The Yakan have no compact villages; the houses are scattered among the fields, and there are vegetables and fruit trees around the house. Usually it is difficult to see where one settlement ends and the next begins. The center of the community is the mosque ( langgal ), which is a simple building. The houses are rectangular pile dwellings housing nuclear families. The traditional house has a steep thatched roof, although today corrugated iron is also used. The walls are made of either plaited reed or bamboo, or of wooden boards; the floor may be of bamboo, but is more often of timber. Usually the house has only one big room with no special quarters for the women. To the house is joined a kitchen. The house is entered through a porch, which is an important part of the house. The inhabitants of a settlement may be related, but it is not the rule. Some changes have recently taken place. Though houses may still be scattered, this is no longer the case everywhere. Some people now build closer to one another, which was formerly done rarely and only when the occupants of the houses were closely related. Also, some who can afford to do so now build better, more modern houses.