Yörük - Settlements

The Yörük were traditionally tent-dwelling, nomadic pastoralists who moved on a fairly regular schedule between highland (yayla) and lowland (kishlak) pastures. The settlement system comprised camp groups of families, usually close agnates, the size of which varied according to available grazing, social relations, and, in some cases, defense. It was rare for a household to camp alone. In the southeast, where the last significant populations of pastoralists were migrating with flocks of sheep and camels (for transport) as recently as 1979, winter camp groups ranged from two to six households and summer camps from five to twenty-five. The tents are of goat hair woven into rectangular panels that are stitched together to form a cover, which is supported by three poles, one at either end and one in the middle. To this structure, side panels of the same material are added and the entire tent is held in place by woven guy ropes and stakes. Internally, the tent is organized around the central division marked by the hearth. One side is primarily used to receive guests, for male socializing, and eating; the other, primarily the domain of women, is where food is prepared. Village-dwelling Yörük, like other Anatolian peoples, usually organize their houses in a somewhat similar fashion: certain areas are reserved for guests, ceremonial occasions, and male visitors, and other areas are reserved for the women of the household. The patrilocally organized household is the primary unit of social and economic organization. Each household is a unit of shared production and consumption. Separate domiciles almost always indicate separate households with separate sources of income.

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