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Special Sounds in Our Studios

Marjorie Tahbone and Byron Nicholai
Community deejay Marjorie Tahbone (right) chats with Alaska Native drummer and dancer Byron Nicholai in KNOM's Studio A during Marge's popular show Alianait Radio. Photo: Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM.

After several years of service, we’re offering a heartfelt but bittersweet farewell to one of our volunteer community deejays, Marjorie Tahbone.

Marjorie, or Marge, has brought a remarkable amount of dedication and energy to her weekly, Wednesday morning show Alianait Radio (ah-lee-AH-nah-eet), in which she’s so lovingly shared the Alaska Native culture of her upbringing. Her show focused on the different types of traditional and contemporary styles of Alaska Native and world music. It’s also given her a great opportunity to share a bit of the Alaska Native language of Inupiaq (ih-NOO-pee-ock), one of the languages most common to Nome and environs. It’s a language in which Marge is both a fluent speaker and a language teacher, both at the high school and university level. In fact, she’s deejayed Alianait Radio with her Inupiaq name of Kunaq (COO-nahk).

Marjorie Tahbone in the Digital Studios
Marjorie Tahbone hosts her final installment of Alianait Radio from KNOM’s brand-new Tom and Florence Busch Digital Studios. Photo: Ric Schmidt, KNOM.

It’s no surprise that Kunaq’s weekly show has consistently been one of KNOM’s most popular, but it’s also no surprise that Marjorie’s enthusiasm as an ambassador for Alaska Native culture continues to bring her new accolades and opportunities, the latest of which require her to leave Nome for the “big city” of Anchorage, where she’ll be attending graduate school. While we at KNOM, and people throughout Western Alaska, will greatly miss her, we’re excited for what she’ll do next.

As a final example of the sorts of marvelous things Marjorie’s show brought to our listeners, the photos above and below show a visit to Marge’s show from Byron Nicholai, an accomplished Alaska Native drummer and singer.

Marge helped Byron, as pictured, share his unique talents for Alaska Native music. It was a live version of the sort of music Marge featured each week on her show, to the delight of thousands of listeners.

Byron Nicholai in Studio A
Byron Nicholai in Studio A during Alianait Radio. Photo: Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.