JULY 3, 1907


Dean was born on the Delaware Reservation, at Glen Oak, Oklahoma (OK). Her Lenape name meant “Touching Leaves Woman.” A full-blood Delaware, Nora dedicated herself to keeping her tribe’s traditions alive through Lenape religious ceremonies, social functions, dances, craftwork, herbal medicines & language (Unami). She was consulted by tribal members, anthropologists, linguists, historians, botanists & ethnomusicologists. In 1967, Dean founded Touching Leaves Indian Crafts, selling traditional Lenape items. For both her craftwork and for preserving Lenape traditions, she earned commendations from the OK House of Representatives and the Governors of OK, Delaware, and Pennsylvania; a Fellowship Award from the Archaeological Society of New Jersey; and being declared an OK Ambassador of Good Will by the governor. Dean died in Bartlesville, OK, on November 29, 1984.

  “Touching Leaves: A Look Into the Life of Nora Thompson Dean,” American History, 5/16/2018. Retrieved 12/7/2021, Touching Leaves: A Look Into the Life of Nora Thompson Dean | World History
Photo: James Rementer, circa 1973.  Permissive Use.

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