Divided Loyalties

Divided Loyalties

Displacement, belonging and citizenship among East Timorese in West Timor

Authored by: Andrey Damaledo

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Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this study explores the ideas of belonging and citizenship among former pro-autonomy East Timorese who have elected to settle indefinitely in West Timor. The study follows different East Timorese groups and examines various ways they construct and negotiate their socio-political identities following the violent and destructive separation from their homeland. The East Timorese might have had Indonesia as their destination when they left the eastern half of the island in the aftermath of the referendum, but they have not relinquished their cultural identities as East Timorese. The study highlights the significance of the notions of origin, ancestry and alliance in our understanding of East Timorese place-making and belonging to a particular locality. Another feature of belonging that informs East Timorese identity is their narrative of sacrifice to maintain connections with their homeland and move on with their lives in Indonesia. These sacrificial narratives elaborate an East Timorese spirit of struggle and resilience, a feature further exemplified in the transformation of their political activities within the Indonesian political system.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Sep 2018
ANU Press
Monographs in Anthropology
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Politics & International Studies, Sociology
Pacific: Timor-Leste; Southeast Asia: Indonesia


‘In a remarkably insightful, original and sensitively written book, engaging area studies scholars of East Timor and Indonesia, Andrey Damaledo tackles a difficult, under-researched and little-known subject … Damaledo has written a fascinating book that will be valued and read with great interest by the wider academy and many Timorese people for decades to come.’

— Lisa Palmer, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 2019

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