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Ahwahnee Village


Ceremonial Roundhouse
haᵡᵡi' (hangngi') (Southern and Central Miwok)

Ceremonial Roundhouse
[click to enlarge]

Ceremonial Roundhouse
Inside Ceremonial Roundhouse
[click to enlarge]

Inside ceremonial roundhouse
The roundhouse, or haᵡᵡi' (hangngi'), was the center of village religious activities and the focal point of large, affluent villages. Most Miwok roundhouses were earth-covered, but after contact with non-Indians the majority were built with split-wood shake roofs, as they were easier to maintain.

This roundhouse has a roof of incense cedar bark, a roof-style that probably did not occur before contact with non-Indians. The main entrance is on the southeast, facing the morning sun.

Four big oak posts support the roundhouse. which needs reconstruction every dozen years or so. Built in 1992, it replaced one that was built on this site in 1973. The 1992 construction was a cooperative effort of the National Park Service, the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, the Youth Conservation Corps and the Yosemite Fund.

The roundhouse is used for ceremonial activities by members of the local Indian community at various times of the year. Typically, four men dance around a fire to the beat of a chanter.

Further Information



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