Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Native peoples > Colla

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Settlement Pattern

Colla settlements are disperse, and the dwellings remain unoccupied for much of the year, except for in the locality of Agua Dulce, in Potrerillos, which has a small population of year-round inhabitants. In former times, the Collas maintained seasonal herding settlements at freshwater springs in the highlands of San Juan and Castilla, in the Doña Inés ravine and in the Pedernales salt flat, but these were gradually abandoned between the 1950s and 1970s. Seasonal settlements were also kept beside summer pastures in the highlands. Only along the banks of the Jorquera River is there a year-round population. In the Paipote Ravine this disperse pattern is also in evidence in a series of dwellings between La Puerta and Vega de Tapia.

These seasonal shelters, called majadas, are found in both winter and summer grazing grounds and are constructed of a variety of materials including mud, stone and tin, and covered with a light roof of plant fiber, plastic or canvas. In urban settings, the Collas live in typical city homes.