A Dance with Maria Tallchief, First Native American Prima Ballerina

Maria Tallchief, Native American Prima Ballerina, National Women's History Month

Image Credit: Walter Owen

Breaking barriers in the ballet is the reason why we are spotlighting Maria Tallchief in celebration of National Women’s History Month. Maria Tallchief was a revolutionary American ballerina who broke barriers for Native American women and became the first Native American woman (Osage Tribe) to become a prima ballerina. Elizabeth Marie “Betty” Tall Chief (Osage family name: Ki He Kah Stah Tsa) was the first American to dance at the Paris Opera and has danced with the Paris Opera Ballet, the Ballet Russe, and the Balanchine Ballet Society, later renamed the New York City Ballet.

Maria Tallchief, Native American Prima Ballerina, Dancer

Photograph: AY Owen/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Maria Tallchief donning a headdress in 1953, the year she was honored by the state of Oklahoma.

She was a world-renowned ballerina and one of the premiere (first-ranking) American ballerinas of all time. In addition to wide fame, Tallchief earned strong reviews from critics for her technical precision, musicality, and strength. In 1996, Tallchief was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and became one of only five artists to receive the Kennedy Center Honors for their artistic contributions in the United States.

In 1999, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, which is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. government. Such recognition honors individuals who “are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States.”

Celebrating female pioneers during #NationalWomensHistoryMonth!


I had no idea it was National Popcorn Poppin Month!

National Popcorn Poppin Month, Popcorn

As I was getting comfy, since the temperature dropped outside to look at one of my favorite TV shows, I discovered that throughout the month of October we celebrate National Popcorn Poppin Month. Blew my mind! I had no idea that popcorn had a national commemoration. National Popcorn Poppin Month became official when Dan Glickman who was the Secretary of Agriculture in 1999, proclaimed October as the month to celebrate this food observance in.

Because of the popcorn harvest which takes place each fall in the Midwest, this is the reason why the month of October was chosen for this food observance. Popcorn was first discovered by the native Americans, who believed that the popping noise was that of an angry god who escaped the kernel. Popcorn or popping corn is a type of corn which explodes from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Special varieties are grown to give improved popping yield. Some wild types will pop, but the cultivated strain is Zea mays averta, which is a special kind of flint corn.

Popcorn was very popular in the 1890s, until World War I. As corn crops became more depleted during this war, nuts were used instead of corn. During the Depression, popcorn was a luxury at 5-10 cents a bag. When some of the other businesses failed, the popcorn business thrived.

So there you have it, another reason for celebrating food during this harvest season. So grab your favorite flavor of popcorn and enjoy a nice movie tonight! What better way to celebrate National Popcorn Poppin Month!