Bugle - Settlements



The Bugle, much like the Ngawbe, live in a highly dispersed pattern, in individual houses and in small hamlets (called caseríos ) consisting of two or three houses occupied by consanguineously and affinally related individuals. Bugle dwellings are located mostly along or near rivers and streams. Traditional houses were round, with conical roofs of straw or palm leaves, low walls of sticks or cane, earthen floors raised a few centimeters above the surrounding ground, and, generally, with two entrances but with no particular orientation. This house type was widespread among the indigenous peoples of western Panama and eastern Costa Rica (which are sometimes known as "Talamancan" cultures). The traditional houses measured up to 10 meters in diameter and 7 or 8 meters from the floor to the apex of the roof. This type of dwelling was noted as being the most common during the visit of Erland Nordenskiöld in 1927. By 1964, however, rectangular houses made of the same materials—some with earthen floors and others raised above the ground on posts—were more common, apparently as a result of influence from the nonindigenous coastal cultures. The change is attributed by the Bugle to greater ease of construction. The traditional circular houses never contained interior partitions; the rectangular houses sometimes do. Each type of house has an interior platform under the roof, accessed by a notched-log ladder, that serves as a storage area for agricultural products and personal belongings. The cooking fire is usually located in the center of the floor—on a prepared clay base, in the case of houses elevated on posts.

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