Traditionally, Kurds were either nomads who lived in tent camps and moved their herds between summer and winter pasturage, or settled agriculturists who lived in villages on the plains or in mountain valleys. Today most Kurds have settled. Those who have not live in heavy, black woolen tents, which remain standing at the winter pasturage, and use lighter tents when traveling to and from summer pastures higher in the mountains. Camps may consist of an entire clan or of a group of families who join to herd their flocks together.
Kurdish villages consist of low clay or stone houses with flat roofs. They are often built up the sides of a slope such that the roof of one house serves as a terrace for the house above it. Some villages correspond to lineages, others contain members of several lineages or of both tribal and nontribal groups; many are not organized along any kind of kinship tie. Villages often own communal pasture land, and, in some villages, private property may be sold only to fellow villagers. Kurdistan also contains several urban centers where large landowners, professionals, government workers, and laborers reside.