Hogans

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Food is Sacred - Tyrell Woolboy

Image Credit: Tyrell Descheney

Hogans

There was a time when Navajo's once lived underground. They made homes into the ground because of the monsters who roamed around. Once majority of them were slayed, they decided to come out of the ground and live on top. They needed a structure to stay. They once made homes out of brushes and rocks.

One day, Talking God instructed First Man that he'll show them how to build a house they can call theirs. After hauling logs, they began the process of towering them together.

Within the circle, there were 4 logs that were tied together which represent the 4 sacred mountains. From the entrance, two more logs were placed from the east to represent the other 2 sacred mountains.

After adding additional logs, they covered the structure and asked that they bless it with corn pollen and powder from prayer stones from each 4 directions of inside the house. This became known as the first male hogan, also known as forked hogan. Thus structure was originally made for religious and ceremonial purposes.

Soon after finishing the male hogan, they decided to make another home structure for a female hogan which was later constructed south of it. At the time, the women made their houses out of sunflower stalks. This was said to later become the original home for everyday living. A place where food were prepared, a fire was built, women talked afnd men joked. Same thing was done for the hogan as it was anointed from all 4 directions.

After the first female hogan was finished, the Holy People were invited inside to bless it. It was their first time seeing it. They stood in front of the door, awaiting for the door blanket to be opened. They were told that the blanket was to be kept partially opened on top to signify that they were welcomed inside whenever they wanted, same goes for anyone there. Once the blanket opened, they walked inside and were deeply amazed. They gasped and looked around with astonishment. They walked in a clockwise, placing their hands on the newly cut logs. Walking around the fireplace, they stood and admired what was before them.

Since the Holy People were not born, one of the Navajo women told them "this is what it's like to be inside the womb of a mother." From there, the women brought in prepared food and placed them on the ground and said "just like a baby, the baby receives food inside the womb."

From there, the Holy People instructed the Navajo that they were to do the exact same thing when they built their homes. Prayers and songs were said and done before they could live in them. Receiving the blessings from the Holy People.


 

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