Itelmen - Settlements

The traditional dwellings were semisubterranean earth huts ( kist ) with an upper entrance for winter habitation and a hut on stilts ( mem ) for summer. The earth huts were built for the whole community, with a capacity of up to 100 people. The summer huts were built for single families. The villages ( atno?n ) were composed of one or several earth huts surrounded by a great number of summer huts and were situated on river banks. Itelmen settled also on the tops of small, even hills. They watered the slopes of the hills in winter to ice them so as to hinder access by their enemies. Beginning in the second half of the eighteenth century, Itelmen began to switch to the Russian type of dwelling ( izba). The summer huts remained until the 1960s and 1970s. Modern Itelmen villages have electricity and radio, but no water supply or sewer system. After resettlement and enlargements, only Kovran and Upper Khairuzovo can be considered as real Itelmen villages (with a predominant Itelmen population). There are hospitals, kindergartens, and secondary schools in both villages.

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