Anuta - Settlements



Dwellings are distributed in a somewhat ragged line along the island's southern shoreline. The dosest the Anutans have to a term for "village" is noporanga, which literally means "dwelling place." Villages are not demarcated by any physical boundary. Anuta has two distinct naming systems for the Villages. Initially there were two noporanga: Mua or "Front" to the east, and Muri or "Back" to the west. The first church house was constructed to the west of Muri, and a number of houses were subsequently erected near the church. These houses took on the church's name, St. John, and came to be designated as a third noporanga. According to the newer System, Mua and Muri are grouped together under the name Rotoapi and contrasted with houses to the west, known as Vatiana in this system. Houses have a rectangular floor plan and are built low to the ground, with steep roofs. Frames are made from coconut and other durable woods; the walls are thatched with sago leaves and roofs with coconut fronds. Doors are less than a meter high, so that entry and exit is by crawling on hands and knees.

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