Research method

Recruitment and permission process
MHI’s research team sought permission to undertake research in each district, first from the District Administrator and Sub District Administrators from the sub-districts of Lautem, Lospalos and Tutualu. Then, the team approached Sefi de Suku and Sefi de Aldeia (sub-village and village leaders) in Lautem district for permission to research, and also to locate and recruit cultural knowledge holders.

Identified participants were asked for permission to record information and this was documented in writing, including the level of access they recommended for the information (public, for specific audiences, secret). A sample permission form in Tetun is attached.

Research participants
Researchers made an intentional effort to collect at least one element from all suku (sub-villages) and aldeia (villages) in the sub-districts Lospalos, Lautem and Tutuala of district Lautem where Fataluku is the predominant culture. Information was gathered from seventeen suku (sub-villages) in twenty-three aldeia (villages). 64 male and 84 female research participants who self-identified or were identified by local leaders as cultural knowledge holders provided this information.

Research questions
Participants were invited to share information they held about endangered cultural heritage elements including elements they believed were important to record and practices they were involved in. Questions were based on the UNESCO requirements for recording intangible cultural heritage.

These comprised:
• Name of cultural element
• Community to which it is related
• Geographic location
• Elements with which it is associated (tangible and intangible)
• Speech level involved
• Perceived origin
• People involved: their names, ages, gender, tribe, social status, professional category
• Other participants (knowledge holders)
• Access: what are access issues for this element?
• Modes of transmission
• Viability of the element: threats to enactment and transmission
• Availability of associated tangible elements and resources.
• Viability of associated tangible and intangible elements
• Safeguarding measures in place.

Interviews were conducted in Fataluku and later translated into Tetun and English. Information was recorded in writing and via photos and video. (Sample questionnaire in Tetun attached).

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