East Nusa Tenggara Tourism Board

Tourist information on Nusa Tenggara Timur, East of Bali from Flores to West Timor   

Welcome | About Lavalon | NTT | Komodo | Rinca | Flores | Sumba | Savu | Rote | Alor | Lembata | Timor | Lavalon Bar & Hostel | Contact | Maps | Links
West Timor Lavalon: Where the music Has no barrier
Timor

Timor island is located in the eastern most part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between the Savu islands and the Timor Sea. The land area of West Timor comprises 15,850 square km and it belongs to the Nusa Tenggara Timor province of Indonesia. The eastern part of Timor consists of 14,609 square km and is an independent state. Oecussi-Ambeno district is a small enclave within West Timor which is politically part of East Timor.

West Timor has approximately 1.6 million inhabitants. who are mostly of Malay, Papuan or Polynesian origin, with a tiny ethnic Chinese group. About half of the population belongs to Atoni ethnicity. The main religions are Catholic (56%), Protestant (35%) and Muslim (8%).

Kupang is the capital of West Timor. It is a very Indonesian town with its buzzing bemos and honking horns. West Timor's landscape has spiky lontar palms, rocky soils and central hills dotted with villages of beehive-shaped huts. It also has fantastic coastlines, though there are no resorts, just empty beaches.

HOW TO GET THERE

West Timor (Kupang) can be reached by plane from all parts of the world


Map of Timor

(click to enlarge)
 
Map of Timor (West) - click to enlarge

On the way to Fatumnasi (West Timor TTS)       

History

In 1509, the first Portuguese arrived in the island of Timor, later followed by the Dutch. In the 1559 the Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the Portuguese and the Dutch to split control over the island of Timor. As a result, the eastern half of the island was under the Portuguese jurisdiction and the Dutch controlled the western half.

Japan conquered the island as part of World War II in early 1942. On August 17, 1945 the Indonesian Independence was declared, just three days after the Japanese surrender. The Dutch returned but faced a war with republican guerrillas, the eventual outcome of which was the proclamation of Republic of Indonesia in 1950, which made West Timor a part of East Nusa Tenggara. However, East Timor remained under Portuguese control until 1975 when it became Indonesian territory. On 20 May 2002, East Timor gained its full independency as an independent nation. During the colonial period it was known as Dutch Timor and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949).


Religion and Tradition


            Timorese Dance in Boti

Christianity was the chosen religion in West Timor and Catholicism in East Timor. However, most of rural Timor still also practices Animism, the worship of nature. In this respect Timorese statues and masks still play an important role.

Dancing, singing, costume and musical ceremony (using gongs and drums) are all used to celebrate or ask for help from ancestors and deities. Some of the occasions that call for these ceremonies are: for planting and to ask for prosperity and good weather, for the spinning of cotton, for the smooth running of village or regional affairs, for weddings. and the offering of friendship and reaffirmation of allegiance through royalties or tribute along with the ever present betel nut.

                                 Slideshow

FURTHER READING

West Timor in 1942

   

TAMKESI




© Lavalon Bar & Hostel Kupang, all rights reserved