Barbara McAlister – the Cherokee

Published on January 28, 2013 by Amy

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Barbara McAlister
Barbara McAlister

Barbara McAlister (born 1941) is an internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano Native American opera singer from Muskogee, Oklahoma.

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Barbara McAlister was born Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1941. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, a descendant of Old Tassel, and half German/cherokee through her mother. She aspired to be a country-western singer in her youth, but learned to love opera from her parents.

For her dedication to promoting the Cherokee language, she was awarded the Cherokee Medal of Honor from the Cherokee Honor Society.

Musical career

She won the Loren Zachary Competition in Los Angeles, California, which launched her career. She has since performed in the opera houses of Passau, Koblenz, Bremerhaven, and most notably Flensburg, where she was engaged for a decade. She has given solo performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Weil Recital Hall, and has performed with companies throughout Europe and the United States.

Visual arts

Barbara also paints in the Bacone style of flat-style Native painting from Prairie, Plains, and Eastern tribes. She has exhibited her paintings at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum and Jacobson House Native Arts Center in Oklahoma, the Wharton Art Gallery in Philadelphia, and Bullock’s in Los Angeles.

Source: wikipedia Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
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The State of Arizona's name comes from the Aztec word "Arizuma" meaning "silver bearing". It has also been linked to the Pima Peoples word "Arizonac," meaning "little spring" or "young spring."

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