Hogan

Center of the Navajo World
 
  • It was filled with light from an opening at the top of the ceiling, which was about two feet square. The hogan, because of its thick earthen walls, is cool during the heat of the summer and warm during winter. It appeared to be a perfect dwelling for such a delightful people as the Navajo.
 
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On a recent trip to the Navajo Nation I had the opportunity to visit a hogan. Although I had seen them often throughout Southeastern Utah, this was my first time inside one. From the outside the hogan is a rounded shape, much like the igloo of the Eskimo, but covered with red dirt. There were no windows on the outside walls. As I entered, I was surprised by the beauty of the dwelling. I was expecting dirt walls and a poorly lit room; instead, the entire inside was lined with wood, much like being inside a cedar closet. I found out that the dirt was simply plastered onto the wood frame. Poles, five feet tall, line the walls, and above them is a framework for the ceiling which consists of poles laid on each other in a circular fashion. It was filled with light from an opening at the top of the ceiling, which was about two feet square. The hogan, because of its thick earthen walls, is cool during the heat of the summer and warm during winter. It appeared to be a perfect dwelling for such a delightful people as the Navajo.  
 

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