Until the twentieth century the Yawalapití lived in dispersed extended-family homesteads; only since the 1950s, with the help of the Villas Boas brothers, have they built their own village. Today the village consists of nine communal dwellings ( maloca ) forming a circle around the small men's house, which houses the sacred flutes ( yakuí ). The village is located on a beach about a kilometer from the river. The number of inhabitants of a maloca varies widely—about fifty people live in chief Aritana's maloca; another maloca has only three inhabitants. Malocas are built according to an ellipsoidal ground plan, measure 30 by 30 meters in diameter, and reach up to 6 or 7 meters high. A complicated roof construction rests on a few central columns and many lower 1to 2-meter-high side piles. Roofs made of sapé grass reach to the ground. Two small entrances in the middle of the longer walls are covered during the night with wooden boards; in the past, thatch from sapé or a skin was used. The common kitchen is located between the two entrances, where there is also a large cylindrical storage basket for manioc flour, water vessels, and utensils for cooking and roasting.