Also known as: Atoni Pah Meto; Pah Meto; Dawan

The Atoni are a large ethnic group that live in inland areas of West Timor. Atoni are are farmers and historically feared the sea - this is reflected in their ethonym, Atoni Pah Meto, which means "People of the Dry Land". Prior to colonization by the Dutch, Atoni political organisation consisted of large, complex princedoms.

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Traditional Culture(1885-1910)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 143-144
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82
Deified ancestor(s) Absent (Source)
Middelkoop (1960), pp. 23-35
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 141-156
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-83
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 75
Cunningham (1967), pp. 82

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Middelkoop (1960), pp. 32-35
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 149-151
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Middelkoop (1960), pp. 33
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 149-151
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 147-149
Primordial pair Present, and genealogically linked to humans now living (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 143-144
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 55, 57, 71, 271, 311

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 71, 108-109
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 37
Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 106, 283

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 261
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 261
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 327-333, 340
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a local community, no larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81-82
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 152-153
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 152-153
Lebar (1972), pp. 105

Rites

Piercing Absent from culture (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971)
Genital cutting Present in culture, but not a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971)
Tattooing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Cunningham (1964), pp. 65
Cunningham (1967), pp. 81
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971)
Cunningham (1967)
Social Environment +
Population 115000 (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 19
Population of largest political community 100,000 or more (Source)
Cunningham (1965), pp. 361
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Cunningham (1964), pp. 58
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Cunningham (1964), pp. 58
Kinship system Dravidian (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 28
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 28

Conflict

Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 330, 363
Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 328-329, 344-348
Conflict with other cultures Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 326-338, 328
Cultural Isolation +
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 26
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 2484.3 (Source)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 20
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 20
Christian influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 27
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 20, 147-149
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Major (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 46-49, 52
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 49-91
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 51-52
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 40-91
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 27
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 52

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 40
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 40
Water-based gathering Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 40-91

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 50
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 40-41
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 18 (map)
Fox (2003), pp. 3 and 4 (map)
Cunningham (2004), pp. 59

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -9.8 (Source)
Fox (2003), pp. 4
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 124.1 (Source)
Fox (2003), pp. 4
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Tectonic (Source)
Fox (2003), pp. 2
Island Size (km²) 30459.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Timor) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 2963.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Timor) (2014)
Post Contact History(1910-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
McWilliam (1991), pp. 49, 57
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
McWilliam (1991), pp. 49, 58

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
McWilliam (1991)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 28
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 28
Immigration Absent (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 27
McWilliam (2009), pp. 112
Language shift Medium (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 27
Foreign education systems Medium (Source)
Barlow & Gondowarsito (2009), pp. 106

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 127
McWilliam (2009), pp. 130
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Fox (2003), pp. 6, 19
Schulte Nordholt (1971), pp. 327

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Barlow & Gondowarsito (2009), pp. 105
Air travel Present and long-distance (Source)
Nixon (2004), pp. 171
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 162
Barlow & Gondowarsito (2009), pp. 105

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely involuntary (Source)
Cunningham (1965), pp. 359-360, 377-378
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Cunningham (1993), pp. 28
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
McWilliam (1991), pp. 49, 57
McWilliam (2009), pp. 113
External Links
References
Barlow, C. & Gondowarsito, R. (2009). Socioeconomic Conditions and Poverty Alleviation in East Nusa Tenggara. In B.P. Resosudarmo, & F. Jotzo, (Eds.), Working with Nature Against Poverty: Development, Resources and the Environment in Eastern Indonesia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Press.

Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Brunton, R. (1989). The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Cunningham, C. E. (1964). Order in the Atoni House. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Deel 120, (34-68). Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27860465.

Cunningham, C. E. (1967). Soba: An Atoni Village of West Timor. In Koentjaraningrat (Ed.), Villages in Indonesia (pp. 63-84). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Cunningham, C.E. (1965). Order and Change in an Atoni Diarchy. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 21(4), 359-382. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/stable/3629437

Cunningham, C.E. (1993). Atoni. In Hockings, P. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of World Cultures Vol. 5: East and Southeast Asia. NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

Cunningham, C.E. (2004). Atoni. In Bisht, N. S. & Bankoti, T. S. (Eds.), Encylopaedia of the South-East Asian Ethnography: Communities and Tribes, Vol 1. A-L (59-63). Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Timor). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/EBchecked/topic/596305/Timor

Fox, J.J. (2003). Tracing the Path, Recounting the Past: Historical Perspectives on Timor. In J.J. Fox & D.B. Soares (Eds.), Out of the Ashes: Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor (pp 1-27). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press. Retrieved from http://press.anu.edu.au/oota/frames.php

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Hull, T.H. (2003). From Province to Nation: The Demographic Revolution of a People. In Fox, J.J. & Soares, D.B. (Eds.), Out of the Ashes: Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press. Retrieved from http://press.anu.edu.au/oota/frames.php

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kirch, P.V. (1984). The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1972). Eastern Sumbanese in Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 1: Indonesia, Andaman Islands, and Madagascar. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1975). Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 2: Philippines and Formosa. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

McWilliam, A. (1991). Prayers of the Sacred Stone and Tree: Aspects of Invocation in West Timor. Canberra Anthropology, 14(2), 49-59.

McWilliam, A. (2009). Trunk and Tip in West Timor: Precedence in a Botanical Idiom. In Vischer, M.P. (Ed.) Precedence: Social Differentiation in the Austronesian World. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

Middelkoop, P. (1960). Curse, retribution, enmity as data in natural religion, especially in Timor, confronted with the scripture. Amsterdam: Drukkerij En uitgeverij Jacob Van Campen.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Nixon, R. (2004). Indonesian West Timor: The Political-Economy of Emerging Ethno-nationalism. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 34 (2), 163-185. DOI: 10.1080/00472330480000031.

Schulte Nordholt, H.G. (1971). The Political System of the Atoni of Timor. The Hague, Netherlands: Nijhoff.