Navaho Houses, Part 2

Cosmos Mindeleff

Navaho Houses, pages 469-518,

by Cosmos Mindeleff This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1895-1896, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1898
Author: Cosmos Mindeleff
Release Date: April 19, 2006 [EBook #18206]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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[Transcriber's Note: Characters that could not be displayed in Latin-1 have been "unpacked" and shown between brackets: [)a] [)e] [)i] [)I] letter with breve ("short vowel" sign) [ng] "eng" symbol [.g] g with dot above represents both the lower-case and capitalized form of the letter]
* * * * *
SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL REPORT
of the
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
to the
SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
1895-96
by
J. W. POWELL Director
[Illustration]
Washington Government Printing Office 1898

ACCOMPANYING PAPERS (Continued)
* * * * *
NAVAHO HOUSES
by
COSMOS MINDELEFF
* * * * *
CONTENTS Page Introduction 475 Description of the country 477 Habits of the people 481 Legendary and actual winter hogns 487 Summer huts or shelters 494 Sweat houses 499 Effect of modern conditions 502 Ceremonies of dedication 504 The hogn of the Yb[)i]tcai dance 509 Hogn nomenclature 514
ILLUSTRATIONS
[Transcriber's Note: The position of the full-page Plates is not shown in the text.]
Page Plate LXXXII. The Navaho reservation 475 LXXXIII. A typical Navaho hogn 483 LXXXIV. A hogn in Canyon de Chelly 485 LXXXV. A Navaho summer hut 495 LXXXVI. A "lean-to" summer shelter 497 LXXXVII. [)I]n?-qo[.g]n, medicine hut 501 LXXXVIII. Modern house of a wealthy Navaho 505 LXXXIX. A Yb[)i]tcai house 511 XC. Diagram plan of hogn, with names of parts 514
Figure 230. The three main timbers of a hogn 489 231. Frame of a hogn, 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 Yb[)i]tcai house 510 242. Framework of Yb[)i]tcai house 512 243. Diagram showing measurements of Yb[)i]tcai house 513 244. Interior of Yb[)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
* * * * *
INTRODUCTION
The account of the houses or hogns 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 hogn 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.
As the architecture of a primitive people is influenced largely by the character of the country in which they live, a brief description of the Navaho reservation is deemed necessary. Similarly, the habits of life of the people, what a naturalist would term their life history, which in combination with the physical environment practically dictates their arts, is worthy of notice, for without some knowledge of the conditions under which a people live it is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain an adequate conception of their art products.
The winter hogns are the real homes of the people, but as the form and
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