Built Environment Reference

brush hogan

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.

sweat house

Also known as a sweat lodge, a sweat house is a small structure used for ceremonial rituals that involve sweating as a way of purifying the self and connecting with the spiritual realm. Heat inside the sweat house is generated by large stones that are heated in a fire outside and carried into the house, where they are usually doused with water and herbs to produce aromatic, steaming vapors. Sweat houses are small, often partially sunk underground, do not have a ceiling hole, and instead of a door have an opening over which thick blankets, animal hides, or even brush are placed in order to keep the heat and steam inside.

sweat lodge

In many Native American cultures, a sweat lodge is a built structure that is used for rituals that involve intentional perspiring as a way of purifying the self and connecting with the spiritual realm. The shape and building materials of sweat lodges differ among the various cultures, depending on the climate and surrounding natural environment. In the Navajo tradition, for example, the sweat lodge is a small structure made of logs and clay, which is often partially sunk underground. Heat in the sweat lodge is generated by large stones that are heated in a fire outside and then carried inside, where they are usually doused with water and herbs to produce aromatic, steaming vapors. Instead of a door, sweat lodges have a small opening over which thick blankets, animal hides, or even brush are placed in order to prevent the heat and steam inside from escaping.

Chinle High School, Chinle, Arizona

The only high school in Chinle Unified School District, located in Chinle, Arizona on the Navajo Nation Reservation in northeastern Arizona. This is a reservation school located near Canyon de Chelly, one that serves both tribal and non-tribal students.

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

A large pueblo complex situated at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico that has been continually inhabited for approximately 1,000 years. The inhabitants of Taos Pueblo are believed to be descended from the Ancestral Puebloans, and it is estimated that the construction of Taos Pueblo began sometime between 1000 and 1450 CE. Taos was first contacted by Europeans when Spanish explorers encountered the pueblo and its people in 1540. Taos Pueblo would become one of the strongholds of Pueblo resistance in the struggle against Spanish colonization along the Rio Grande and was home to leaders of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, which saw Spanish settlers flee as far south as the settlement of El Paso. By the turn of the twentieth century, Taos Pueblo, its people, and its environs had become the subject of Western literary and artistic works, as the nearby town of Don Fernando de Taos became the destination for a group of American, European, and eventually Native American artists who coalesced into what became known as the Taos Soceity of Artists (1915-1927).

The Taos Pueblo was designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, a designation which acknowledges the physical and cultural significance of the site and its people.

University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a large public research university located in Los Angeles, California. It is part of the University of California system.

Anthropology Building, University of New Mexico

Located in the former Student Union, the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Department of Anthropology is situated in an adobe building located on the western side of UNM’s central campus. The Anthropology Building was designed by famous architect John Gaw Meem in the Spanish- Pueblo Revival style in 1937, and served as UNM’s Student Union from 1937-1959. Upon completion of the new student union building in 1959, the Department of Anthropology and the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology moved from Scholes Hall to its present location. In 1972, the building was expanded to include the Museum annex and a patio. Currently, the building contains a museum, a number of labs, classrooms, offices, and the Clark Field Archive and Library.


A small, individual study space that normally contains a desk and a shelf. Carrels can be found in most libraries, and can be either partitioned or enclosed in order to privide a quiet, private study environment.

Zimmerman Library, New Mexico

The main library on the University of New Mexico campus, located in Albuquerque. The library was built in 1938 and in 1961 was named after the late university president James F. Zimmerman. Designed in the iconic Spanish-Pueblo Revival style by John Gaw Meem, the building's design was inspired by colonial Spanish missions and pueblo adobe architecture. Local Native American and Hispanic artists were commissioned to design and execute interior wood carvings and tin works. The structure's focal point is a distinctive nine-story tower that can be seen from various points in the surrounding area. The tower, which was intended to hold 70% of the library's book collection, proved to be insufficient as the collection expanded, and new additions to the library were built in 1965, in 1974, and in 2001. In addition to its book collections and student study area, the Zimmerman Library offers a variety of research and archival services.

acoustical tile

In many modern public buildings such as schools, libraries, and hospitals, the ceiling is constructed of acoustical tiles, which are modular panels suspended beneath the grids of pipes and air vents of the structural ceiling. These board panels have sound absorbing properties and are effective in reducing noise both from inside and outside the building.


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