Definition of Tewa in English:



  • 1A member of a Pueblo Indian people of the Rio Grande area in the south-western US.

    • ‘After the Tewas drove off a Ute war party, the Hopis allowed the Tewas to form Hano.’
    • ‘Pojoaque was inhabited by Tewa until a few years ago, when intermarriage with Mexicans and the death of the few full-bloods made it practically a Mexican settlement.’
    • ‘But I have not heard anything yet to persuade me that what they have is superior to what we Tewas and Hopis have.’
  • 2mass noun The Tanoan language of the Tewa, with fewer than 3,000 speakers.

    Compare with Tiwa
    • ‘Missus Martinez began to learn to write Tewa in the nineteen sixties when she was fifty-four.’
    • ‘As Tessie Naranjo from neighboring Santa Clara Pueblo points out in the foreword, ‘A storyteller… is a position, a craft, that is held in high regard among all Tewa community people ’.’
    • ‘So in an independent study class they will be able to work with Sue-Ellen Jacobs to create CDs of traditional stories told at least in part in Tewa.’
    • ‘She says that although the school does not have an immersion program, almost everyone who teaches or works there speaks Tewa.’
    • ‘The Hopis speak several dialects of a single language, Hopi, with the exception of the village of Hano, where the members speak Tewa, which is derived from the Azteco-Tanoan linguistic family.’


  • Relating to the Tewa or their language.

    • ‘The Spanish and Mexicans called them ‘Apaches de Navajo’: ‘Navajo’ is a modified Tewa word meaning ‘planted fields’ and ‘Apache’ is the Spanish version of the Zuny word for ‘enemies.’’
    • ‘Some tribes, such as the Tewa Pueblos, even divided them into sun and moon aspects, similar to the Chinese concepts of Yang and Yin (cooling).’
    • ‘Helen Hardin, a Tewa Pueblo known for her acrylic and casein designs, was regarded as a premier artist of the Southwest.’
    • ‘Calorie burners Hike the 1/2-mile trail to the Posi ruins, believed to be the first habitats of the ancestors of the local Tewa tribe.’
    • ‘A Tewa tale has it that Rabbit outwitted Brother Bear, and so won rights to pick the red fruited prickly pears in the bear's West Texas hunting grounds, nearly driving him out.’
    • ‘The Hopis have maintained historical relations with the Zuny as well as the Hano and Tewa groups in the Rio Grande River valley to the east.’
    • ‘As dancers performed the Buffalo, Eagle, and Butterfly Dances, Tewa elder Andy Garcia explained their religious significance in his Native American culture.’


From Tewa téwa ‘moccasins’.