Bargaining Kultura. Tensions Between Principles of Power Acquisition in Contemporary Timor-Leste

Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
In this paper, we analyse a discourse around the notions of kultura (from the Portuguese “cultura”), adat (from the Indonesian “custom” or “tradition” ) or lisan (in Tetun) in contemporary Timor-Leste and explore its contemporary strengthening. On the basis of ethnographic evidence, we suggest that beyond hypotheses explaining the revitalization of traditions as primary or secondary effects of changes in political or religious regimes, economic conditions, or power disputes between different socioeconomic groups, the contemporary dynamics of revitalization and devitalization of traditions in contemporary Timor-Leste can best be interpreted as a tensión between different modes of social differentiation and the very definition of the operation of power.
Unesco subjects