Tokelau - Settlements

On one leeward islet of each atoll is a clearly bounded village. Rectangular houses, until recently of thatch construction, are more or less aligned to well-defined paths. The villages are densely settled yet the open houses give a sense of spaciousness. At the lagoon shore, reclamations faced with coral boulders—from which extend over-water latrines—alternate with natural shores where vessels are beached. The ocean or back of the village is the preferred location for cook houses. Here the prevailing winds carry smoke out to sea. Village amenities—church, meetinghouse, and cricket pitch—tend to be clustered in the center, while recently constructed public structures—copra sheds, hospitals, and schools—are located at the peripheries.

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