brush hogan

Encyclopedia Article


Also known as a summer hogan, a brush hogan is a temporary shelter made of three forked poles and covered with the boughs of cedar or piñon pine. These structures are generally used during summer, because they catch the breeze better than earthen-walled hogans. Also, they are often constructed as temporary shelter at summer sheep camps, when families move with their herds to higher ground for summer forage.

Brush hogans are also constructed for ceremonial use. When used for ceremonies, brush hogans are constructed with specific materials, depending on their purpose. For example, if a brush hogan is constructed for a ceremony to bring female rain, piñon branches would used, whereas for a ceremony to bring male rain, cedar would be used. Additionally, brush hogans take varied forms, depending on the use or need. If the hogan were being constructed for a ceremony, for example, and only a wind break would be needed, then the hogan might have only one wall.

Photo Credit: 

"Navajo summer hogan, New Mexico, circa 1926," photograph, Hartley Burr Alexander Collection (LS.2193). Palace of the Governors, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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