Lamaholot - Orientation

Identification. The Lamaholot speak the Lamaholot language. The name has been applied to the ethnic group only recently and only in academic writing. The great majority is Roman Catholic, although many are Muslim and a few are Protestant, Hindu, and Buddhist; some acknowledge no affiliation with any of these religions.

Location. The Lamaholot are found on the islands of east Flores, Adonara, Solor, and Lembata, between 8°05′ and 8°40′ S and between 122°35′ and 123°45′ E, in the Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur.

Demography. The 1980 Census inconsistently lists both 229,010 and 227,750 as the number of residents of the Regency of East Flores (homeland of the Lamaholot), omitting the ethnically and linguistically distinct Kédang. The average population density of the regency, excluding Kédang, is 81 persons per square kilometer. There were 80 males per 100 females, compared with 99.6 for the province as a whole. Some areas have suffered drastically from out-migration of young men seeking wage labor elsewhere. This problem is particularly acute in parts of north Lembata and east Adonara, where the ratio drops as low as 63 males per 100 females.

Linguistic Affiliation. Lamaholot belongs to the Central Malayo-Polynesian Subgrouping of Austronesian.

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