Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about the Native American sacred structure. For the cartoon character, see Megas XLR.
A kiva is a room used by both ancient and modern Puebloans. Among the Ancient Pueblo Peoples of the Pueblo I Era and following, it was a subterranean room, usually round, and generally believed to have been used for religious and other communal purposes. As the culture developed, some were also built above ground.
They were entered through a hole in the roof. A stone bench for sitting lined the inside wall, sometimes interrupted by support columns for the roof. There was usually a hole or indentation in the floor, now called a sipapu, which symbolized the connection from birth with Mother Earth. Near the center was a fire pit. A ventilation shaft on one side supplied floor-level air for the fire.
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