Encyclopedia Article


In architecture, a lintel refers to the horizontal stone slab or wooden beam that is placed on top of the two vertical supports of a door, an entryway, or a gate. A lintel can be a structural feature or a decorative one, and often functions as both.

In the traditional hogan, a common dwelling structure for Navajo peoples in the U.S. Southwest, a heavy blanket is often hung from the wood lintel log to form a door that can keep the inside warm in cold weather, but can also be easily removed as necessary.

Photo Credit: 

"Navajo hogan, New Mexico, c. 1915," photograph, (LS.1530). Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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