Indigenous Peoples of East Timor
Tetum and Mambai
There is over 300,000 people under this culture.
slash and burn cultivation of maize, sweet potatoes, dry rice and other vegetables. Crop fields are sown around corn shrines. Some people will raise pigs and some buffalo.
This culture believes that women represent the sacred world and men the secular. these people observe complex rites that are meant to join the secular and sacred worlds, ensuring a good harvest. Religious shamans, being male or female act as interpreters of spirit.
Each village is governed by a headman who is watched over by a chief. tetum decent is patrilineal.
There is about 80,000 people of this culture. Range from the Dili district to the south coast of East Timor.
This culture farms maize, rice, and root vegetables.
- Clifford Sather and James J. Fox (eds), Origins, Ancestry and Alliance: Explorations in Austronesian Ethnography, ANU E Press, 2006, Chapter 7
- Mambai reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Tony Wheeler, East Timor, Lonely Planet, 2004, p. 93
- Asian survey, University of California Press, 2003, Volume 43, Issues 4-6, p. 754
- International Crisis Group, Asia Briefing N°65, 13 June 2007
- East Timor Legal Information Site, 2007
- Elizabeth Gilbert Traube, Ritual exchange among the Mambai of East Timor: gifts of life and death, Harvard University Press, 1977
- Elizabeth Gilbert Traube, Cosmology and Social Life: ritual exchange among the Mambai of East Timor, University of Chicago Press, 1986.