List of Native American artists from Oklahoma

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This list indexes notable Native American artists from Oklahoma, Oklahoma Territory, or Indian Territory. Artists listed in this index were born in, at one time lived in, or presently live in what is now Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Territory territory of the USA between 1890-1907

The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma.

Indian Territory U.S. 17th-, 18th- and early-20th-century territory set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

As general terms, Indian Territory, the Indian Territories, or Indian country describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the government was one of assimilation.


Basket weavers

Lena Blackbird is a Cherokee artist living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She is best known for her Cherokee double-walled basket weaving. She was the first of the Cherokee basket makers to decorate the tops of her baskets and incorporate vases within her baskets. Blackbird's customary artist mark is seen in a chain pattern on the top of her baskets.

Cherokee Nation Domestic dependent nation

The Cherokee Nation, also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century and includes people descended from members of the Old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokee who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Larry Echo Hawk, former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the current Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest".

Mike Dart Cherokee basketweaver from Fairfield, Oklahoma

Mike Dart is a Native American artist of the Cherokee Nation, who is one of the few Western Cherokee men who specialize in Cherokee basketry.

Bead artists

Martha Berry, Cherokee Nation bead artist Martha berry cherokee beadworker.jpg
Martha Berry, Cherokee Nation bead artist
Richard Aitson Kiowa-Kiowa Apache bead artist and poet from Oklahoma

Richard Aitson is a Kiowa-Kiowa Apache bead artist, curator, and poet from Oklahoma.

Kiowa nation of American Indians of the Great Plains

Kiowa people are a Native American tribe and an indigenous people of the Great Plains. They migrated southward from western Montana into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in the 17th and 18th centuries, and finally into the Southern Plains by the early 19th century. In 1867, the Kiowa were moved to a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma.

Martha Berry (artist) American artist

Martha Berry is a Cherokee beadwork artist, who has been highly influential in reviving traditional Cherokee and Southeastern beadwork, particularly techniques from the pre-Removal period. She has been recognized as a Cherokee National Treasure. Her work is shown in museums around the United States.

Ceramic artists

Mel Cornshucker is a contemporary Cherokee potter living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who works in stoneware, porcelain, and raku clay. Cornshucker is known for his high-fire stoneware, decorated with hand-painted, Native-inspired motifs and designs.

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe of Cherokee Native Americans headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. According to the UKB website, its members are mostly descendants of "Old Settlers" or "Western Cherokee," the Cherokee who migrated to present-day Arkansas and Oklahoma about 1817. Some reports estimate that Old Settlers began migrating west by 1800. This was before the forced relocation of Cherokee from the Southeast in the late 1830s under the Indian Removal Act. Although politically the UKB is not associated with the Trail of Tears, many of the membership have direct ancestors that completed the harrowing journey in 1838/1839.

Anita Fields is an Osage/Muscogee Creek Native American artist from the U.S. state of Oklahoma.


Myra Yvonne Chouteau was one of the "Five Moons" or Native prima ballerinas of Oklahoma. She was the only child of Col. Corbett Edward and Lucy Arnett Chouteau. She was born March 7, 1929 in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1943, she became the youngest dancer ever accepted to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she worked for fourteen years, In 1962, she and her husband, Miguel Terekhov, founded the first fully accredited university dance program in the United States, the School of Dance at the University of Oklahoma. A member of the Shawnee Tribe, she is also of ethnic French ancestry, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Maj. Jean Pierre Chouteau. From the Chouteau family of St. Louis, he established Oklahoma's oldest European-American settlement, at the present site of Salina, in 1796. She grew up in Vinita, Oklahoma.

Shawnee Tribe

The Shawnee Tribe is a federally recognized Native American tribe in Oklahoma. Also known as the Loyal Shawnee, they are one of three federally recognized Shawnee tribes. The others are the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

Rosella Hightower ballerina and ballet teacher

Rosella Hightower was an American ballerina who achieved fame in both the United States and Europe.

Diverse traditional artists

Vanessa Paukeigope Jennings, Kiowa-Pima-Kiowa Apache regalia maker Vanessa Paukeigope Jennings.jpg
Vanessa Paukeigope Jennings, Kiowa-Pima-Kiowa Apache regalia maker

Mildred Cleghorn was first chairperson of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe.

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe is the federally recognized Native American tribe of Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache in Oklahoma.

Vanessa Jennings Native American traditional artist

Vanessa Paukeigope (Santos) (Morgan) Jennings is a Kiowa-Kiowa Apache-Gila River Pima regalia maker, clothing designer, cradleboard maker, and bead artist from Oklahoma.


Fashion designers

Installation artists



Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Absentee Shawnee-Seminole painter and printmaker Benjamin harjo.jpg
Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Absentee Shawnee-Seminole painter and printmaker
Virginia Stroud, United Keetoowah Band painter Virginia stround ukb.jpg
Virginia Stroud, United Keetoowah Band painter
Ernest Spybuck, Absentee Shawnee painter, ca. 1910 ErnestSpybuck1910.jpg
Ernest Spybuck, Absentee Shawnee painter, ca. 1910




Harvey Pratt, Cheyenne-Arapaho painter and sculptor Harvey Pratt.JPG
Harvey Pratt, Cheyenne-Arapaho painter and sculptor

See also

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Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area

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Sharron Ahtone Harjo Contemporary Kiowa painter and ledger artists

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Southern Plains Indian Museum Native American art and cultural museum in Anadarko, Oklahoma

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