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  This photo of the earth lodge under construction shows the steps cut into the center post for people to come down through the smoke hole. This is the preferred way to get into the lodge. People didn't mind passing through the smoke of the small fire in front of the center post

The vent entrance is a crawl-through on the east side of the lodge. In Native American families, this way was used by the elderly and by little kids and the dog . This view faces roughly southwest.