Mary Alice Nelson, aka Molly Spotted Elk

Members of the United States Indian Band playing at the Gare St. Lazare, Paris on their arrival in France for the Paris Colonial Exhibition, 1931. FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Molly was born on Indian Island, Maine, and she turned to dance to help her family make ends meet. But because audiences and companies in the U.S. pushed her toward stereotypical depictions of Native Americans, she eventually took her dancing to France.

Topics in this Podcast: biographies, women, 20th century, vaudeville, entertainment history, dance history, Native American history