Chamacoco - Settlements

Prior to Western influence and in response to the alternating climatic changes in the region that necessitated the dispersion of the tribal groups during the dry season (March to August) and their concentration in rural villages during the wet season (September to February), the Chamacoco followed a threefold residential pattern that allowed them to renew their clan relationships and to celebrate their ritual cycles. Placed near good water sources, the settlement types included the oihyút, or temporary encampment of a band consisting of a single family or of multiple families; the dút, which assembled a group of up to 50 or 60 persons; and the diyét, a huge encampment of up to 600 individuals who gathered for ceremonial purposes. In all three types of residential arrangements, the precariously constructed huts of straw mats formed a circle around a small central plaza; it is not clear whether there existed any fixed clan locations. In addition, the dút and the diyét had within their vicinities a second small plaza hidden in the woods, where the men's secret society met to celebrate their initiation rites. These circular villages and their nearby ritual sites still exist among the Tomaráho. The Ebidóso, however, influenced by the New Tribes, adopted a rectangular village plan with "streets" at right angles and fenced lots in which individual families construct their houses of palm stems with saddle roofs.

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