Hunting and harvesting the commons: On the cultural politics of custom

Andrew McWilliam*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter addresses questions of cohabitation and power in Timor-Leste by exploring an issue of long-standing interest around complex and often contested questions of resource use, entitlement and authority. Foraging activities across Timor-Leste can also take the form of ritualised harvesting when households act in a collective way to gather up the bounteous living 'fruits of the land'. In Timor-Leste, the living commons of existing broadacre forests, open rangelands, freshwater streams and coastal waters, has long been the subject of jurisdictional claims; usually complexly differentiated and geographically bounded as ancestral resource domains for multiple emplaced customary communities. The chapter focuses on the Fataluku ethnography to highlight the variable role of hunting in particular and its significance in Fataluku culture variously as a source of food and livelihood. Across the settled landscape of Lautem there are very often small numbers of households in any community that pursue hunting as a primary occupation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTransformations in Independent Timor-Leste
    Subtitle of host publicationDynamics of Social and Cultural Cohabitations
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315535012
    ISBN (Print)9781138691438
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2017


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