Foi - Settlements

Foi communal life centers around a men's longhouse, wherein reside the representatives of anywhere between three and thirteen patrilineally composed exogamous dispersed clans. Villages range in size from about 20 people to almost 300. In the village, women reside in smaller houses flanking the longhouse; the longhouse can reach lengths of 55 meters. The separate domiciles of men and women stem from Foi men's belief that contact with women's menstrual secretions is deleterious to their health. The Foi subsistence economy, however, revolves around nuclear family bush houses, Scattered in the territory surrounding the longhouse village, where a man, his wives, and children reside on the man's property. Most Foi move back and forth between bush and longhouse regularly, but the longhouse is technically only a public, ceremonial venue. Mubi River villages are close to the river itself and much traffic is by dugout canoe.

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