Brazil's ten Wanano settlements are situated from 3 to 24 kilometers apart along the middle Uaupés. Settlements contain from 30 to 160 persons. All settlements are situated at the river's edge, where the inhabited areas are cleared of ground vegetation and paths lead through the surrounding forest to the gardens. Ideally, the village comprises one local patrilineal descent group, here called the sib. The location of each descent group is thought to have been established by the ancestral Anaconda canoe, which placed the first ancestor of each sib in the "proper" place of that sib. The ideal of complete patrilocality is not fully realized, however, and the degree of correspondence between the local group and the unilineal descent group varies. A settlement's residents frequently include in-laws and other nonsib members.
Local settlements often fragment. As groups grow in size, subgroups leave the original unit. The splinter group may establish its own settlement, or may utilize bilateral kinship ties to reside in villages of relatives.