Indigenous East-Timorese Practices of Building and Sustaining Peace

Indigenous East Timorese peacebuilding practices, known as tarabandunahe biti  , juramentu ,matak -malarin , and halerik  , are critical to transforming violence in Timor-Leste. These Indigenous peacebuilding practices are usually cheaper, more readily available and more flexible than liberal peacebuilding practices. The prioritisation of liberal peacebuilding over Indigenous peacebuilding systems by the Government and many international actors perpetuates cultural and structural violence in Indigenous communities in Timor-Leste. Despite these challenges, ordinary East Timorese continue to use and assert the importance of Indigenous peacebuilding practices to transform community violence, build relationships and maintain cultural rituals to bring the cosmos and the secular world into balance .

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