Helong people

Helong people
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia (Kupang Regency, Semau Island, Flores Island)
Helong language, Indonesian language
Christianity (predominantly)
Related ethnic groups
Atoni, Kemak people, Rotenese people

Helong people are one of the indigenous inhabitants of Timor Island, in Indonesia.[1] Most of them live in Kupang Regency, namely in West Kupang and Central Kupang; and some also settled in Flores Island and Semau Island.[2][3] Their livelihoods are mainly farming, hunting, fishing, and making traditional crafts.[2]

They speak a native language called Helong language, which has two dialects, the Helong Semau dialect and the Eastern Land Helong dialect.[2] Helong speakers are found in four villages on the South-Western coast of West Timor, as well as on Semau Island, a small island just off the coast of West Timor.[4]

The smallest Helong family system is a nuclear family, which then joins into a limited larger family (ngalo).[2] Some ngalo joins to form a clan (ingu) which is led by a clan leader (koka ana).[2] In terms of social strata, the ancient Helong community was divided into three layers, the nobility (usif), ordinary people (tob), and slaves (ata).[2]

See also


  1. Kristi, Navita (2012). Fakta Menakjubkan Tentang Indonesia; Wisata Sejarah, Budaya, dan Alam di 33 Provinsi: Bagian 3. Cikal Aksara. ISBN 602-8526-67-3.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Hidayah, Dr Zulyani (2015). Ensiklopedi Suku Bangsa di Indonesia (in Indonesian). Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia. ISBN 9789794619292.
  3. Lefebvre, Claire (2011-02-17). Creoles, their Substrates, and Language Typology. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 9789027287434.
  4. Steinhauer, Hein. Synchronic Metathesis and Apocope in Three Austronesian Languages of the Timor Area. Thesis. Leiden University, 1996. Retrieved 2017-3-7.
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