Guajiro - Settlements



In the traditional territory, the settlements are widely dispersed. The residential unit ( miichipala , "place of houses") is an aggregate of dwellings, often separated by many tens of meters, that provides shelter for nuclear families sharing the same water source. There are generally between a few dozen and several hundred persons in a miichipala. The latter are all named, and sometimes divided into subunits, which are themselves named. The miichipala are, on average, several kilometers distant from one another, and large stretches of the interior of the Guajira Peninsula remain uninhabited. Traditional dwellings are comprised of a small house where hammocks are hung at night; a kitchen, which consists of a surrounding wall of cactus or branches, sometimes covered by a roof; and a porch roof, made of a flat overhang on posts, under which daily activities and the entertainment of visitors take place. Located farther out are the sheep and goat pens and the garden, which is protected by a fence.


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