Sambia - Settlements

Villages range in size from approximately 40 to 250 persons. All villages are spatially distinct. There are two village types: pioneering and consolidated. The pioneering type is built on a steep mountain ridge, fortified by palisades and fences to prevent attack. A pioneer village contains a great clan and component clans, with surrounding gardens, and a common hunting and gathering territory. The consolidated type is the result of two previously distinct villages uniting into a larger, somewhat less clustered settlement. Houses are built in a neat line pattern atop the ridges. Footpaths connect houses with gardens above and streams and rivers below. Each nuclear family lives in a hut, though other extended family members may at times sleep there. The house is gabled, thatched, and small, with a hearth and no windows. There are two other types of dwellings. One is a menstrual hut built slightly below the village, wherein birth and menstrual events occur and women's ceremonies are held. The other is a men's house, where all males dwell after initiation (at age 7-10) until Marriage (in the late teens to early 20s), when a separate Residence is built. Military and secret male ritual activities occur in that clubhouse. The menstrual and men's houses are taboo to the opposite sex. Casual shelters are placed in gardens as necessary. Pig-herding and hunting lodges of more Permanent construction are built in distant gardens and the forest, and certain nuclear families or extended clan families reside in them, sometimes for several months.

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