Although probably influenced in some measure by their shared colonial history, the view of Keo and Nage as an ethnic unity is nowadays commonly asserted by Nage and Keo people themselves.
As regards language, western Keo is for example distinguished from Nage by the possession of an /r/ and /y/ (replacing respectively /z/ and /h/ or the initial glottal) and a nasalized /d/ (written 'nd').
With regard to social organization and culture, general differences between Keo and Nage appear in the local descent group organization, land tenure, residential house form, types of ceremonial buildings, and certain sacrificial and other ritual practices.
Also, kinship terminology differs less between western Keo and western Nage than it does between these and the eastern parts of the two regions.
The first concerns the several cultural and linguistic differences that distinguish Keo, or at least large parts of it, from Nage (itself not entirely an indigenous label, at least not with regard to the entire administrative area that came to be designated thus).
Field research in this area as well as among Nage was sponsored by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the National Institute for Cultural Research (LRKN) and Nusa Cendana University.
Accordingly, I use 'Ngada' to refer to the modern administrative division and 'Ngadha' to refer to the people (those residing immediately to the west of Nage and Keo in the Ngada regency) and to their language.
A major one is the relative absence of ethnographic work on either Nage or Keo.
A number of these occurred in the eastern part of the Nage region, as well as in Keo.
Like the authors of several archival sources, Dietrich writes the name of the Nage leader as 'Roga Nole' (cf.
Nua' (or 'Nuwa') also appears as a male personal name in Keo and Nage.
According to Maier (1917), 'Oga Ngole was concerned for the same reasons about the inclusion of the eastern Nage region of Ndora within his domain.
For example, in June 1992, at the suggestion of the local regency government, representives from the four 'kecamatan' that are coterminous with the former Nage and Keo gathered in Bo'a Wae to make a public declaration that never again would they set fires in areas of dry brush, particularly in connection with the annual hunt.
Since fieldwork has mostly been conducted in western Nage and western Keo, I can speak with less authority for the eastern parts of these regions.