In December a traditional Native American hogan was constructed
on a grassy knoll behind the Farmington Inter-tribal Indian Organization.
hogan was officially welcomed into the world by Navajo medicine
man Francis Mitchell, who performed a traditional hogan blessing
hogan blessing ceremony is performed only after the last nail has
been put in place and no ceremonies can be held in a hogan until
it is blessed by a medicine man.
said the Navajo hogan was built when the first Navajo child, Changing
Woman, was about to have her first puberty ceremony.
that time, the deities set that procedure that when you build a
dwelling, you are supposed to anoint it," Mitchell said.
During the ceremony, Mitchell used white and yellow corn meal to
represent the male and female species; corn pollen was used for
the spirit and for the energy of the people, animals, livestock,
bird fowl and "anything else we might include with it that walks
and breeds and grows," Mitchell said.
the items were sprinkled throughout the four corners of the structure
to bring good and harmony.
inter-tribal organization was started by the Navajo during a time
of civil unrest in Farmington.
was organized to help (Farmington) with our efforts and provide
a place where Navajos can come to get information regarding the
purchasing of goods and services in Farmington," said Mayor Bill
Standley. "I think that we've advanced considerably in understanding
and communicating with our Navajo residents and our visitors to
city helped finance and build the hogan they used funds received
through a community block grant.
Smiley, director of the inter-tribal organization, said the hogan
will be used to conduct Navajo language classes and ceremonies.
Tours will also be available to the public so non-natives can get
a glimpse of Navajo culture.
think at this time and age various nationalities are being educated
through different customs," Smiley said. "In this way (non-natives)
will have a chance to see the hogan itself, how it's built, how
it can be used and they will have a part in it."
21,000 people visit the inter-tribal organization annually.
President Bradley Hight said the hogan will bring a piece of Native
American culture to natives who can not get home.
is important to keep their culture alive in an urban area so they
don't forget where they came from," Bradley said. "It also teaches
youngsters, no matter where you go in this worked, you can have
your culture. Just because you leave home doesn't mean you leave