Sumu - Settlements



The Sumu, riverine rain-forest people, build their settlements along clear-water streams, above tidal influence. They formerly lived in large (20 meters by 10 meters) multifamily lodges, dispersed, or in small clusters on high levee banks. In the early 1900s missionary and government programs began to agglomerate them into villages. Today there are about forty villages in Nicaragua and five in Honduras. Most have between 100 and 500 people, fewer than fifty houses, a church, school, and store. Houses are now smaller thatch- or tin-roofed, post-and-pole framed structures with board, split-bamboo, or palm floors elevated about a meter above the ground. Normally a house is sided with a door and windows; sometimes it has a divided interior.

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