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In the Four Corners region of the state, the traditional houses of the Diné (Navajo) dot the landscape. While styles vary across time periods and are influenced by available materials, a hogan almost always opens to the East to greet the sun, and is most commonly a one-room circular structure built of wood and mud (and sometimes stone). Most also have a hole in the roof, to allow smoke from an interior fire to escape. Because the Diné people would typically abandon a dwelling after the death of a family member, or to move on to new grazing areas, hogans are not necessarily built to be permanent structures.

There are two types of hogans: male and female. Male hogans are used for ceremonies and tending to the sick; the female hogan is a center of domestic life. This is where a family eats, cooks, sleeps, and gathers. Though these structures are still a common sight in northwestern New Mexico, most hogans built today are for ceremonial purposes; relatively few Navajo considered them a primary dwelling by the late 20th century.

[Text courtesy of Elisa Parhad, from New Mexico, A Guide for the Eyes; Eyemuse Books, Los Angeles, CA.]