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.
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.
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.
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.