Chaha’oh

Shade, shadow, sun shelter.

In Navajo, the chaha’oh is a gathering place made of tree trunks for posts and leafy branches for cover. Many homes have these structures, and they are great shade houses during the summer months.

A chaha’oh can range in size depending on the amount of materials in the area, and the need of the family. And, a chaha’oh is rarely “finished,” because it requires constant care. There can also be more than one per homesite.

A navajo shadehouse

Generally, chaha’oh refers to shade. It can also refer to shadow.

For example: Dził bichaha’oh kéyah bik’est’i’. The mountain’s shadow covered the land.

The shadehouse has a variety of uses. It’s a common cooking place, or it’s great when it comes time to butcher. Nowadays, it’s common to see tables, tarp coverings, chairs, and more in the chaha’oh. You may also see them at churches, farms, and fleamarkets around Diné Bikéyah.