Kashubians - Settlements



Kashubian settlements follow no set plan. The most Commonly encountered pattern is the "street village": a string of homesteads fronting upon a single roadway, with a church located somewhere along the row. However, there are also likely to be a good many outlying homesteads located at some distance from the roadway but nonetheless sharing in the village life. Houses and other buildings are principally of wood. The oldest are log cabins capped with moss or clay. Brick and mortar are relatively new building materials and still somewhat unusual. Houses are rectangular, with thatched and gabled roofs and 1.8- to 2.1-meter, cross-beamed ceilings. The chimney is located in the rough center of the house. The Kashubians do not employ carving or decoration as part of house design, except for simple carved boards ornamenting the gables. There are two house types: the oldest kind has its entrance at one of the gabled ends and also includes a veranda within which some of the family's animals may shelter. The second house type has its entrance on one of the long sides, and within the house, one side is often given over to the animals. Most Kashubians have at least a small farm and garden of their own, but the poorest are landless and must live and work on the farms of others. In return for their labor, they receive a cottage on the farm property, as well as payments in cash and kind.

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