Tetum

(redirected from Tetun language)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jose Luis Guterres, a senior member of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), called the talks, held mostly in Portuguese and East Timor's native Tetun language, "very fraternal and very frank." The CNRT is a broad-based umbrella group that brings together leaders of all the main pro-independence parties.