Kurtatchi - Settlements

Tinputz speakers lived in scattered hamlets along the coast, atop cliffs which rose up from the shore, and, less often, slightly inland. People were under continual pressure from the government and missions to consolidate settlements, which were probably smaller in precontact times. Houses were aligned, and the hamlet was fenced except toward the shoreline. An important feature of each hamlet was a men's house, especially used for boys' initiation. Houses were built directly on the ground of sago-palm thatch, in the shape of a broad Gothic arch, a form distinctive of the Austronesian-language speakers of the north. Australian administrators urged people to build houses raised on piles for hygienic reasons, and today some Tinputz live in houses made of European materials with floor plans like those found in more urban settings.

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