Temiar - Settlements

Currently many Temiar live in large relocation communities built on the modern rural Malay pattern, with raised zincroofed plank houses arranged in streets. Others still live in, or are moving back into, houses and villages of a more traditional kind situated in forest clearings along the major rivers. Houses here—which follow no special pattern of orientation—are raised off the ground on unshaped wooden pillars, to heights varying between 1 and 4 meters. The under-house space is used for work activities and as a shelter for domestic animals. The flooring is made of split-bamboo laths and the walls are of plaited bamboo strips or sheets of tree bark. This open construction allows air to circulate freely, unlike in the houses in the relocation communities. The overhanging roofs are of leaf thatch, which keeps out most of the rain and solar heat. The structure is held together with tightly knotted rattan strips, requiring a minimum of carpentry or tools. Temiar houses are generally rectangular (although circular houses are found in one valley). Internally, there is a common central floor space employed for cooking, dancing, threshing, and receiving visitors. The separate household compartments are situated on all sides of this central space, often separated by only knee-high partitions.

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