Gnau villages are built on hilltops, 300 meters or more above sea level—a settlement choice likely derived from the need for defense dating back to the precontact times of chronic intervillage hostilities. Villages are subdivided into named hamlets and subhamlets. Hamlets are surrounded by coconut palms, with village gardens located in the forest in the valleys below. Hamlets consist of men's houses, dwelling houses for women and their children, and "day houses" where men gather together and eat during the day. In the past each Hamlet had one large men's house rather than the several smaller ones found today. Substantial houses and sometimes smaller huts are also built and maintained near the gardens.