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ren w asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Early History Of East Timor?

hi does anybody have any information about the history of east timor before portuguese settlement? on what the nation was like before portuguese settlement 450 years ago?

and also what did the portuguese settlers write in documents about the country and the people living there at the time?


4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The first discoveries

    The pre-history of Timor is much speculated, whether parting from archaeological investigations, either accepting the tradition of the legendary and mythological origin os the people.

    Until the second quarter of our century, it was supposed that the land begun to be inhabited a milenium ago, however, certain anthropological and archaeological discoveries (of lithic utensils) prove that the island is inhabited since the Palaeolithic.

    Anyway, it remains still impossible to respond satisfactorily to a main issue: who were and how did the remote ancestors of the contemporary people of Timor appear?

    The unsufficiency of the archaeological studies doesn't allow secure conclusions, permitting a series of thesis. In one perspective, the primitive inhabitants of Timor ought to have arrived from the exterior in successive migrations. It is supported by the existence, even nowadays, of heterogeneous population nuclei in the south-east -- proto-Malayans, dendro-Malayans, Negritos, Dravidians and Melanesians -- with morphological and cultural characteristics similar to those of the people that presently live in the Insulindia (which includes the Sunda, Timor, Celebes, Borneo, Moluccas and Philippines islands amongst others). This observation is therefore presented as an indicium of the common origin of these people somewhere in south-east Asia. Here from should have parted the migrations, in the direction of north-west -- south-east, which's navigation is facilitated by the prevailling winds of the SE monsoon as well as the proximity and visual contact between isles. Also suggestive is the the rareness of pre-historic evidences towards south-east. (to be continued)

    1 Settlement

    Many centuries ago successive waves of migrants, mostly Malay and Melanesian, settled on the island with the original inhabitants, the Atoni people of the central highlands. This ethnic mix was compounded by the arrival of Chinese, Arab and Gujerati traders, who visited Timor in search of its valuable sandalwood. The island was divided into kingdoms ruled by princes (called rajas or liurai) and clan leaders who exercised power in kin-related villages. These contained hamlets whose inhabitants grew subsistence crops and traded with each other. The first Europeans to settle in the area were the Portuguese, on the neighbouring island of Solor in 1566. They made annual trips to Timor to collect sandalwood and trade in finished goods. Their rivals in the region were the Dutch, who followed soon after, gaining control of most of what we now know as Indonesia.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Timor was originally populated as part of the human migrations that have shaped Australasia more generally. It is believed that descendants from at least three waves of migration still live in the country. The first were related to the principal indigenous groups of New Guinea and Australia, and arrived before 40,000 years ago. Around 3000 BC, a second migration brought Austronesians, who later continued eastward and colonized Island Oceania, and are possibly associated with the development of agriculture on Timor. Finally, proto-Malays arrived from south China and north Indochina.[2][3] The mountainous nature of the country meant that these groups could remain separate, and explains why there is so much linguistic diversity in East Timor today.

    Timor was incorporated into Chinese and Indian trading networks of the fourteenth century as an exporter of aromatic sandalwood, slaves, honey and wax. Early European explorers report that the island had a number of small chiefdoms or princedoms in the early sixteenth century. One of the most significant is the Wehale kingdom in central Timor, with its capital at Laran, West Timor, to which the Tetum, Bunaq and Kemak ethnic groups were aligned

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  • 1 decade ago

    Portuguese and Dutch traders made the first western contact with East Timor in the early 16th century. Sandalwood and spice traders, as well as missionaries, maintained sporadic contact with the island until 1642, when the Portuguese moved into Timor in strength. The Portuguese and the Dutch, based at the western end of the island in Kupang, battled for influence until the present-day borders were agreed to by the colonial powers in 1915. Imperial Japan occupied East Timor from 1942-45. The territory of the Dutch East Indies, including West Timor, gained independence as the Republic of Indonesia in 1949.

    Following a military coup in Lisbon in April 1974, Portugal began a rapid and disorganized decolonization process in most of its overseas territories, including East Timor. Political tensions--exacerbated by Indonesian involvement--heated up, and on August 11, 1975, the Timorese Democratic Union Party (UDT) launched a coup d'état in Dili. The putsch was followed by a brief but bloody civil war in which the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) pushed UDT forces into Indonesian West Timor. Shortly after the FRETILIN victory in late September, Indonesian forces began incursions into East Timor. On October 16, five journalists from Australia, Britain, and New Zealand were murdered in the East Timorese town of Balibo shortly after they had filmed regular Indonesian army troops invading East Timorese territory. On November 28, FRETILIN declared East Timor an independent state, and Indonesia responded by launching a fullscale military invasion on December 7. On December 22, 1975 the UN Security Council called on Indonesia to withdraw its troops from East Timor.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Portuguese who settled on what is now East Timor did so to

    profit from the experience. That was gist of all documents.

    Anyone who disputed this was at risk (i.e, other European

    trading interests to islanders being displaced by the influx of

    'Old World' Empire).

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