Somalis - Settlements



There are two major types of Somali villages. One is the densely clustered nomadic encampment, with portable huts (sing. aqal ) occupied by five to ten families that stay in the vicinity of the pastures of their herds. Another type of village is found among sedentary cultivators and agro-pastoralists. These are permanent settlements, with an average of five hundred inhabitants and about one hundred mud huts (sing. mundul ) with thatched roofs. An increasingly common type of building is the tin-roofed mud house ( baraako ). Settlement in these villages may be more dispersed than in the nomadic encampments and may also seasonally include some of the villagers' nomadic kin. The permanent villages are surrounded by farms, and in the center of each village a mosque and a market can often be found. In the grazing areas, small groups of young herders often reside in the open.


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