Drawing on the literature of networks and marginality, this paper explores the social history of the small trading port of Com on the northeast coast of Timor. Com's marginality, as I define it, is constituted as a remote outpost of inter-island and trans-local trade networks of the Indonesian archipelago, and reproduced in its contemporary isolation from centres of economic power and processes of the global market. The paper draws on narrative traditions and documentary evidence to chart Com's fluctuating historical fortunes and contemporary cultural practices. In the fragile post-independence environment of Timor Leste, the resident population of Com is once again looking towards a creative engagement with external others in the hope of renewed prosperity.
|Journal||Modern Asian Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|