Fundasaun Harii Au Metan Cultural Initiative

East Timor

Promote East Timor’s cultural renaissance by reviving the near-extinct indigenous women’s sacred traditions in music, song and dance.

East Timor was occupied by Indonesia for 24 years after the Portuguese left. They killed the majority of the indigenous men who fought for democracy, leaving thousands of orphans, known in East Timor as “Freedom Children.” The women took up the fight to rid the country of cruel foreign occupation. The women were critical in getting people to vote for independence. East Timor’s infrastructure was completely devastated by the Indonesian army. The country remains one of the poorest in the world.

Support a grassroots initiative to rekindle the growing of traditional foods and manufacturing of consumer products.

Tribal Trust’s Contribution
Identified grassroots project and indigenous partner, Fundasaun Harii Au Metan
Funded women elders to travel to remote areas of East Timor for teaching of sacred ceremonies, using their ‘gong’. These ceremonies included initiations and child birthing.
Seed Funding for farming and manufacturing of products which included candles, baskets and soap

Empowering women by enabling elders to travel and teach cultural traditions
Inspiring the youth to honor their culture and carry on their sacred traditions.
Reintroduce healthy and sustainable nutritional habits.
Establish micro enterprise.


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