In coming to understand how patterns of local leadership are formed, one can also come to understand in more concrete ways how postcolonial governance dynamics are shaped. Authority structures are one of the important ways in which hybrid governance is navigated, and gives form and expression to the choices that are made in individual communities in balancing customary and state-based governance norms. Given the ongoing importance of suku leadership, it was clear in the early days of Timorese independence that a local governing body would need to be created to respond to community concerns and represent them to the Timorese national leadership. Research conducted across five different districts in 2013 confirmed that the primary source of legitimacy for suku council members was their status as directly elected community representatives, who are primarily accountable to the community. Leaders on the suku council operate in tandem with various customary authority figures who continue to be recognised and exercise important local functions.