Makassar - Settlements

Whereas settlements in the coastal plains usually consist of several hundred houses, villages in the interior regions are much smaller, containing from 10 to 150 houses. In some cases, the houses are clustered around sacred places; in others, they are built along both sides of a path, with the front gables oriented toward the sacred peaks of Mount Bawakaraeng/Lompobattang. Traditionally, villages were located amid the rice fields and gardens, with an average distance of some 3 kilometers from one settlement to another. In the course of current resettlement projects, many highland villages are being moved to places that are accessible by asphalt roads. In these cases, traditional settlement patterns cannot be maintained. The house is raised on wooden (formerly bamboo) piles. It is rectangular in shape and provided with a gable roof. Partitions of the gable formerly indicated the social status to which the owner belonged. No part of the house is decorated by engravings or anything similar. The interior is divided into a main room, kitchen, and (mostly only one) sleeping quarter. While formerly up to twenty people resided in a single house, nowadays most houses are inhabited by an average of five persons. Bamboo, as the traditional material for house building, has been largely replaced by wood and corrugated iron, but even in the rural locations an increasing number of houses are built of bricks. This hampers mobility, which was characteristic of the traditional local settlement pattern, since old-style houses could be moved from one place to another within a few hours.

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