Inspirational Native American Women: Maria Tallchief Essay

Inspirational Native American Women: Maria Tallchief Essay

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Maria Tallchief was an inspirational Native American woman for all people to look to as a role model. As a child, she was incredibly gifted in the arts. However, by growing up in an Osage family, she had to endure hardships, like bullying, that no child should ever go through. Her dreams, on the other hand, took her places when she got older. She is credited with being the first Native American prima ballerina. Because of her worldwide productions and success, Tallchief met many people and received numerous awards. This woman left behind a legacy that is a gift to the world. Maria Tallchief, of the Osage tribe, became one of the most adored and experienced ballerinas after overcoming misconceptions about her race.

Maria Tallchief had an artistic childhood. She was born on January 24, 1925, in Fairfax, Oklahoma, on the Osage Indian Reserve. Her father was a full-blooded Osage Native American. However, her mother was Scottish and Irish. As a child, Tallchief loved playing outside. She enjoyed practicing piano and doing ballet, too (Technological Solutions, Inc.). Sometimes, her mother would sneak her to see an Osage pow-wow, so she could experience their culture through what she loved. The arts had such a large impact on her that she devoted most of her free time to piano and ballet. This time of happiness did not last long, however. When Tallchief was eight, her family moved to Los Angeles, California, and everything changed.

For Maria Tallchief, moving to California brought struggles and hardships, but some things really helped her grow as a dancer. For example, at public schools in Beverly Hills, no one respected her background. The children would make fun of her last name. Also, the kids made war whoops at her and asked why sh...

... middle of paper ...

...o grace their stage. The awards she received proved that she is a noteworthy ballerina. Maria Tallchief, from the Osage tribe, used her given talents to make a name for herself as the first Native American prima ballerina.

Works Cited

Anderson, J. (2013, April 12). Maria Tallchief, a Dazzling Ballerina and Muse for Balanchine, Dies at 88. New York Times. Retrieved from
Maria Tallchief Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Tallchief, M., & Kaplan, L. (1997). Chapter 1. Maria Tallchief: America's prima ballerina (pp. 4-18). New York: Henry Holt.
Technological Solutions, Inc.. (n.d.). Biography for Kids: Maria Tallchief. Retrieved from

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