Since aboriginal times, the Karok have lived on small areas of flat land, locally called "river bars," which border the Klamath River. Families were grouped into villages, some of which have become modern communities such as Orleans and Happy Camp. Transportation was formerly via river canoe or overland trails. Certain larger villages, such as Orleans, served as ceremonial centers for villages upriver and downriver from them. At present the Karok live either in the towns or on individual homesteads. The "living house," one per family, and the sweat house, which served as a men's clubhouse and dormitory for a whole community, were the major structures. Traditional houses were semisubterranean; modern Karok usually live in wood frame houses.