Torres Strait Islanders - Settlements

Settlement types varied in the islands. On those islands capable of supporting gardening to any great extent, villages consisted of a collection of huts grouped together along the shore, with a cult shrine and associated garden plots. Permanent shelters varied in construction type throughout the Islands: the eastern islanders favored a cone-shaped hut of reeds and grasses, while the northern islanders built long huts elevated on stilts. On the smaller or less fertile islands, only temporary structures were established, as might be expected for people depending primarily upon hunting and gathering for their subsistence. Traditionally, men and initiated boys slept in one hut or portion of camp, separate from the dwellings or camping grounds of the women and children. With Christianity, settlements were established in clusters around the church mission and schools, and the separation of men's and women's housing was replaced by the nuclear-family household.

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