The ultimate purpose of Tewa dance is sacred; dance is a prayer. The dance is also each person’s duty. It is performed to help the seasons flow; to sustain the harvests; to help hunting success and to maintain harmony. Ceremonies are devised to keep humanity in harmony with the universe. That longing is voiced in prayers and dramatised in the dance-rhythm of movement and of colour.
Tewa consider themselves an integral part of Nature rather than lords or masters. The pueblo plaza (public square) is usually the stage upon which this prayer-drama unfolds.
Andrew Garcia, a native of San Juan pueblo in northern New Mexico, formed Tewa Dancers from the North in 1974. It was his way of helping his people to preserve the artistic cultural heritage of their songs and dances through young people who had the skills to carry the dances forward to the next generation. Through the years, a second goal developed; to share with other Indian tribes and non-Indians a portion of the rich pueblo culture. The group have now received national and international acclaim; chances are, some of the young dancers will become the new leaders and pass on the sacred heritage of the Tewa to the next generation.
The group is comprised of Andrew Garcia (group leader, drummer, singer), Verna Garcia (costume dresser), Andrew Garcia, Jr. (drummer, singer), Ray Ann Nastacio (dancer), Dorea Garcia (dancer), Valerie Martinez (dancer), Elmer Garcia (singer, dancer), Kurt Garcia (dancer), Kayla Martinez (dancer), Darron Garcia (dancer), Jahneah Martinez (dancer).