American Indian languages * American Indian cultures * What's new on our site today!

Tano/Tewa Indian Language

Tewa (also known as Tano) is one of three Kiowa-Tanoan languages spoken by the Pueblo people of New Mexico. Though these three languages are closely related, speakers of one cannot fully understand speakers of another (similar to German and English speakers). The six Tewa-speaking pueblos are Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Clara, and Tesuque.



As with Tiwa, Towa and Keres, there is some disagreement among the Tewa people as to whether Tewa should be a written language or not. Some Pueblo elders feel that their languages should be preserved by oral traditions alone. However, many Tewa speakers have decided that Tewa literacy is important for passing the language on to the children. The Tewa pueblos developed their own orthography (spelling system) for their language, San Juan Pueblo has published a dictionary of Tewa, and today there are Tewa language programs teaching children to read and write in most of the Tewa-speaking pueblos.



Tewa Language
Tewa language samples and resources.

Tewa Culture and History
Information and links about the Tewa tribe past and present.

Pueblo Culture and History
Information and links about the Pueblo Indians in general.

Pueblo Legends
Introduction to Pueblo Indian mythology.



Tewa Language Resources

Our Online Tewa Materials

Tewa Words
     Our list of vocabulary words in the Tewa language (from San Juan Pueblo.)

Tewa Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Saving the Tewa Stories
     Article on Tewa language preservation programs.
Pueblo Languages
     Overview of Tewa and other Pueblo languages from the Encyclopedia of North American Indians.
Tewa Prayers:
    Tewa translation of the Lord's Prayer.
Pueblo Placenames:
     Southwestern place names in Tewa, Tiwa, Jemez, Keres, and Zuni.

Tewa Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources

San Juan Pueblo Tewa Dictionary
     The San Juan Pueblo Bilingual Program's dictionary of the Tewa language, for sale online.



Back to the list of Native American tribes
Back to our Native American websites for kids



American Indian Art * American Indian Words * Indian Tattoos

Would you like to sponsor our work on the Pueblo language pages?

or buy some books through this link:

Native Languages of the Americas website 1998-2009 * Contacts and FAQ page