How to Create a Native American Navajo Hogan Home for Homework

Written by michelle watson
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How to Create a Native American Navajo Hogan Home for Homework
Hogans are traditional homes built by Navajos living in the American West. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A hogan is a traditional dwelling of the Native American Navajo tribes that live in the western United States. Six-sided hogans were a permanent structure that Navajos started building around 1400 A.D. when they transitioned away from being a primarily nomadic people. These hogans are built by stacking logs to construct walls and filling the gaps with clay and packed earth. Hogans had a hole in the roof to let air escape and an east-facing door to greet the morning sun. It's easy to make a hogan model for a school homework project by using common art supplies, such as craft sticks and clay.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shoebox lid
  • Craft sticks
  • Glue
  • Brown clay
  • Dirt
  • Cardboard
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

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    Buiild a Model Hogan

  1. 1

    Turn the shoebox lid upside down so that the rim is facing upward. This will be the base for the model.

  2. 2

    Arrange six craft sticks on the lid in a hexagonal pattern, with the edges overlapping to form joints.

  3. 3

    Select the right-most joint and separate the sticks about one inch to create an opening for a door. Adjust the other sticks, if needed.

  4. 4

    Glue the six sticks to the lid in this pattern.

  5. 5

    Press a thin layer of brown clay on top of each craft stick. Don't add clay to the stick edges that overlap at the joints. Sprinkle some dirt on top of the clay.

  6. 6

    Add another layer of craft sticks directly on top of the six original sticks, securing with a drop of glue at the joints. Press clay and sprinkle dirt on top of the sticks as in Step 5.

  7. 7

    Build the hogan walls by repeating Step 6 until the walls measure about three inches high.

  8. 8

    Cut the ends off two craft sticks so they each measure 3 inches. Cut another craft stick so that it measures 1.5 inches.

  9. 9

    Glue the three-inch craft sticks vertically on either side of the door opening. Glue the 1.5-inch craft stick horizontally between the top of the two sticks to complete the doorjamb.

  10. 10

    Cut a cardboard circle large enough to cover the roof of the hogan.

  11. 11

    Punch a hole near the middle of the circle, and use scissors to enlarge the hole to about a half inch.

  12. 12

    Press clay on top of the cardboard circle, forming a rounded roof. Make sure not to cover the hole. Press dirt into the clay to make it look like packed earth.

  13. 13

    Glue the roof to the top of the hogan carefully.

  14. 14

    Complete the model by scattering dirt in the lid around the base of the hogan.

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