Shipibo - Settlements

In the past the Shipibo lived in dispersed extended-family homesteads along rivers. Today they reside in villages with houses distributed along one side of a street, opposite cocinas (kitchens) and roughly parallel to the water. Villages are usually located on a beach alongside a river or a large ox-bow (i.e., crescent-shaped) lake. Some small households have their own cocina, whereas larger extended or polygynous family households may share a cocina, with each married woman maintaining her own earthen hearth. Today there are about 120 Shipibo settlements ranging in size from 100 to 500 inhabitants. Houses and cocinas are constructed entirely of materials extracted from the surrounding forest. Houses have raised floors of split palm wood and palm-thatched roofs; some are enclosed by bamboo walls. Cocinas are constructed of the same materials, but without elevated floors or walls.

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