A 1600-square-foot installation, the permanent exhibition Nah Poeh Meng (translated from Tewa, “The Continuous Path”) portrays Pueblo history from within the Pueblo worldview – offering both Native and non-Native visitors a chance to experience Pueblo stories through art, word, and history. It is based loosely in Western time, and divided into six rooms. Each room is based on both a temporal and seasonal theme.
Unlike traditional museum exhibits, which focus on objects and their individual and collaborative stories, this exhibit combines contemporary art, historic reproductions, and both traditional and contemporary stories to convey the Pueblo view of their history. Incorporated artwork is exhibited in an accessible context – there are no cases or glass separating the visitor from the art. Individual pieces are not labeled within the exhibit, putting less emphasis on the individual artist and focusing the viewer’s attention on the overall themes.
In acknowledgment of Pueblo culture’s reliance on oral tradition and symbolism, Nah Poeh Meng is interpreted primarily through audio, the spoken word, and symbolism in form and color. By providing different language versions with different content, this exhibition provides varying levels of interpretation for different audiences. Pueblo people experience the exhibit in Tewa and receive enriched content derived from within the culture. Non-Pueblo people find an equally enriching experience, but one that is designed to protect sensitive portions of Pueblo culture.
The exhibition highlights the work of numerous Pueblo artists, including the figurative sculptures of Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo) and painted murals by Marcellus Medina (Zia Pueblo).