Chambri - Settlements



The three Chambri villages stretch along the shore of Chambri Island and range in population from 250 to 350. Each village has five men's houses, although at any given time some of them may be house sites only. In its ideal form, a Chambri men's house is an impressive two-story structure with high gable ends, surmounted with carved finíais, large oval second-story windows, and elaborately carved and painted interior posts and other heavy timbers. Membership in a men's house is patrilineally inherited and includes men from several patricians. Formerly, and to some extent still, women marrying into a clan lived in a large multifamily clan house. Those Chambri currently residing in Wewak live in a crowded squatters' settlement, as large as a Chambri village, composed of small houses made of a variety of scavenged or bush materials. The residential pattern at the camp in Wewak replicates that on Chambri Island, with migrants from Kilimbit, Indingai, and Wombun living in their own respective sections.

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