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Aru, Kei and TanimbarIslands Maps
|South Maluku; Barakai Island, Longgar, Apara, Bemun, and Mesiang; southeast Aru Islands; Gomo-Gomo Island northeast of Barakai. Alternate names: Workai. Dialects: Barakai, Mesiang. Similar to Karey [kyd]. Lexical similarity: 70% with Batuley [bay].|
|Wokam Island Batuley 3.840|
|South Maluku, off the east coast of Wokam Island. 7 villages in Aru on small islands. Alternate names: Gwataley, Watulai. Dialects: Related to Kompane [kvp] to the north and Lola [lcd] to the south, slightly more distant from Dobel [kvo]. Lexical similarity: 70% with Barakai [baj] and Karey [kyd], 81% with Mariri [mqi].|
|Aru Islands Dobel 8.000 Christian|
|increasing. 6,500 plus 1,000 outside the area; 2,700 in Northern Dobel, 1,800 in Straits Dobel, 1,400 in Southeast Dobel. Southeast Maluku, Aru Islands, entire east coast of Kobror Island, 1 village in southeast Wokam Island, 4 villages eastern half of Barakai Strait (Kobror and Koba Islands), 2 villages in central Kobror Island. 18 villages. Also Dobo and Ambon. Alternate names: Doibel, Kobro’or, Kobroor, Sersifar Tannin. Dialects: Northern Dobel, Straits Dobel, Southeast Dobel. At least 3 dialects. Related to Lola [lcd], Lorang [lrn]. Lexical similarity: 78%–86% with Koba [kpd].|
|south Aru Islands, Karey Valley, east coast of Tarangan Island. Alternate names: Kerei, Krei. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 70% with East Tarangan [tre] and Batuley [bay].|
|Aru Islands, Baun and Fukarel islands bordering Dobel, 3 villages; southeast of Kobror Island, mouth of Barakai Strait. Dialects: Southeast Koba. Low comprehension of Dobel [kvo]. Lexical similarity: 78%–86% with Dobel|
|Kola 7.700 Islam|
|north Aru Islands, widespread on Kola Island coast, adjacent islands. 22 villages. Alternate names: Kulaha, Marlasi, Warilau. Dialects: Intelligibility test showed Marlasi dialect intelligible to Kompane [kvp]. Lexical similarity: 77% with Kompane, 70% with Ujir [udj].|
|east coast of Kongan Island, northeast Aru, Kompane village, south of Kola and north of Wokam islands. Alternate names: Komfana, Kongampani. Dialects: Similar to Kola [kvv], linguistically between Kola and Batuley [bay]. Good intelligibility of Kola.|
|Lola 830 Islam|
|3 islands east of Kobroor and Baun islands, Aru Islands, Lola, Warabal, and Jambuair villages. Dialects: Lola, Warabal. Linguistically between Batuley [bay] and Dobel [kvo]; similar to Koba [kpd].|
|Koba Island, Aru center, Lorang village. Dialects: Similar to Koba [kpd] and, to a lesser extent, Dobel [kvl]. Some similarities with Manombai [woo], but intelligibility is lower than might be expected.|
|Aru Islands, Manombai Strait (Sungttai) area as far as Wakua, west coast of Wokam Island, from Wokam village south, 21 villages; Kobror Island, Benjina; west end of Barakai Strait, Maikor Island, Gardakau; east coast of Wokam Island, Kobamar village. May no longer be spoken on Wamar Island. Alternate names: Manobai, Wamar, Wokam. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with Dobel [kvo]. Lexical similarity: 76% with Lorang [lrn]|
|Mariri Island, east Aru east of Kobroor Island. 1 village. Alternate names: Mairiri. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 81% with Batuley [bay].|
|Tarangan East 3.780 Christian|
|south Aru Islands, Tarangan Island east coast, and villages in Maikor Strait (Sungai Maikor). 13 villages. Alternate names: East Trangan, Tarangan Timur. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 71% with West Tarangan [txn].|
|Tarangan West 6.480 Christian|
|south Aru Islands, Tarangan Island west coast. Alternate names: Tarangan Barat, West Trangan. Dialects: Southwestern Tarangan, North Central Tarangan. 2 sharply distinct dialect groups, with minor variation within them. Lexical similarity: 70% with East Tarangan [tre] and Manombai [woo].|
|Ujir 980 Islam|
|northwest Aru Islands, Ujir on Ujir Island, Samang on Wokam Island west peninsula tip. Alternate names: Udjir. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 75% with Kola [kvv] in north Aru, and slightly less with Kola on the west coast of Kola Island.|
|Seluwasan 2.840 Yamdena|
|739 in Makatian, 2,100 in Seluwasan. South Maluku, Yamdena Island, southwest coast, Wermatang, Batu Putih, and Marantutul. Alternate names: Selvasa, Selwasa. Dialects: Seluwasan, Makatian. Makatian dialect quite different from others.|
|Selaru 8.000 Christian|
|Tanimbar, Selaru Island, 6 of 7 villages, Yamdena Island, half Latdalam village, Nus-Wotar Island off Yamdena west coast, Lingada village; Saumlake and Ambon. Alternate names: Salaru. Dialects: Kandar. Slight dialect differences. Not closely related to other nearby languages. Lexical similarity: 56% with Seluwasan [sws].|
|Tanimbar Fordata Christian|
|25,000 in the language area and 25,000 elsewhere (Marshall 2000). Southeast Maluku, north Tanimbar Islands of the Fordata, Larat, the Molu-Maru group, a few villages on the northwest part of Yamdena, and on Seira off the west coast of Yamdena. 30 villages. Also Saumlaki, Ambon, Tual, Sorong, Hayapura, Jakarta. Alternate names: Larat, Vai Fordata, Vai Tnebar, Vaidida. Dialects: Fordata-Larat I, Fordata-Larat II, Molo (Molo-Maru), Sera (Seira). Sera is most divergent dialect. Lexical similarity: 68% with Kei [kei].|
Yamdena 25.000 Yamdena
|Ethnic population: 35,000 to 40,000 (1991 SIL). Southeast Maluku, east coast of Yamdena, north tip of Selaru, Adaut village; southwest Yamdena, Latdalam village. 35 villages. Alternate names: Jamden, Jamdena. Dialects: North Yamdena (Batjas, Watmuri), South Yamdena (Saumlaki, Amdassa). Dialect chain from north to south with 90% lexical similarity between extremes, but with considerable morphological and phonological differences. The southern dialect is more prestigious. Lexical similarity: 90% between the north and south dialects, 47% with Fordata [frd].|
|Kei 4.500 Animism|
|Southeast Maluku, Kei Kecil, Kei Besar, surrounding islands, except Banda Eli and Banda Elat villages on Kei Besar; Kur Islands, where Kei is a lingua franca. About 207 villages on about 10 islands. Alternate names: Kai, Saumlaki, Veveu Evav. Dialects: Kei Kecil, Kei Besar, Tayando, Tanimbar Kei (Atnebar), Ta’am. Kei Kecil is the prestigious urban dialect. Kei Besar speakers usually also know Kei Kecil, but not vice versa. Kei Besar is more similar to Fordata [frd] than other Kei dialects. Tanimbar Kei is spoken in only one village. Lexical similarity: 60% with Fordata.|
|Fishing is the main livelihood of the Kei villagers. The people go out, usually at night, in plank boats or in dugout canoes. They use spears, harpoons, hooks, and traps to catch the fish.
The Kei also engage in some farming, using the "slash and burn" technique. In this type of agriculture, the land is first cleared by burning the existing vegetation. Then, in the resulting fertile top soil, the crop is planted. After a year or two on the land, the farmer moves to a new area and begins the process all over again. Using this method, the Kei cultivate taro (a potato-like vegetable), yams, maize, and rice. They also collect sago (a powdery starch obtained from the trunks of sago palms) from the swamps. For export and cash, the people make boats and canoes, cut timber, and produce copra (dried coconut meat yielding coconut oil).
Formerly, settlements were built on the tops of high, steep rocks or hills for protection. They were usually grouped in dense clusters of 20 to 50 houses, surrounded by a stone wall. Today, the houses lack any one type of distinctive style, apart from being built on stilts.
The most important group in the Kei village is the fam (group with a common male ancestry). Some fams are small, with their members living in a few villages close together. Other fams are very large, with their members living in many villages spread over a broad area. A village may also contain members of several fams. However, one fam is usually regarded as being the "senior fam." Its members are the direct descendants of those who first settled the village.
The ideal marriage to the Kei is a cross-cousin marriage. The man will usually pay a bride-price, and this will be reciprocated by a gift from the girl's relatives. To avoid a large bride-price, the man may practice bride-service instead. In this case, he will live and work for his wife's parents for a number of years.
Traditional Kei culture recognizes three social classes: the village heads, the ordinary people, and the slave class. The members of the ruling lineage of village heads are called the mel mel, and many of these claim foreign descent. The village head is called the rat or orang kaja.
The Kei are primarily ethnic religionists, practicing their ancient traditions and religions. An important element in their religion is the belief in spirits of the dead. The spirits of those who died a violent t or of women who died in childbirth are especially feared. Mythology also speaks of Duan Lerwuan, the god of the sun, and of Duan Luteh, the god of the moon. Other Kei deities include Hejan Suwat, the god of the sea, and Lir Majoran, the god of agriculture.
|Watubela 4.000 Islam|
|Watubela Islands, north of Kur Island. Alternate names: Esiriun, Kasiui, Kasui, Kesui, Matabello, Snabi Watubela, Wesi. Dialects: Tamher Timur, Sulmelang. Lexical similarity: 77% between dialects, 51%–61% with Geser-Gorom [ges], 41% with Teor [tev] and Kur [kuv], 37% with Bobot [bty], 34% with Masiwang [bnf].|
|Kur 3.180 Islam|
|west Kei Kecil District, Kur Island and nearby islands. Dialects: Different from Kei [kei]. Boundaries of intelligibility with dialects to the north and the central dialect, and with Teor [tev] need further investigation. Lexical similarity: 47%–50% with Kei, 71%–83% with Teor, 41% with Watubela [wah], 38% with Geser [ges].|
|Teor and Ut islands. Alternate names: Tio’or. Dialects: Gaur Kristen, Ut. Self-report to understand Kur [kuv]. Lexical similarity: 79% between Gaur Kristen and Ut, 71%–83% with Kur, 41% with Watubela [wah], 38% with Geser [ges].|