Rotinese - History and Cultural Relations

The Rotinese claim to have migrated from the north in separate groups by way of Timor. They also possess a tradition of accepting client-strangers from other islands. Each domain has its own traditional narratives associated with its ruling dynasty. Portuguese Dominicans established a mission on the island (then known as Savu Pequeño) in the late sixteenth century, but by 1662 the Dutch East India Company had signed treaties of contract with twelve of the domains of present-day Roti. The domains ( nusak ) were recognized as autonomous states until the twentieth century. Until 1969, the Republic of Indonesia recognized the eighteen domains plus Ndao within an administrative structure of four districts ( kecamatan ). This has since been altered to a system of six districts, each of which combines two or more former domains. The existence of an extensive school system in the nineteenth century gave the population an educational advantage in eastern Indonesia; it also stimulated emigration. Rotinese now participate at all levels of Indonesian national life.

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