Kei Islands Map

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Maluku Maps with 0 Comments

Kei Islands Map

kei islands, kei, tual, nature reserves, tribes, watubela, kur, teor

 

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Kei Islands

Kei 4.500 Animism

Southeast Maluku, Kei Kecil, Kei Besar, surrounding islands, except Banda Eli and Banda Elat villages on Kei Besar; Kur Islands, where Kei is a lingua franca. About 207 villages on about 10 islands. Alternate names: Kai, Saumlaki, Veveu Evav. Dialects: Kei Kecil, Kei Besar, Tayando, Tanimbar Kei (Atnebar), Ta’am. Kei Kecil is the prestigious urban dialect. Kei Besar speakers usually also know Kei Kecil, but not vice versa. Kei Besar is more similar to Fordata [frd] than other Kei dialects. Tanimbar Kei is spoken in only one village. Lexical similarity: 60% with Fordata.

Fishing is the main livelihood of the Kei villagers. The people go out, usually at night, in plank boats or in dugout canoes. They use spears, harpoons, hooks, and traps to catch the fish.

The Kei also engage in some farming, using the “slash and burn” technique. In this type of agriculture, the land is first cleared by burning the existing vegetation. Then, in the resulting fertile top soil, the crop is planted. After a year or two on the land, the farmer moves to a new area and begins the process all over again. Using this method, the Kei cultivate taro (a potato-like vegetable), yams, maize, and rice. They also collect sago (a powdery starch obtained from the trunks of sago palms) from the swamps. For export and cash, the people make boats and canoes, cut timber, and produce copra (dried coconut meat yielding coconut oil).

Formerly, settlements were built on the tops of high, steep rocks or hills for protection. They were usually grouped in dense clusters of 20 to 50 houses, surrounded by a stone wall. Today, the houses lack any one type of distinctive style, apart from being built on stilts.

The most important group in the Kei village is the fam (group with a common male ancestry). Some fams are small, with their members living in a few villages close together. Other fams are very large, with their members living in many villages spread over a broad area. A village may also contain members of several fams. However, one fam is usually regarded as being the “senior fam.” Its members are the direct descendants of those who first settled the village.

The ideal marriage to the Kei is a cross-cousin marriage. The man will usually pay a bride-price, and this will be reciprocated by a gift from the girl’s relatives. To avoid a large bride-price, the man may practice bride-service instead. In this case, he will live and work for his wife’s parents for a number of years.

Traditional Kei culture recognizes three social classes: the village heads, the ordinary people, and the slave class. The members of the ruling lineage of village heads are called the mel mel, and many of these claim foreign descent. The village head is called the rat or orang kaja.

The Kei are primarily ethnic religionists, practicing their ancient traditions and religions. An important element in their religion is the belief in spirits of the dead. The spirits of those who died a violent t or of women who died in childbirth are especially feared. Mythology also speaks of Duan Lerwuan, the god of the sun, and of Duan Luteh, the god of the moon. Other Kei deities include Hejan Suwat, the god of the sea, and Lir Majoran, the god of agriculture.

Watubela 4.000 Islam

Watubela Islands, north of Kur Island. Alternate names: Esiriun, Kasiui, Kasui, Kesui, Matabello, Snabi Watubela, Wesi. Dialects: Tamher Timur, Sulmelang. Lexical similarity: 77% between diaWatubelalects, 51%–61% with Geser-Gorom [ges], 41% with Teor [tev] and Kur [kuv], 37% with Bobot [bty], 34% with Masiwang [bnf].

Kur 3.180 Islam

west Kei Kecil District, Kur Island and nearby islands. Dialects: Different from Kei [kei]. Boundaries of intelligibility with dialects to the north and the central dialect, and with Teor [tev] need further investigation. Lexical similarity: 47%–50% with Kei, 71%–83% with Teor, 41% with Watubela [wah], 38% with Geser [ges].

Teor  1.100

Teor and Ut islands. Alternate names: Tio’or. Dialects: Gaur Kristen, Ut. Self-report to understand Kur [kuv]. Lexical similarity: 79% between Gaur Kristen and Ut, 71%–83% with Kur, 41% with Watubela [wah], 38% with Geser [ges].

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