Tiwa Indian Language (Isleta, Picuris, Sandia, Taos, Tigua)
Tiwa is one of three Kiowa-Tanoan languages spoken by the
Pueblo people of New Mexico. Though these languages are closely related, speakers of
one cannot fully understand speakers of another (similar to German and English speakers). There are about 4000 speakers of these three languages in the
American Southwest today.
Many Tiwa elders believe that their language is not intended to be written and must be preserved by oral traditions alone. Some Tiwa people disagree
with this position and think that using Tiwa as a written language will help keep it alive for future generations. Out of respect for the traditional beliefs
of many Tiwa people we have not included any Tiwa vocabulary or texts on our own site; however we have linked to other language sites written
by authors who are Tiwa themselves.
Overview of Tiwa and other Pueblo languages from the Encyclopedia of North American Indians.
Glossary and audio files of the Isleta Pueblo language.
Taos Pueblo Language Maintenance
Article on the importance of Tiwa language programs for preschoolers.