Photographer's Note

In Monument Valley, the "hogan" is a rounded shape, much like the igloo of the Eskimo, but covered with red dirt. 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. 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 Nation. These typical Navajo homes were hexagonal or octogonal, and traditionaly facing East. The 5 faces of the hogan were named: Morning (east), Sunset (west), Darkness (north), Argonite, and Heat wave. Earth was used to fill in the spaces between the framework logs. The first hogan's original covering brought light of different colors into the hogan as the day went on -- bluish light in the afternoon, yellow light for evening, and darkness at night.

There are two types of hogans, the male and the female hogan. Many of the ceremonies take place in the male hogan. The male hogan is more aggressive, it's the place where one meets their enemy. This is where Navajo people confront illness and sickness. They don't want to contaminate their homes with these things. Later the male hogan can be purified. Inside the male hogan the ceremonial fire is dangerous.
The female hogan's fire is in contrast warm and inviting. It warms the family and cooks the food. The female hogan is where the family lives and finds love and compassion. It is where the family sleeps and eats. It is a healthy, safe place for the family.

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Additional Photos by Denis Secchi (deneye) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 26 W: 5 N: 22] (97)
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