Northern New Mexico College began its academic life in 1909 and has bolstered its program so that it now offers 4-year degree programs. It is located in Española, New Mexico.


Course Catalog

Tewa Ethnobiology: Plants and Animals of the Tewa (PIS 483)
This course will examine a particular part of the “ethnoscience” of the Tewa Pueblos in the Tewa Basin or Greater Espanola Valley. It will describe how the plants and animals, including birds, are named by the Tewa and how the names are organized into biological taxonomies and useful purposes. The names will be taught in the Tewa dialect of Ohkay Owingeh but words in the other Tewa Pueblos will be taught. The Spanish and English names will be used as well since names and meanings (translations) have been borrowed from the Tewa during the 400 years of contact with European cultures. The Tewa and Spanish names are for your information. You do not have to learn them unless you wish to do so.

The course will examine how the Tewa cultures reproduce ethnoscientific knowledge over the generations through an acute knowledge of nature, the telling of stories about plants and animals, and their respect for elders. Knowledge will be viewed from the perspectives of gender and social organization and and how it is shared differentially throughout each Pueblo for the benefit of all.

Part of this knowledge of nature is how the named organisms are used for food, medicine, utilitarian purposes, and religious activities. The course will teach common knowledge (household) and not ceremonial secrets.


Richard I. Ford (Pueblo Indian Studies) (