Formerly, the Ticuna lived in communal houses that were removed from each other and located in the middle of the jungle, in the area called terra firme, that is, on land above the flood line. The houses were large, had an oval floor plan, and a central section in which ceremonies were held. They accommodated various nuclear families. Communication between the houses was by way of foot trails. River navigation was of little significance. Later the communal houses were gradually replaced by rectangular houses with two-sided roofs and no walls. The new houses stood dispersed in the periodically innundated Amazon River area and were occupied by nuclear families. Both the change in settlement, from terra firme to land subject to flooding, and the substitution of one-family houses for communal houses, have substantially transformed the Ticuna way of life. The Indians have learned how to make good canoes, have adopted new techniques for fishing in large rivers, and have acquired new cultivation practices. Contact with Whites has intensified. In the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, the Ticuna adopted yet a different settlement pattern in the form of villages. Concomitant with this innovation was the increasing number of settlers in the area and the establishment of more cattle ranches, which diminished the land available for hunting and cultivation. Nowadays the majority of Ticuna live in villages whose population varies between 70 and 1,500. The most populous villages are located on Brazilian soil.
Ticuna houses have two well defined spaces: the living quarters and the kitchen. The former is subdivided into three areas. The first is a raised platform on pillars, which protects the residents from possible flooding and from animals; the second is defined by the floor of the platform and the cross beams of the roof. Here the two occupants sleep under mosquito nets, since hammocks are now used only for resting during the day. In the third section, the Ticuna place boards over the transverse roof beams, where children occasionally sleep and special items are kept. The kitchen can be a prolongation of the house or form a small shed.