Mae Enga - Settlements

Mae do not live in compact villages. Men and women occupy separate houses dispersed among the gardens and groves in the territory held by each clan parish, whose population of clansmen, their in-married wives, and their children averages about 400 persons and exploits about 5.2 square kilometers of irregular terrain. One-story dwellings hug the ground and are built with double-planked walls and thickly thatched roofs to keep out cold and rain. Houses are all much the same size and are externally similar but, whereas a woman's house usually shelters one wife, her unwed daughters, her infant sons, several pigs, and family valuables, the average men's house contains about six or seven closely related agnates, Including boys, and their equipment. Wabag township is now a public service and commercial center of between 2,000 and 3,000 residents (including 100 or more non-Enga and Europeans) and has paved streets, Australian-style wooden houses, electricity, and piped water. All-weather roads link Wabag with administrative posts and mission stations within Enga and with neighboring provincial centers.

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