Warao - Settlements

Traditional villages range in population from an extended household of 25 to clusters of household groups with 250 persons. Acculturated Indians may live in isolated homesteads around sawmills and palmetto factories. Until the early decades of the twentieth century, most settlements were located in the moriche-palm groves, where the Warao lived in small, 3-by-3-meter huts thatched with moriche leaves and with floors of stems from the same palm, but after the introduction of ocumo, many groups moved to the open river shores, where most villages are now located. These consist of clusters of 8-by-12-meter houses with a number of smaller kitchens and, in traditional settlements, menstruation huts, dancing floors, and two-story ritual structures. Warao homes there are composed of two independent sections: the floor, built like footbridges on stilts above the highest tide with a covering of manaca- palm trunks and anare ahorohoro ( Euterpe sp.) and the saddle roof thatched with temiche -palm leaves ( Manicaria saccifera ).

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