Nahua of the Huasteca - Settlements

In general, the Nahua live in villages that range in population from 200 to 800. Larger, more acculturated communities may be organized according to the Spanish model, with a church and plaza at the center. Smaller villages are often scattered groupings of houses belonging to kin. Dwellings of less acculturated people usually consist of a single room with a thatched roof. The floor plan is rectangular, although sometimes one of the short ends of the rectangle is curved. The walls are made from vertical poles tied to a framework with vines, and mud mixed with dried grass is sometimes applied to form a solid wall. Floors are of packed earth, kept clean by women who sprinkle them with water and sweep them daily. An architectural cycle is evident in which people use a newer house for sleeping and other activities while using the older habitation as a kitchen. Interiors are sparsely furnished with few manufactured items. Increasingly, houses have tar-paper or corrugated-iron roofs and may be constructed from cement block. Such houses frequently have cement floors as well. More acculturated villages may have electricity.

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