Elements of endangered forms of Fataluku cultural expression

Every nation has a culture that underpins the way of life. According to the traditions of Lautem, our culture enables us to have strong unity and friendship.
If we lose our culture, we lose our identity.
All the information we have collected in this project informs us about the original culture of our ancestors.

Sr Justino Valentim, Senior Researcher, 1954-2014 

The Fataluku people of far eastern Timor-Leste maintain diverse and fascinating forms of cultural expression. An MHI research project, Documenting Endangered Forms of Cultural Expression of the Fataluku people, recorded 30 different cultural heritage elements – many practiced in different forms – in the Lautem district between 2012 and 2013. The project sought to help re-invigorate critically endangered forms of cultural expression by recording those cultural forms; building local capacity to preserve cultural heritage; and providing Fataluku people with an opportunities to view and learn more about their cultural heritage.

Background information: Fataluku people and culture 
Research method

The elements of Fataluku endangered cultural heritage documented were:
music   craft   tools   medicine  architecture   folklore   oral literature and song  ritual.

Detailed findings of elements 

Video recordings in exhibition format here.
The video recordings from this research project are now available for viewing in a gallery format.  In the videos, community members share their knowledge and practice of endangered forms of Fataluku cultural expression. The recordings are organised into 'items', 'collections' and 'exhibits' and are also grouped according to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage domains (categorisations). Each item title is written in Fataluku, followed by the Tetum and English translations. The title includes the name of the form of cultural expression and the aldeia (village) in which it was recorded. 

This resource is a work in progress and we are still uploading and organising items and creating collections and exhibitions. 

MHi acknowledges the University of Melbourne for its support for this resource through a Community Engagement Grant.

Map: Location of elements by suku, aldeia and GPS co-ordinates

Project reports:  Reports from the project including conference papers and presentations 

Using this material
MHI welcomes researchers and interested people to use this information in work that contributes to increasing knowledge of Fataluku cultural expression. We request that MHI is acknowledged when any material from this site is used. Comments, suggestions or corrections are also welcome, please email: kim.dunphy@manyhands.org.au.

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