Dusun - Settlements



Dusun communities traditionally number (as of 1959) about 300 to 400 persons and range from a low of about 100 persons to over 1,000 persons. Most Dusun communities are distinct, compact, or nucleated entities set in the center of, or directly adjacent to, food-producing areas. Dusun settlements employing swidden cultivation have a "longhouse" type of dwelling, or a series of nuclear-family apartments built on one level, fronted by a common veranda and covered by a common roof. Some Dusun swidden communities have several longhouses grouped closely together. Dusun communities basing their food production on irrigated rice agriculture often contain a number of separate nuclear-family dwellings grouped closely together in a type of "divided longhouse" form (e.g., family apartments no longer fronted by a common veranda or covered by a common roof) and are arranged along the length of a footpath, often on a rise or bluff overlooking nearby rice fields. Coconut palms, fruit trees, and other useful plants are grown near the houses in compact Dusun settlements using irrigated rice farming. In both types of Dusun community, family members move out at the beginning of the day to tend fields, perform various tasks connected with agriculture, or forage and hunt in nearby jungle areas. Structures in both kinds of Dusun community traditionally have hardwood support posts with split-bamboo sides and floors and either a bamboo-tile or atap palm-thatch roof.


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