\ crests -- Golden Eagle\ Bear Paw House\ clans -- Raven\ Raven's Bone House\ Icy Bay\ Copper River -- migrations\ crests -- Owl\ Moon House\ (Fort) House\ Dry Bay\ Italio River\ Boulder House\ Auke Bay\ St. Elias\ Icy Bay

Section 3: migrations\ Copper River\ Ahtna\ Copper Platter\ Moose Dish Platter\ Mount St. Elias\ Icy Bay\ potlatch\ houses -- construction\ (Fort) House\ Owl House\ Raven Bone House\ Knight Island\ Humpy Creek\ land -- sales\ migrations\ Yakutat\ (Kantak) Island\ Moon House\ Moon Posts\ runways\ Lost River\ Kantak Island\ Old Village -- Yakutat\ Moon Posts\ Moon House\ Smithsonian Institution

Section 4: crests -- Mount St. Elias\ Johnson, Emma\ blanket -- description\ weather -- forecasts\ crests -- Moon\ crests -- Northstar

Section 5: Copper River Staff\ Farkas, Lena -- brother Charles\ blankets -- locations\ walking staffs -- locations\ caretakers\ objects of cultural patrimony

Section 6: Copper Diggers\ Copper River\ slaves -- purchasing\ copper -- barter\ copper -- dishes\ copper -- plates\ copper -- shields\ copper -- medium of exchange\ name giving\ Mount St. Elias

Section 7: blankets -- construction\ felt\ buttons\ buttons -- pearl\ buttons -- abalone\ trading -- blankets\ wool -- blanket panels\ blankets -- prestige\ blankets -- identification

Section 8: Johnson, Emma\ Henry, Dick\ St. Elias Dance group\ dance shirts -- designs\ Diving Raven\ beads\ kelp\ spirits\ salmon -- humpies

Section 9: dance shirts\ Diving Raven\ beads -- design\ kelp\ spirits\ salmon\ sea urchins

Section 10: dance shirts\ Shodda, Marie\ belts\ Hanson, Ramona\ Farkas, Lena -- daughter\ designs -- salmon\ beads -- design\ Porter, Mary Ann\ Mount St. Elias\ moose hide

Section 11: dance shirts\ White, Charlie\ White, Jennie\ St. Elias Dance Group\ designs -- Raven\ shirts -- description\ belts\ Farkas, Lena -- son\ Farkas, Lena -- grandson