Pentecost - Settlements



The pattern of settlement in South Pentecost includes both nucleated villages and dispersed homestead patterns. In the traditionalist or kastom villages, such as Bunlap in the Southeast, the predominant pattern is nucleated, with houses strung out down a ridge and communal men's houses and dancing grounds at the highest elevation. In traditionalist Villages the preferred materials and house designs are Indigenous: earth floors, bamboo-pole walls, and sago-palm thatch roofs on a rectangular frame. Each of these dwellings typically contains a single room, but within this room a transverse log divides the cooking fires of women and children at the front from men at the back. The men's houses are of the same materials and design, but they are much larger and have a series of fires for men of different rank. These traditional structures are complemented by more novel sleeping houses that are raised on stilts, with woven bamboo floors and walls and thatch roofs. This is the usual style of houses in Christian settlements; today, however, they are sometimes made of concrete and corrugated iron with several rooms. Most villages are connected by paths, although between coastal settlements, especially in the west, people may travel by sea in outrigger canoes, dinghies with outboard motors, or occasionally motorized launches. On the level western coast there is a vehicular road stretching from Lonoror to Wanur.

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