Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology
January 25, 2019 Publicationback numbers
- Special Theme: Nationalism in Timor-Leste
- Introduction: A Nationalism of Absence
- The Distinctive Character of East Timorese Nationalism
- Nationalism at Scale in Timor-Leste: Between Rai na’in and Rai Timor
- Establishing the Legitimacy of Portuguese as an Official Language in Timor-Leste
- The Centre of the Land, the Periphery of the Nation: Wars and Migration in Southern Tetun Society, Timor Island
- Reiterated Encounter: On a Reconciliation Ceremony at the Urban Settlement in Dili, Timor-Leste
- ‘Mice’ of Transborder Trade in Timor Island: Timorese Smugglers and ‘Reconciliations’
- An Animic Regime Subjugated: The Pu Sae Ña Sae Spirit Cult in Chiang Mai
- Research Note
- Comparative Study on Audio Recordings of Honam Udo Nongak Made by the Korean Musicologist Lee Bo-hyung
- Research Resource
- A Tibetan Soul-retrieval Ritual (bla ’gugs tshe ’gugs): Translating the Prayer Text of a Nyingma Tradition
Special Theme: Nationalism in Timor-Leste
Introduction: A Nationalism of Absence
In this issue, our theme is nationalism in Timor-Leste (East Timor) from an anthropological perspective. Timor-Leste is a nascent micronation that is composed of many ethnic groups and has a complex history. In the sixteen years since its independence, the nation as well as its nationalism has been rapidly changing. Each chapter analyses this changing nationalism from a different viewpoint. This chapter serves as an introduction and provides a general summary of the distinctive features of nationalism in Timor-Leste.
Casting Timor-Leste against the background of Indonesia provides two perspectives of nationalism in Timor-Leste. The first examines how Timor-Leste has been affected causally by Indonesia. In this vein, I build upon the work of B. Anderson to show the parallel between the Netherlands and Indonesia on the one hand and Indonesia and Timor-Leste on the other. Second, I ignore the time lag and compare the two pairs, examining Timor-Leste against Indonesia as a mirror image of Indonesia against the Netherlands. From this perspective, distinctive features are clarified: in Timor-Leste, nationalism discourse has no ‘past glory’ (like Majapahit in Indonesian nationalism discourse), nor does Timor-Leste have enemies against whom it must struggle to regain its ‘past glory’. As a result, nationalism in Timor-Leste can be called a ‘nationalism of absence’.
* Osaka University
Key Words：nationalism, metaphor, metonymy, East Timor, Indonesia
The Distinctive Character of East Timorese Nationalism
This chapter examines some the evolving characteristics of East Timorese nationalism. It starts by examining the distinctive features of East Timorese nationalism, including its rapid transition from a conventional anti-colonialist narrative, mobilised against Portuguese colonialism, to one contesting Indonesia’s looming forced integration of the decolonising territory in 1975; and the way in which the East Timorese resistance employed ideas of an inner ‘spiritual domain’ (Chatterjee 1993) of identity. It then focusses on more recent shifts in ‘official’ East Timorese nationalism, in the way government discourses have invoked the arrival of Catholicism as the ‘affirmation of Timorese identity’ (RDTL 2015a) and developed a modern nationalist narrative that partly reflects traditional ‘origin stories’. In this vein, it discusses recent government attempts to transform a national identity focussed on the history of the resistance to one mobilised around the goals of national development. Finally, it speculates on the future of East Timorese nationalism, reflecting on the implications of the ‘youth bulge’ in East Timorese society.
* Swinburne University of Technology
Key Words：Timor-Leste, Nationalism
Nationalism at Scale in Timor-Leste: Between Rai na’in and Rai Timor
Historically, the diverse ethno-linguistic communities of Timor-Leste have defined themselves through local ancestral resource jurisdictions and mythic histories of exchange, alliance, and settlement. Central to this conception of place and belonging is the idea of the rai na’in, a Tetun language term with local language variants that refers to ‘custodians of the land’. However, the brutal, generation-long struggle for independence promoted new forms of imaginative connection and belonging encapsulated in the concept of Rai Timor, or ‘homeland’. The notion of Rai Timor is not merely a more encompassing ‘homeland’ than the landed inheritance of locally embedded communities; it is imagined as a territory shaped from below and collectively by the ordeals of ‘the people’, who become the active originators of the nation. If the constitutive act of a subject in the traditional ideology of rule is to recognise and defer to authority vested in ritual and political leaders (the rai na’in), the constitutive act of belonging to the nation is to suffer and sacrifice for it (the Rai Timor) (McWilliam and Traube 2011). This presentation considers the contemporary force of this expansive sense of the imagined community in Timor-Leste, a notion that Anderson described as ‘aggregated nativeness’ (2003), in the light of the well-documented resurgence of custom and traditional authority. How do these different scales of allegiance and belonging contribute to the shaping of contemporary society in post-independence Timor-Leste? In this chapter, I discuss these and other questions with reference to the Fataluku ethnography.
* Western Sydney University
Key Words：Fataluku, nationalism, homeland, customary, belonging
Establishing the Legitimacy of Portuguese as an Official Language in Timor-Leste
Language policy is a governmental intervention that assigns languages a relative status. One language can thus be given priority over others by an authoritarian state, and this distinction reflects the political and social situation of the society. In this article, the author discusses the process of establishing the legitimacy of Portuguese as an official language in Timor-Leste and illustrates two pillars of the discourse upon which this legitimacy has been built. The first pillar is the invocation of history and leaders’ speeches about Portuguese during the struggle for Timor-Leste’s independence, and the second is the argued necessity for Timor-Leste to join the international community for greater development. Resting on these two pillars, Portuguese has begun to function as the national language in Timor-Leste.
* Kanda University of International Studies
Key Words：official language, Portuguese, language policy, Timor-Leste
The Centre of the Land, the Periphery of the Nation: Wars and Migration in Southern Tetun Society, Timor Island
This chapter discusses the importance of the kingdom of Wehali for the Timorese, especially for those who lived in the western part of Timor-Leste during past wars. People living in western villages such as Cova Lima, Bobonaro, and Ermera fled to their relatives in Belu, West Timor. For outsiders, this evacuation may appear to be an act of ‘refugees’ fleeing beyond national borders. However, this meant that people fled to the ‘centre’ of the ancient kingdom, particularly because their elders had transferred the luliks, or ancestral objects, there. Luliks are passed down from one generation to the next and can take shape in various objects, such as local antique textiles called tais, ceramics obtained from Chinese merchants, and even crucifixes and bibles given by Catholic missionaries.
Focussing on the movement of people and luliks during past wars, I demonstrate that the centre of the ancient kingdom continues to be important, particularly for people who live in the western part of the new nation state, and that there exists a cultural identity beyond the national border in central Timor.
* Sophia University
Key Words：war, migration, refugee, religion, language
Reiterated Encounter: On a Reconciliation Ceremony at the Urban Settlement in Dili, Timor-Leste
This chapter examines a reconciliation ceremony held at an urban settlement in Dili, Timor-Leste. The ceremony was aimed at ending violence caused by Martial Arts Groups, which had made the settlement notorious in Dili. Previous concerted efforts to curb this violence had been unsuccessful; despite the several programmes established in attempts to tackle the problem, violence became a part of daily life. Cruz Joven—the practices of piety (exercitia pietatis) introduced to Timor-Leste during the Indonesian era—was brought to the settlement to commemorate 500 years of the presence of the Church. This became a central point of the ceremony, and reconciliation has since been effective. Elements from two belief systems, Catholicism and traditional beliefs, were employed in the ceremony. Following the event, the situation changed dramatically, although some incidents have continued to occur. Catholic faith has been held firmly by the people of Timor-Leste, especially after Indonesian occupation. Conversely, traditional beliefs formed and adopted from the local context also have an appealing power for locals.
* Setsunan University
Key Words：Cruz Joven, Timor-Leste, Catholicism, reconciliations
‘Mice’ of Transborder Trade in Timor Island: Timorese Smugglers and ‘Reconciliations’
Recent research in cultural anthropology has shown that smuggling is not necessarily an act of negation of the rule of the state or an attempt to undermine this rule. In fact, smugglers quite often require the rule of the state for their actions to be justified as ‘exceptions’.
In 1999, the Province of East Timor became gained independence from the Republic of Indonesia, and in 2002 the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste was born. As a result, an international border was created on the island separating the two countries. Since that time, the border surrounding Oecusse District, a detached territory of Timor-Leste, has become a stage for routine smuggling – an ‘open secret’ in the neighbouring villages.
This chapter is structured around a series of events that occurred in Napan, a village on the Indonesian side of the international border surrounding Oecusse District. The events involved villagers and soldiers of the Indonesian army assigned to border guard duty. This chapter gives an account of these events and then analyses them. The events threatened the delicate balance between the villagers and the soldiers, at the same time laying bare the contradictions and failures inherent in the rule of the state over its people and the way in which the border is administered. We shall examine the complex relationship between the power and violence inherent in state rule that clearly manifested itself in the process, at the same time discussing more universal issues such as the relationship between the power of the state and its people or citizens’ sense of belonging to the state.
* Institute for Transdisciplinary Graduate Degree Programs, Osaka University
Asian Cultures Research Institute, Toyo University
Key Words：smuggling, borderland, jalan tikus, Oecusse, West Timor, Timor-Leste
An Animic Regime Subjugated: The Pu Sae Ña Sae Spirit Cult in Chiang Mai
Since the 1990s, ‘animism’ has become a refreshing focal point among anthropologists working in North and South America and, to a certain extent, South East Asia, focusing on its ontological bases of humans and non-humans. In these ontological and ‘perspectivist’ studies, animism is often illustrated by the capacity of metamorphosis attributed to human and non-human beings who have a similar interiority despite having different bodies. What we have often detected in South East Asia, especially in Northern Thailand, are that such unique metamorphic relations are extended between humans and non-humans of various kinds including spirits, souls, cannibal ogres, and aborigines.
This study analyses the complicated processes involved in the propitiation of the ancestor spirits of the aboriginal Lawa through sacrificing a buffalo, cooking, communal eating, and spirit possession by mediums in the Pu Sae Ña Sae spirit cult held annually in the forest of Chiang Mai. In the ritual process of this grandiose cult, it is quite evident that the Northern Thai princes, now the government officials, as the ritual sponsors who embody Buddhist moral superiority could successfully propitiate Pu Sae Ña Sae, the aboriginal spirits. However, for the participating villagers in the cult, the external and potentially dangerous power of the spirits is manipulated in the expectation of deriving practical results, such as well-being,health, and timely rain.
This paper thus illustrates the way in which the sacrificial cult is constructed on the basis of the interactions within the animic regime to attain certain purposes, simultaneously and intrinsically involving the reproduction of the conventional social order and legitimate authority. The animic regime is here subjugated under the domination of a political power.
* Professor Emeritus at the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan; and Professor at the Japanese Studies Centre and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Ethnic Studies and Development, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
Key Words：aboriginal spirit, animic regime, Buddhism, mueang spirit cult, sacrifice
Comparative Study on Audio Recordings of Honam Udo Nongak Made by the Korean Musicologist Lee Bo-hyung
Key Words：Korean traditional music, Nongak, Pungmul, Audio Materials, Lee Bo-hyung
A Tibetan Soul-retrieval Ritual (bla ’gugs tshe ’gugs): Translating the Prayer Text of a Nyingma Tradition
Key Words：soul, ritual, shaman, Lhasa, Tibet