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LitCafé: Dr. Barbara Duncan Presents Living Stories of the Cherokee

11/09/2021 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join the Western North Carolina Historical Association via Zoom Tuesday, November 9 at 6PM as our LitCafé series continues.

Each year, we present the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award recognizing local authors or WNC-focused books which make significant contributions to our understanding of this region. In advance of our 2021 ceremony, we are revisiting the 1998 award-winning Living Stories of the Cherokee. This anthology of contemporary and historic stories from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians features creation tales, legends, ghosts, family traditions, and historical events. It features several prominent Cherokee storytellers including Freeman Owle, Marie Junaluska, and Davey Arch, and was edited and prefaced by Dr. Barbara Duncan.

About the Speaker:

Barbara R. Duncan received her Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.  She coordinated “Folk Arts in the Schools” in Macon County for several years, worked for The Foxfire Fund, and went on to spend twenty-three years at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, where she wrote grants, researched, wrote books, and coordinated festivals and community-based programs to revitalize Cherokee traditions.  Now retired from the Museum, Duncan teaches Cherokee language as Assistant Adjunct Professor at University of North Carolina Asheville.  With a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, she has created a new method for learning Cherokee language and authored a series of textbooks and a website at

Duncan has written award-winning books about Cherokee history and culture, including Living Stories of the Cherokee, which received the Thomas Wolfe Literary Award and the World Storytelling Award; and The Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook (co-authored with Brett H. Riggs) which received the Presidential Preserve Freedom Award and the Willie Parker Peace Prize. Both were published by University of North Carolina Press.  Her most recent book is Cherokee Clothing in the 1700s, published by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Duncan has received the Brown-Hudson Folklore Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society, The Phoenix Award from the Cherokee Historical Association, and the Award for Excellence in Teaching from UNCA.  She has published two books of poems, has released a CD and lives in Macon County where she enjoys gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.

Tickets: Free for WNCHA members/ $5 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.


Note: This event will broadcast live via Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with the link to join at purchase and prior to the event. Like our other virtual programs, this event will be recorded, and available on our website within a few days of airing.

Western North Carolina Historical Association received an American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant from North Carolina Humanities, Funding for this grant was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act economic stabilization plan. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of North Carolina Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)