Fore settlements are relatively dispersed over the landscape with small groups of people living together at the edge of the forest in close proximity to their food gardens. The main residential unit is the hamlet which, in earlier times, typically consisted of one or two communal men's houses and a row of several smaller houses occupied by women and children. An open space with cooking pits separated the two types of dwellings. Behind the women's houses at the edge of the clearing would be one or two small structures where women stayed during menstruation and childbirth. The entire settlement was surrounded by a defensive stockade. Today, the men's houses and stockades are gone and most families live together in one house, often in larger aggregated villages.