Ka'wiari - Settlements



The settlements are dispersed along the rivers. The traditional residence unit was the maloca, a large rectangular communal house (about 10 by 15 meters) covered with a two-sided thatched roof. The interior space is divided in half—that is, a feminine part toward the back and a masculine part toward the front. "Residents" occupy the former and "visitors" the latter. Ideally, the hut is oriented according to the movement of the sun. In 1976 the average number of people living in a residence unit was ten. When gathering wild fruit or on prolonged hunting excursions, temporary camps are built in the forest. Since 1982, when a school for Indians was built at the mouth of the Río Cananari, houses of nuclear or composite families have tended to be concentrated in the village of Villa Gladis, although a communal house still functions as the center of daily life and ceremonial gatherings.

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