Over centuries, successive waves of immigration from all over Asia have resulted in a rich, cultural diversity. This is evidenced by the various indigenous languages, products and architecture which all have marked differences according to the region.
Mythology and legends are still play a very important role in Timorese life and they speak about the pre-colonial period and the evolution of the traditional kingdoms. Animist beliefs are also part of the cultural makeup as Timor Leste; objects such as stones, animals, wells and streams are believed to be endowed with a mysterious magical powers; there are special sacred places throughout the country.
Modern Timorese culture continues to evolve in local arts and crafts, as well as in performing arts. Cultural motifs are incorporated into the design of tais hand-woven textiles and basket work and wood carvings that are now on sale widely in capital and in the districts. The free arts school Arte Moris is creating a new generation of young Timorese fine artists, and there are now several cultural groups performing the traditional dances and music of Timor-Leste at home as well as touring abroad.