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The people of Savu and Rai Jua

In 1868, naturalist explorer Alfred R. Wallace wrote of his visit to Kupang eight years prior:

"I saw in Coupang some chiefs from the island of Savu further west, who presented characters very distinct from either the Malay or Papuan races. They most resembled Hindus, having fine well- formed features and straight thin noses with clear brown complexions. As the Brahminical religion once spread over all Java, and even now exists in Bali and Lombock, it is not at all improbable that some natives of India should have reached this island, either by accident or to escape persecution, and formed a permanent settlement there."

The Malay Archipelago

Being Savunese


Every person who relates to or is of Savunese genealogy is recognised as Savunese regardless of skin colour or where one is born and raised. Being a Savunese is not by applying for permission to reside on the islands of Savu indefinitely. It is simply through the recognition in our Savunese genealogy. For instance, if one has a Savunese great, great, great, great, great, great grandparent, one will automatically be recognised or considered a Savunese. This is one unique matter about the Savunese culture. When one is a Savunese even if one has never set foot on the islands of Savu and someday one would consider paying a visit to the island, all one needs is a good knowledge of one’s history in tracing back the his/her Savunese genealogy and there would always be space/place and relatives back home on the islands to welcome their family who ventured their way from abroad.

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