Tetum

(redirected from Tetun language)

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 ?
I have learnt to speak some of the Tetun language and, although basic, it has been enough to communicate and this has helped with building relationships, gaining a better understanding of the people and achieving the best results that I could in my roles at KD.
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.