Precontact villages had populations of fifteen to fifty people, most housed in a single large house called a mîîmo. Settlements were dispersed over a large area and moved every five to seven years when the house became old, when a leader died, or when local resources became exhausted. Since contact settlements have undergone several changes: the number of villages have decreased as more people concentrated in larger settlements, the multifamily mîîmo has been replaced with smaller nuclear-family houses, settlements remain in one place for much longer periods, and residents must travel farther to new gardens and hunting grounds as nearby resources are depleted. Villages are comprised of neighborhoods, which are clusters of households linked by kinship, political, and tribal affiliations, an echo of former Wáiwai settlement patterns.
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