Glimpses of Alternatives—The Uma Lulik of East Timor

in Social Analysis
Author: David Hicks1
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  • 1 Stony Brook University
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A ritual artifact found throughout East Timor in the Southeast Asian Archipelago is a sacred house, ritual house, or cult house, known locally as the uma lulik. This artifact illuminates certain of the different perspectives on the term 'belief' offered by a number of contributors to this issue. By identifying four categories of Timorese 'believer' and 'nonbeliever', the present article attempts to support recent findings in the field of material culture that suggest artifacts may not be passive recipients of values invested in them by their creators. Instead, they might be more usefully regarded as objects engaged in continuous, dialectic interconnections with the human beings whom they serve.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology


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