The Timorese are known collectively as Maubere, an originally derogatory name turned into a name of pride by the resistance movement. Timorese consist of a number of distinct ethnic groups, most of whom are of mixed Malayo-Polynesian descent and Melanesian/Papuan stock.

The largest Malayo-Polynesian ethnic groups are the Tetun (or Tetum) (100,000), primarily living in the north coast and around Dili, the Mambae (80,000), living in the mountains of central East Timor, the Tukudede (63,170), who are living in the area around Maubara and Liquisa, the Galoli (50,000) living between the tribes of Mambae and Makasae, Kemak (50,000) in north-central Timor island, and the Baikeno (20,000), living in the area around Pantemakassar.


The main tribes of predominantly Papuan origin include the Bunak (50,000) living in Central interior Timor island, the Fataluku (30,000) living in the eastern tip of East Timor around Los Palos, and the Makasae living in the eastern end of the island.

The Timorese are a racially mixed people composed of Melanesian and Malay genetic elements. In addition, in common with other former Portuguese colonies where interracial marriage was common, there is also smaller population of people of mixed Timorese and Portuguese origin, known in Portuguese as Mestiço. The best-known East Timorese Mestiço internationally is José Ramos Horta, spokesman for the resistance movement in exile, now Foreign Minister. Mário Viegas Carrascalão, Indonesia's appointed governor between 1987 and 1992, is also Mestiço.

The population is predominantly Roman Catholic (90%), with sizable Muslim (5%) and Protestant (3%) minorities. Smaller Hindu, Buddhist and animist minorities make up the remainder. Currently, there are about a million citizens of East Timor.

Population: 952,618 (July 2002 est.)
note: other estimates range as low as 800,000 (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 7.26% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 28.07 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 6.52 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 51.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 51.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.85 years
male: 62.64 years
female: 67.17 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.88 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Timorese
adjective: Timorese

Ethnic groups: Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian), Papuan, small Chinese minority

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Muslim 4%, Protestant 3%, Hindu 0.5%, Buddhist, Animist (1992 est.) The Timorese government reports[1] that most Christians continue to pracCopyright © 2006 All rights reserved | Privacy Policy tice animist traditions. A minority, called serani, do not.

Languages: Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Bahasa Indonesia, English
note: there are a total of about 16 indigenous languages, of which Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by significant numbers of people

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48% (2001)




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