Maria Tallchief

Tallchief in 1961, Dance Magazine, page 33

Birth Name: Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief

Date of Birth: January 24, 1925

Place of Birth: Fairfax, Oklahoma, U.S.

Date of Death: April 11, 2013

Place of Death: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

*father – Osage Native American
*mother – Scottish, Irish

Maria Tallchief was an American ballerina. She was considered the U.S.’s first major prima ballerina. She was the first Native American to hold the rank, and is said to have revolutionized ballet.

She was the daughter of Ruth Porter and Alexander Joseph Tall Chief, a member of the Osage Nation. She was married to Chicago contractor Henry D. Paschen, until his death. The couple had a daughter, poet Elise Paschen.

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