Atoni

Atoni

About Atoni

The Atoni (also known as the Atoin Meto or the Dawan) are an ethnic group on Timor, in Indonesian West Timor and the East Timorese enclave of Oecussi-Ambeno. They number around 600,000. Their language is Uab Meto. The Atoni lives in villages consisting of 50 to 60 people, each village is surrounded with stone fence or shrubs, with fields and cattle cages on the periphery. The houses usually form a circular cluster, or following the road after the introduction of a road. According to ethnographer Clarke Cunningham, their culture is notable for its spatial symbolism, associated with a gender dichotomy. Male-female principle is important, as with the duality of sun-earth, light-dark, open-close, dry season-wet season, outer-inner, central-periphery, secular-sacral, right-left, and so on. This in turn affects the spatial configuration of an Atoni house. The right side of the house (facing the door) is always male, whereas the left is female.

Contributions by Rigadoun, Plastikspork, and Kbdank71.