[mah-yah, -yuh]
Plisetskaya, Maya, 1925-, Russian dancer. Pliesetskaya became a soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on graduating from its school in 1943. She soon gained recognition as one of the world's foremost ballerinas, combining flawless technique with a sensitivity to emotional nuance. Her roles ranged from Odette-Odile in the romantic Swan Lake to the passionate title role in Carmen. Her memoir, I, Maya Plistetskaya (tr. 2001), reveals the difficulties she suffered as an artist in the Soviet Union.
Angelou, Maya, 1928-, African-American writer and performer, b. St. Louis, Mo. as Marguerite Johnson. She toured Europe and Africa in the musical Porgy and Bess (1954-55), then sang in New York City nightclubs, joined the Harlem Writers Guild, and took part in several off-Broadway productions, including Genet's The Blacks and her own Cabaret for Freedom (1960). During the 1960s she was active in the African-American political movement; she subsequently spent several years in Ghana as editor of the African Review. Her six autobiographical volumes (1970-2002), beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, have generally been well-received. She has also published several volumes of poetry, including And I Still Rise (1987). Angelou read her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993.
maya, in Hinduism, term used in the Veda to mean magic or supernatural power. In Mahayana Buddhism it acquires the meaning of illusion or unreality. The term is pivotal in the Vedanta system of Shankara, where it signifies the world as a cosmic illusion and also the power that creates the world.
Maya may refer to:

People and languages

Religion and mythology

  • Maya (illusion), the word for "illusion" in Sanskrit and a concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism (Dharmic philosophy)
  • Maya (Jainism), translated as "greed"; one of the 18 traditional undesirables in Jainism
  • Mayasura, a Hindu demon often known by the name Maya
  • Queen Maya, the mother of the historical Buddha
  • Mahamaya - "Great Maya" - a Vajrayana Buddhist Tantra & meditational deity

Historical persons or events

Geographical locations


Culture and art

Fictional characters

Art, film, literature, music, TV


  • Maya, the Filipino name for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Maya Gold (candy), organic chocolate produced by Green & Black's
  • Maya sticks, pieces of resin-rich wood used as a firestarter
  • Maya, a Bottlenose Dolphin at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD

See also

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