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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a Native American artist of the Cherokee Nation, who is one of the few Western Cherokee men who specialize in Cherokee basketry.
Richard Aitson is a Kiowa-Kiowa Apache bead artist, curator, and poet from Oklahoma.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 was an American ballerina who achieved fame in both the United States and Europe.
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 Paukeigope (Santos) (Morgan) Jennings is a Kiowa-Kiowa Apache-Gila River Pima regalia maker, clothing designer, cradleboard maker, and bead artist from Oklahoma.
Land run usually refers to a historical event in which previously restricted land of the United States was opened to homestead on a first-arrival basis. Lands were opened and sold first-come or by bid, or won by lottery, or by means other than a run. The settlers, no matter how they acquired occupancy, purchased the land from the United States Land Office. For former Indian lands, the Land Office distributed the sales funds to the various tribal entities, according to previously negotiated terms. The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the most prominent of the land runs while the Land Run of 1893 was the largest. The opening of the former Kickapoo area in 1895 was the last use of a land run in the present area of Oklahoma.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is a tribal college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The college focuses on Native American art. It operates the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), which is housed in the historic Santa Fe Federal Building, a landmark Pueblo Revival building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum houses the National Collection of Contemporary Indian Art, with more than 7,000 items.
Bacone College, formerly Bacone Indian University, is a private four-year liberal arts college in Muskogee, Oklahoma, United States. Founded in 1880 as the Indian University by Almon C. Bacone, Bacone College is the oldest continuously operated institution of higher education in Oklahoma. The college has strong historic ties to various tribal nations, including the Cherokee Nation and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and also to the American Baptist Churches USA.
Harjo is a surname, derived from the Muscogee Creek word Hadcho meaning "Crazy" or "So Brave as to Seem crazy". Notable people with the name include:
Several Native American tribes within the United States register motor vehicles and issue license plates to those vehicles.
The Bacone style or Bacone school of painting, drawing, and printmaking is a Native American Flatstyle art movement, primarily from the mid-20th century in Eastern Oklahoma. This art movement bridges historical, tribally-specific pictorial painting and carving practices towards an intertribal Modernist style of easel painting.
Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area is a statistical entity identified and delineated by federally recognized American Indian tribes in Oklahoma as part of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Census and ongoing American Community Survey. Some of these areas are also formally recognized as reservations, while the reservation status of others is less certain. Many of these areas are also designated Tribal Jurisdictional Areas, areas within which tribes will provide government services and assert other forms of government authority.
On the eve of the American Civil War in 1861, a significant number of Indigenous peoples of the Americas had been relocated from the Southeastern United States to Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi. The inhabitants of the eastern part of the Indian Territory, the Five Civilized Tribes, were suzerain nations with established tribal governments, well established cultures, and legal systems that allowed for slavery. Before European Contact these tribes were generally matriarchial societies, with agriculture being the primary economic pursuit. The bulk of the tribes lived in towns with planned streets, residential and public areas. The people were ruled by complex hereditary chiefdoms of varying size and complexity with high levels of military organization.
Marcelle Sharron Ahtone Harjo is a Kiowa painter from Oklahoma. Her Kiowa name, Sain-Tah-Oodie translates to "Killed With a Blunted Arrow." She and sister Virginia Stroud in the 1960s and 1970s were instrumental in the revival of ledger art, a Plains Indian narrative pictorial style on Western supports, such as paper or muslin.
Southern Plains Indian Museum is a Native American museum located in Anadarko, Oklahoma. It was opened in 1948 under a cooperative governing effort by the United States Department of the Interior and the Oklahoma State Government. It features cultural and artistic works from Oklahoma tribal peoples of the Great Plains region, including the Caddo, Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, Delaware (Lenape), Kiowa, Kiowa-Apache, Southern Arapaho, Southern Cheyenne, and Wichita.