Murik - Settlements

The villages located on the ocean beach have been subjected to extensive damage from onshore storms and high seas. Where sufficient land is available, houses are arranged in sections by descent group. In Big Murik, Darapap, and Karau this orderly arrangement has been disrupted by shifts in the coastline and land shortages. The present village sites face the mangrove lakes. Houses are built on stilts from 4 to 8 feet above the ground. Shells and coconut refuse accumulate below houses to increase the dry land area. Canoes are built and maintained in proximity to the owners' houses. Large ceremonial houses ( taab ) are constructed by descent groups to house sacred objects and to perform secret rituals. Smaller men's houses ( kamasaan ) are used for daily gatherings to discuss village affairs and to work on carvings. Very large Domestic dwellings, inhabited by a senior woman and her family, are designated as ceremonial houses for women's ritual ( sambaan iron). Household composition varies with the domestic life cycle but usually includes an extended family of three or four generations. New houses are built by young couples as their family outgrows the extended family household. Villages have small garden plots and coconut groves nearby, and coconut, betel, and fruit trees grow in and around the village. The Mangroves are laced with hand-cut channels for fishing and harvesting shellfish. Many families also maintain fishing houses deep in the mangroves.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: