Rotinese - Settlements

Traditions assert that before the formation of domains, each clan or origin group identified with a particular named ancestor held its own territory in the vicinity of some defensible walled redoubt. After the formation of the domains, these clans were assigned positions in the defense of the walled fortifications of their lords. With the establishment of peace under the Dutch, settlements became scattered. For administrative purposes, the Dutch attempted to recognize villages or village areas (now identified by a church or local school), but houses are still dispersed individually and in small clusters wherever there is sufficient fresh water for drinking and gardening. The traditional house, the center of Rotinese life, is a rectangular structure with gabled ends and a thatched roof that extends nearly to the ground. The house proper, divided into male and female halves, is raised on posts beneath the roof. The roof also envelops a ground-floor area with resting platforms where guests are received. Cooking is most often done in an adjacent thatched structure. Since 1970, traditional houses have been replaced by rectangular structures built on the ground. Because of a lack of wood, both cement and stone are now used in building houses.

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