July 25, 2018

NAVAJO NATION: Navajo Homes - Oljato-Monument Valley

Navajo Homes - Hogans

Hogans - traditional Navajo Homes on Reservation, Oljato-Monument Valley, Navajo Nation

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Traditional dwellings - Hogans

A hogan, the traditional Navajo home, is built as a shelter for either a man or for a woman. Since they live in the arid Four Corners area, the houses are made of dried mud. Male hogans are square or conical with a distinct rectangular entrance, while a female hogan is an eight-sided house. Both are made of wood and covered in mud, with the door always facing east to welcome the sun each morning. The Navajos construct hogans out of poles and brush covered with earth. Navajos also have several types of hogans for lodging and ceremonial use. Ceremonies, such as healing ceremonies or the kinaaldá, take place inside a hogan. According to Kehoe, this style of housing is distinctive to the Navajos. She writes, "even today, a solidly constructed, log-walled Hogan is preferred by many Navajo families." Most Navajo members today live in apartments and houses in urban areas.

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