Nivkh - Settlements




Traditionally, up to about twenty dwellings constituted a hamlet or a village. Such settlements resembled those of other Siberian groups and had about 100 inhabitants. Villages ( wo, vo ) were generally near estuaries or along protected stretches of coastline. As seminomads, the Nivkh are impelled by their fishing activities to move about in groups during certain parts of the year, depending on the location of resources and on the season. Their houses ( tyf, taf ) are now above the ground (wooden, rectangular, with raised floor and gabled roof) but were semisubterranean (with a flat, earth-covered roof) in earlier times. Conical temporary shelters called prshy can vary in size; they were traditionally made of fish skin and erected on the shore in the autumn, during periods of intensive fishing. The term nyo refers to a storehouse or plain house built on pillars.


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