Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 71 pages of information about Navaho Houses, pages 469-518.


[Transcriber’s Note: 
The position of the full-page Plates is not shown in the text.]

Plate LXXXII.  The Navaho reservation 475
LXXXIII.  A typical Navaho hogan 483
LXXXIV.  A hogan in Canyon de Chelly 485
LXXXV.  A Navaho summer hut 495
LXXXVI.  A “lean-to” summer shelter 497
LXXXVII. [)I]nca-qo[.g]an, medicine hut 501
LXXXVIII.  Modern house of a wealthy Navaho 505
LXXXIX.  A Yeb[)i]tcai house 511
XC.  Diagram plan of hogan,
with names of parts 514

Figure   230.  The three main timbers of a hogan        489
231.  Frame of a hogan, seen from below        491
232.  Frame of a doorway                       492
233.  Ground plan of a summer shelter          495
234.  Supporting post in a summer hut          496
235.  Ground plan of a summer hut              496
236.  Section of a summer hut                  497
237.  Masonry support for rafters              497
238.  A timber-built shelter                   498
239.  Shelter with partly closed front         499
240.  Low earth-covered shelter                500
241.  Ground plan of Yeb[)i]tcai house         510
242.  Framework of Yeb[)i]tcai house           512
243.  Diagram showing measurements
of Yeb[)i]tcai house             513
244.  Interior of Yeb[)i]tcai house,
illustrating nomenclature        516

[Illustration:  Plate LXXXII

Map of parts of the Navaho reservation in Arizona and new Mexico from the atlas sheets of the United states geological survey]

* * * * *

Navaho houses

By Cosmos Mindeleff

* * * * *


The account of the houses or hogans of the Navaho Indians which is presented here will be of interest to the student of architecture, it is believed, because data concerning such primitive types of house structures are quite rare.  It is also thought to be of interest to the archeologist and ethnologist as well as to the general reader, for it is well known that no one product of a people’s art exhibits so clearly their mental attitude and their industrial status as the houses which they build.

Much of the material here presented was obtained some ten years ago, when the recent changes which have taken place in Navaho life had only just begun.  Although the same processes are now employed in house construction as formerly, and although the same ceremonies are observed, they are not so universally nor so strictly adhered to as they were.  The present tendency is such that in a comparatively short time the rules for the construction of a hogan which have been handed down through many generations and closely followed, and the elaborate ceremonies of dedication which formerly were deemed essential to the well-being of the occupants, will be so far modified as to be no longer recognizable, if, indeed, they are not altogether abandoned.  Such being the case, even a bare record of the conditions which have prevailed for at least two centuries must be of value.

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Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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