The research team is currently working on the production of an Online Dictionary of Biographies which will present brief biographical articles about some of the most significant Portuguese authors who published on the history and anthropology of East Timor in the period 1850-1975. This dictionary is expected to be a useful research resource for everyone interested in knowing more about the biographical background of those who wrote about Timor Leste in the Portuguese colonial period. Professional anthropologists and ethnographers but also colonial governors, military officers, administrators, and Catholic missionaries are included in this online publication.

The dictionary is a work-in-progress and is still at an early stage. If you have suggestions and would like to contribute with an entry please contact us.

To know more about this resource and read the biographies of Raquel Soeiro de Brito, Jorge Barros Duarte, Carlos Ramos de Oliveira, Ezequiel Enes Pascoal, and Sebastião Aparício da Silva, please go to Resources/Dictionary of Biographies, or click here.

admin On Novembro - 16 - 2011




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Exploring Colonial Anthropologies

  • The presence of the Portuguese in Timor, a small island at the end of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, dates from the mid-sixteenth century. For the next 250 years, Portuguese Catholic missionaries, soldiers, traders, officials, governors, scientists, and military became regular company of the Timorese populations. First based in Lifau (Oecusse), and since 1769 based in Dilly, the Portuguese claimed sovereignty and exercised colonial government over the Eastern half of the island. Today’s nation Republic of Timor-Leste, went by the name of ‘Portuguese Timor’, a colonial province of Portugal, until the Indonesian occupation in 1975. Throughout this long colonial period a great and rich variety of published and unpublished documents was produced by colonial agents.

    From manuscript letters to administrative reports, travelogues, journal articles, or book-length texts, the Portuguese colonial archives offer an abundant field of important material about the past and present of the bodies, languages, and cultures of Timor-Leste peoples. It is this varied and complex colonial material on the history and anthropology of Timor that this research project aims at revealing, exploring, and critically analyze.

    In engaging with these archives, we are concerned not just with how they illuminate former anthropological understandings and colonial encounters between Indigenous and Europeans; we also aim at exploring how they shape current understandings and might help the creation of a post-colonial moment for the history and anthropology of Timor-Leste.

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