Posted by: Stephanie Mach | June 20, 2008

Building the Hopi Corn Roasting Pit in 2008

We have a new addition to the Homolovi Visitor Center. If you happen to wander out back you will find a traditional Hopi corn roasting pit near the reconstructed pueblo house. The feature was constructed for the annual Homolovi Ruins Suvoyuki Day, during which we will be hosting a traditional corn roast. The corn pit will be a permanent addition to the site and will be used for future corn roasts. The corn pit was built under the instruction of Justin Setalla and with the help of the HUROP students. The process began by digging a circular pit, about 2.5 feet in diamter. When the pit was roughly 5 feet deep we began to widen the base of the pit creating a “stomach” in which in the corn will be placed. An easy was to picture this is by imagining a bell shaped hole with a long narrow neck. In order to carve out the stomach of the pit we needed a volunteer (of small stature) to climb into the pit, dig, and lift the sand out. At the same time two other students worked to create a flue, which is a narrow shaft that provides air supply to keep the fire burning. The flue was positioned on the southwest side of the corn pit because that is the direction the wind blows during most of the day. We tunneled at an angle and connected with the corn pit at the bottom of the neck. WIth four young students using modern metal tools it took about 6 hours to complete the corn roasting pit.

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