A hogan is the primary traditional home of the Navajo people. Other traditional structures include the summer shelter, the underground home, and the sweat house. A hogan is usually round and cone-shaped, but they may also be square. A traditional hogan is made of wood and packed mud and earth in varying amounts, with the door facing east to welcome the rising sun for good wealth and fortune.
Today, while some older hogans are still used as dwellings and others are maintained for ceremonial purposes, new hogans are rarely intended as family dwellings.
Traditional structured hogans are also considered pioneers of energy efficient homes. Using packed mud against the entire wood structure, the home was kept cool by natural air ventilation and water sprinkled on the dirt ground inside. During the winter, the fireplace kept the inside warm for a long period of time and well into the night. This concept is called thermal mass.