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Native American Design Announced

Ballerina Maria Tallchief is the subject of the 2023 Native American dollar reverse design. (Image courtesy United States Mint.)

Ballerina Maria Tallchief is the subject of the 2023 Native American dollar reverse design. (Image courtesy United States Mint.)

The reverse design for the 2023 Native American dollar was officially announced Nov. 9. The coin honors American ballerina Maria Tallchief and American Indians in ballet.

Designed by Ben Sowards, Artistic Infusion program designer, and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, U.S. Mint medallic artist, the reverse design features Tallchief in balletic pose. A nod to the “Five Moons” is presented in the lunar motif, while the four ballerinas in the background are symbolic of both Tallchief’s American Indian ballerina contemporaries and the generations of dancers they inspired.

Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “MARIA TALLCHIEF,” “$1” and “AMERICAN INDIANS IN BALLET.”

Considered to be America’s first prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief, a member of the Osage Nation, broke barriers as a Native American ballerina, exhibiting strength and resilience both on and off the stage. In addition to Tallchief, four other American Indian ballerinas from Oklahoma achieved international recognition in the 20th century, including her younger sister Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower and Moscelyne Larkin. Celebrated as the “Five Moons,” their legacy of achievement and inclusion continues to influence ballet today.

The obverse of the 2023 Native American dollar will continue to feature the central figure, Sacagawea, carrying her infant son, Jean Baptiste, by sculptor Glenna Goodacre.

Inscriptions are “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The year, mintmark and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” are incused on the edge of the coin.

The Native American $1 Coin Program is authorized by the Public Law to recognize the important contributions made by Native American tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. The law mandates that a reverse design, with an image emblematic of one important Native American or Native American contribution, be issued at a rate of once per year.

For more information, visit usmint.gov.