85,000 (2000 E. Travis). 4,500 monolinguals.
Southeast Maluku Province, about 207 villages on 10 islands. Kei island group west of Aru islands; Kecil, Besar, and surrounding islands; also, Kur islands, lying west and northwest of Kei group.
Kei Besar, Kei Kecil, Ta’am, Tanimbar Kei (Atnebar), Tayando. Kei Kecil is the prestigious urban dialect. Kei Besar speakers usually also know Kei Kecil, but not vice versa. Kei Besar is more similar to Fordata [frd] than other Kei dialects. Tanimbar Kei is spoken in only one village. Lexical similarity: 60% with Fordata [frd].
Muslim, Christian, traditional religion.