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Alor Regency, Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, Indonesia was established in 1958. The regency consists of two main islands, Alor and Pantar, and the small isles of Kepa, Pura, Ternate, Buaya, Terweng, and Marica, among others. The Dutch colonial administration founded Kalabahi, the regency’s capital, on land that was once a marsh in 1911 at the end of Mutiara Bay also called Kalabahi Bay. The population of Alor exceeds 200,000 presently. Twenty-five languages and dialects are spoken in Alor Regency. The national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is one of them. Alorese or Alurung belongs to the same language family as Indonesian, the Austronesian ethnolinguistic family. The other languages of the regency are from the Alor-Pantar group.

People's lives along the coast involve the sea where fishing and gathering marine life are primary occupations. Sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and other marine life are abundant in the seas surrounding the regency’s islands. Some of the coastal people farm, but most rely on their inland neighbors who grow rice, corn, and other foodstuffs such as fruits and vegetables. The coastal groups also rely on farmers for areca nut and other ingredients for betel quid. Chewing betel is not only a favorite pastime, but offering areca nut and sirih fruit is an important part of welcoming guests and performing rituals. Other important crops of Alor and Pantar are candlenut, cloves, coffee, Javanese almond, and vanilla.

The seas surrounding the islands of Alor Regency attract divers and snorkellers worldwide for its diverse and distinct marine life. The Pantar Strait has been designated a Maritime Protected Area.

Map of Alor Regency

Map of Alor Regency, Australia National University CartoGIS CAP 00-376

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