Preserving the Tewa Language through Mobile Technology



The governmental and societal push for universal languages, known as a “language shift,” causes countries to rely on universal languages for communication over indigenous languages. As a result, the Tewa language, spoken by six Indian Pueblos in New Mexico, has been slowly declining over the last century. The goal of this project was to contribute to the preservation of Tewa by designing a mobile application and a supplementary website that would aid in language education. Detailed interactive mockups were first designed to help visualize the final products. The application was then programmed for the Android platform, and the website was created with Google Sites. After extensive prototyping and testing, we created a polished, functional application and an interactive website design with learning tools.

Project Mission: 

The goal of this project is to contribute to the preservation of indigenous language by designing a mobile application and a supplementary website that will aid in language education.

Project Objectives:

  1. To design the application and create a working prototype 

  2. To design the website then create a working prototype

  3. To implement and test the effectiveness of the application and the website

  4. To involve the community in the implementation of the application
View our project website for work we're doing in Santa Fe here.


Blog Updates

  • Final Entry Over the last four months, the four of us have put an enormous amount of effort into making this project a reality. The work we’ve done will have a lasting effect in the Pojoaque tribe for years to come. Prof. Carrera and the Indigenous Language Institute are even looking to apply for a grant to expand this project in the coming years! In our seven weeks in Santa Fe, we designed, developed and tested TewaTalk, our fully functioning Android app. The app allows users to browse Tewa recordings and view information about them. Our users also have the ability to create and record their own entries, and upload them to our server. As of today, we have a total ...
    Posted May 18, 2012, 8:02 PM by Andrew Aunelle
  • Links to Completed Materials Executive SummaryBlogFinal ReportWebsite LinksPresentationsPosterSource Code
    Posted May 11, 2012, 11:41 AM by Matt Fusco
  • Final Presentations On Monday and Tuesday, our group gave two final presentations.  The first was at the Pojoaque pueblo, where we presented in front of the Pojoaque Language Committee; Karl Duncan, an IT specialist who will be taking over our application and website; George Rivera, the governor of Pojoaque; and our sponsor, Inee Slaughter.  Although we set up the application demonstration at our apartments, there was limited wireless internet, meaning that the app couldn’t retrieve the recordings.  This meant that we couldn’t exhibit the working prototype.  Despite this set back, all of our attendees seemed to really enjoy the presentation and were excited about the application.  They also liked the iBook of the Tewa Dictionary, which is available for download ...
    Posted May 3, 2012, 9:13 PM by Virginia Casola
  • In the Recording Studio for the Last Time      Today (5/2/2012) we met with John Garcia, an elder from the Pueblo of Pojoaque. He sat down with us and recorded a huge amount of words and phrases with us in the Indigenous Language Institute's recording studio. after 45 minutes of recording, John had spoken 400 different words and phrases in excellent quality.  John speaks in the Santa Clara dialect, so it was very interesting to listen to how different Pueblos pronounce certain words differently.     Using Audacity, we cut the 45 minute .WAV file down into 400 smaller sound clips which were then cataloged and added to our MySQL database. These recordings are now available to anybody with TewaTalk downloaded onto their phone.     We have finished recording ...
    Posted May 3, 2012, 12:56 AM by Matt Fusco
  • Meeting with Karl Duncan Today, the team met with Karl Duncan from the Pueblo of Pojoaque to discuss the transfer of our application and website over to the pueblo. We made him an owner of the TewaTalk Google Site, so when we are finished with our project and we go home to Massachusetts, he will have full control of the website. We also showed him the database that is currently housing all of our recordings and how to set this database up for his own server. He also has access to the application's source code, so if he or anyone else from Pojoaque wanted to edit the application, they would have that ability to do so. We want our project to continue and ...
    Posted May 2, 2012, 3:10 PM by Karin Benavides
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