Dayak Tribe of Kalimantan Borneo Indonesia – Unique Culture Lives in the Jungle of Indonesia

Do It The Dayak Way

When visiting Palangkaraya, just look outside of your aircraft window and you will see the green field of nature below cut by a small river with slow course twisting to the downstream passing the mangrove forest. The flow is similar to the head of dragon with endless body.

When forest area seems to be distantly spaced and clear, Palangkaraya city will appear as though coming out of the tropical forest. Central Kalimantan is full with tourism and natural resources potentials. Plantation, forestry, fishery, mining and husbandry might attract curious visitors. Moreover, the diversity of the ethnic groups is interesting. Three major Dayak tribes inhabiting this region are Ngaju, Ot Danum, and Dusun Ma’anyan tribe.

Curious? Just go out of your routine and enjoy the differences by involving yourself in the way of life of a Dayak.

Getting There
By Garuda Indonesia Airlines’ domestic flights direct to Palangkaraya three times everyday. From Palangkaraya, you should book a travel package which includes a visit to a Dayak village. Some packages even include staying with them.

Getting Around
You need to return to Palangkaraya to rent a car or book a customized trip package where you can ask the guide to show you around wherever you want. The guide will give you a prediction on how long it should take to get there and what you should do to make the experience enjoyable.

Palangkaraya, In the local Dayak language, Palangkaraya means ‘holy container’. Palangkaraya can easily be reached from Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Samarinda, Balikpapan and other points on the island by air. The town has become the center of government, trade and education of the province. The Regional Museum of Palangkaraya contains a collection of historical and cultural interest from all over Central Kalimantan.

Here are some other places you can visit while going to or from the Dayak village.

Kuala Kapuas

Kuala Kapuas. It is located at Kapuas River, 40 km from Banjarmasin. A well-known tourist attraction is Telo Island, a pleasant fishing village and port. For the adventurer, white-water rafter and nature lovers, there is Gohong Rawai, known for its beatiful and challenging rapids. The gold mines of Teweh and Batu Api, Rung¬an district, are also interesting sites to be visited. In this region, gold mining is a major source of livelihood for the people, who pan for the valuable metal using the old traditional method.

Sampit. Sampit is the biggest timber port in Kalimantan. The Orchid Park of Pembuangan Hulu is home to a number of rare and beatiful orchid varieties. Hunters can engage in their favorite pastime in hunting park of West Kotawaringin.

Pangkalanbun. Make sure to visit the old Palace of Pangkalanbun, constructed completely out of ulin (iron wood). It is the only Banjar royal legacy found in Central Kalimantan.

Tanjung Puting National Park
The Tanjung Puting National Park is a well-known nature and wildlife reserve in lowland and swamp forests, inhabited by orang utans, owa-owa, bekantan and other primates. One can visit the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre which is supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

To Do you want to know further about Dayak tribe, learn Dayak traditional dances and music instruments, like plucked stringed instruments and drums.

The Ngaju Dayak tribe, the most popular Dayak tribe occupying around Kahayan and Kapuas River, is known of its arts. Especially wooden-coffins with elevated cemeteries, dead ships and high memorial statues.

Ot Danum tribe inhabits around the River to the north of Ngaju inhabitant and to the south of range of Schwaner and Muller mountains. Ot Danum tribe lives in long-shape houses with 2-5 meter pillars over the ground. One house has about 50 rooms. This long-shape house is locally called as betang.

Ot Danum tribe is known of its skill of plaiting rattan, palm leave and bamboo. They still follow the ways of their ancestors. The Ma’anyan village tribe still practices the spirit heart, agriculture ritual, complex mortality ceremony. And they still call a shaman whenever they need some healing. The cemeteries indicate social hierarchy. The range of noble cemetery is situated at the upstream of the River, followed with soldier cemetery, ordinary community cemetery to the downstream, and cemetery for slave is situated in the downstream’s edge.

To Stay
The village provides home-staying services. While staying there, you can learn things like craftmanship or traditional cooking.

To Eat
For those who lead an active life might be tempted to follow the local fisherman to fish. Fishing technique ranges from using fishing rod to using their unique-style seine. There is nothing like feasting on the fish that you have caught yourself!

Then to top it all, you can go hunting with locals for deers or wild boars. Dayak tribes make a living by clearing away forests and they have a unique hunting method. They do not actively pursue the animals, but somehow lure them to approach the Dayak people.

How can they manage to do that? They have a unique method in attracting the animals. When hunting deers, they imitate the sound of a young deer. Since does always protect their youngsters, the female deer will approach as soon as they hear the sound for help.

In hunting, they use lances or blowpipes. A blowpipe’s size is long and it also functions as a lance. Blowpipe needles used for hunting are smeared with poisonous concoction that will paralyze or even kill.

Source : http://www.indonesia.travel

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