Tetum

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Tetum

 

(or Belu), a people inhabiting the island of Timor. The Tetum, who number more than 400,000 (1970, estimate), speak a language of the Ambonese-Timor subgroup of the Indonesian languages. They profess Catholicism and Islam, although ancestor worship has been preserved. The Tetum appeared on Timor not earlier than the 14th century. The main forms of their economy are land cultivation, livestock raising, and handicrafts. The Tetum live in pile dwellings. Together with developing capitalist relations, elements of feudal and communal-clan relations are preserved in the social structure of the Tetum.

REFERENCE

Narody Iugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
Including dramatisations of traumatic real-life events and dialogue in the local Tetum language, it also marks the first feature film from East Timor.
1/2004, of 14 April (Orthographical Standard of the Tetum Language) provides that the orthographical standard of Official Tetum must be used in three high status public domains: in the general education system; in official publications; and in social communication.
Fehan denoted Timorese who spoke the indigenous form of the Tetum language (Tetum Terik) and resided, for the most part, on the coastal plains of the south.
(1) The term 'town' (vila in the Portuguese language and kota in the Tetum language) refers to settlements in East Timor which are of much smaller size than the term signifies in customary use and one could argue that Viqueque's population of roughly 1000 in the 1960s hardly justifies that characterization; nevertheless it is usual to characterize it as such and I do so here.
Among their aims is: "to assist the East Timorese people to preserve and develop the Tetum language so that they can express their culture and identity in today's world" (MMIETS 2000).