Thursday, December 3, 2009

Queen Māyā of Sakya

Queen Māyā of Sakya - the birth mother of the original Buddha. Māyā was married to King Suddhodana of Kapilvatsu. The couple went childless for the first twenty years of their marriage before Māyā became pregnant as the result of a dream in which an elephant touched her side. Prince Siddhārtha was born ten months later by emerging from her side (as depicted in the relief illustrated here). Queen Māyā died seven days after this birth and ascended to the Tuṣita Heaven; however after the Prince had attained enlightenment as the Buddha, he went to that particular Heaven for three months to visit with and pay respects to his mother.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Maya Lin

Maya Lin – an American artist and architect of Chinese origin. Her main claim to fame is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., a chevron-shaped monument to the American victims of the Vietnam War. She has also, since then, completed a number of other memorials and tributes. A documentary about her life, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, won an Academy Award in 1995 for Best Documentary.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maya Soetoro-Ng

Maya Soetoro-Ng – the half-sister of American president Barack Obama. Obama was born in Hawaii to a mother born in Kansas and a father born in Kenya. Their marriage did not last long, however, and Obama`s mother Ann Dunham found herself married again to an Indonesian named Lolo Soetoro, who she met while living in Hawaii. Maya was born of this union in 1970 in Jakarta, where the family was living at the time. Obama's time in Indonesia is well-documented. A Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii and a teacher and lecturer, Soetoro-Ng got married in 2003 to Konrad Ng, a Canadian of Malaysian-Chinese descent, thus continuing the incredibly cosmopolitan nature of the Obama extended family.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maya Cohen Levy

Maya Cohen Levy – a sculptor and painter from Israel. Born in 1955 in Tel Aviv, Maya studied philosophy first before studying art in Israel in the 1970s. She has also studied in Japan and China and has been one of the few female artists successfully able to juggle an art career with motherhood. Still living in Tel Aviv, Cohen Levy addresses the issue of Israeli-Palestinian relations in her art.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Maya Blue

Maya Blue – a colour used in Mesoamerican art. Though it would be a great name for a person, Maya Blue (a/k/a Azul Maya) is in fact a dye used in art from the Mayan empire (hence the name). It was, apparently, made of indigo dyes, of the leaves of the añil plant and of the clay bearing the rather awesome name 'palygorskite'. It dates back to 800 A.D. and is known for its resistance to the wear and tear of time. Excitingly, the ink may have had a role in contemporary Maya human sacrifices.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maya Burman

Maya Burman – an Indian-French artist. Coming from a family of artists active in both India and in France, Maya Burman works primarily in pen and ink and in watercolour. Her art often falls within the realm of fantasy and has gained appreciation not only in her home country of France and her ancestral country of India but around the world as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maya the Yellow Galaxy Ranger

Maya the Yellow Galaxy Ranger – a wild woman from the jungle planet Mirinoi. In the incredibly complex universe of the Power Rangers, Maya is a 'Galaxy Power Ranger', which certainly must mean something to someone much younger than me, but to me is as mystifying as the Kabbalah. It would appear that she was in the TV series called Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy during a time in the history of the Power Rangers when the entire series was entirely rebooted every season. Must have been tough to keep up with. Maya was replaced in her sacred duties as Yellow Ranger by Kelsey Winslow who, in addition to playing the role of Frasier on Cheers and Frasier, was also Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue. If the mindpower harnessed on understanding this TV franchise were only used to better the world...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maia Morgenstern

Maia Morgenstern – an actress from Romania best known for her portrayal of the Virgin Mary in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Born in Bucharest to a Jewish family, Morgenstern achieved success in Romania first of all on stage, appearing in a series of popular plays. Her most renowned performance was in the 1992 Cannes entry, The Oak, in which she has the starring role of Nela.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Maia Chiburdanidze

Maia Chiburdanidze – a Georgian chessmaster. Chiburdanidze was born in 1961 in Georgia, when it was part of the Soviet Union. A lifelong chess player, she became the girl's champion of the USSR when she was 15, and the women's champion a year after that. She was the women's world champion for 14 years from 1978 to 1991, the third longest reign in chess history. She was only the second-ever woman to be awarded the title of Grandmaster.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph – a comedienne and the daughter of the late Minnie Riperton. Minnie Riperton composed her biggest hit, “Loving You”, as a lullaby to her newborn daughter, and at the end of the song can be heard singing the name “Maya” over and over again. That was in tribute to the girl who would grow up to be Saturday Night Live alumnus Maya Rudolph. Maya started on that TV show in 1999, remaining there in the main cast until 2007, when she left to pursue a career in feature films, most notably Away We Go.


Welcome to a site devoted to one single topic: the name Maya. If you have this name, or if you're thinking of giving it to your daughter, here's an ongoing list of famous namesakes, both real and fictional.