Free coloring book helps teach pueblo culture - Albuquerque Journal

Free coloring book helps teach pueblo culture

A woman looks over the new Tewa Coloring Book available online and at the Poeh Cultural Center. (Photo courtesy KOAT-TV)

A new, free coloring book is helping young New Mexicans learn about pueblo culture.

KOAT-TV will feature the story behind the coloring book Friday as part of its “Good News File” series.

The Poeh Cultural Center in Pojoaque created the Tewa Coloring Book in a bid to engage more kids in learning about Tewa culture.

“We came up with this idea of a coloring book that we can hand out and make available online,” said Karl Duncan, Poeh Cultural Center executive director. “So we worked with different artists, one from each of the six Tewa tribes here: Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Pojoaque, Ohkay Owingeh and Nambé. We were able to put together this amazing coloring book of illustrations.”

The book is available at the center or can be downloaded from their website, poehcenter.org.

Inside the book, children will find unique New Mexican drawings created by 17 different pueblo artists.

“Hopefully, it inspires a new generation of artists as these kids are coloring new pottery designs, different dancers or different landscapes from around here,” Duncan said.

The book isn’t just for children. Adults are enjoying it, too, among them elders who appreciate how the book is helping to preserve their culture.

“When they go through the stories, they may point to a pot and saying it in a different Tewa language, or a different design or animals, or a landscape figure or object, and they’re able to teach with this book,” Duncan said. “On top of this being a fun activity book for kids, and being able to engage, they’re able to share language.”

The coloring book was sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Community Loans program in partnership with the Di Wae Powa: They Came Back project.

“The Good News Files” is a collaboration among KOAT-TV, News Radio KKOB and the Journal, with each entity taking turns featuring stories that make you smile.

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