Paths of origin, gates of life: A study of place and precedence in southwest Timor

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Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this work explores the historical and cultural dimensions of an indigenous Timorese domain in the southern central highlands of West Timor. Informing the study of Timorese social and cultural practice is an interpretative framework based on the concept of precedence and the rich repertoire of indigenous metaphor and binary categories by which Timorese articulate and classify social relations. Ideas of place and precedence are central to an understanding of local status differences within and between hamlet settlements. They also inform the historical patterns of present-day settlements and help explain aspects of the broader historical expansion and migration of meto populations across much of West Timor. or the little known region of Timor, this volume will be of interest to regional specialists, development planners and students of anthropology, seeking a more detailed understanding of indigenous history and sociality in this corner of the Lesser Sunda Islands of eastern Indonesia. Andrew McWilliam, is a research fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He has undertaken extensive research on Timor since 1983 both as an anthropologist and as an advisor on rural development projects. His present work focuses on resource tenure and policy challenges in both East and West Timor.

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