“In the past, Pueblo art has been a slowly changing continuum.” As a category, it was created by Western civilization. Today, even in the West, what can and cannot be considered art is far from consensus.
Despite the term’s inadequacy, many indigenous art pieces have had and continue to impact the sensitivity and curiosity of all viewers in all cultures.
A particular paternalistic conception towards Native arts continues to exist. To some, traditional arts are considered a lesser art form in which the artisan reproduces the patterns without creating anything new. Such a perspective does not consider that this kind of production does not exist apart from time and cultural dynamics. Moreover, the plasticity of the work results from the confluence of collective and individual conceptions and questions, even though they do not stress individuality.
The Poeh Museum’s mission maintains this aesthetic order, its links to other realms of thought, which constitute means of communication — among persons, peoples, and worlds — and forms of conceiving and comprehending that mirror the social and cosmological order.
Nang Be Poeh
Nang Be Poeh, or “Our Path,” is a visual introduction for native and non-native viewers designed to introduce the environs of the Pueblo people and their connectedness to them. This visual, digital lens offers small glimpses of the Pueblo world with the hope of sharing what it is to “be” – to have an awareness of that which defines the doing, the sharing, the making of beautiful things, that which constitutes Pueblo life.
There is no word for “art” in the Tewa vocabulary. In Dr. Rena Swentzell’s (Santa Clara) comments: “The closest word in Tewa for a creative activity is “to make” to be in the process of making. It is a matter of making things, anything, well. It is not an extra outside thing. The goal is not the production of objects… but the living of life.”
Open: Mon thru Fri – 10am to 5pm
Roxanne Swentzell Tower Gallery: Monday thru Friday 10am-4pm
78 Cities of Gold Road
Santa Fe, NM 87506
Museum Info: (505) 455-5041
Administration: (505) 455-5040