The Hogans

Published on July 12, 2012 by Amy

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Hogan - Navajo Mud House
Hogan – Navajo Mud House

A Navajo home was called a hogan.

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Hogans were made of wooden poles covered with tree bark and mud. They were permanent structures. They were also very dark and gloomy. They had no windows, and only a small hole in the ceiling to let out smoke. The door of a hogan always faced east to welcome the rising sun.

Hogans were usually one room affairs. People sheltered in the hogan at night. The only furniture in a hogan was bedding. Bedding was usually a sheepskin on the floor.

Each Navajo family had two hogans – one in the desert and one in the mountains.

The southwest area of the county, especially the areas in which the Navajo lived, were subject to flash floods. In case of any disaster, having two homes allowed them to move quickly. They also moved seasonally. And they moved if they needed fresh grazing land, or if their food and water supply dried up.

The Navajo believed in being prepared. You can see this in their homes.

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Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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