Toraja Peoples South Sulawesi Province

Toraja People
Sulawesi Selatan Province

The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi (Sulawesi Selatan Province), Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja (“Land of Toraja”). Most of the population is Christian or have local animist beliefs known as aluk (“the way”). The Indonesian government has recognized this animist belief as Aluk To Dolo (“Way of the Ancestors”).

The word toraja comes from the Bugis language’s to riaja, meaning “people of the uplands”. The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909. Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days.

Before the 20th century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists. By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had changed significantly, from an agrarian model in which social life and customs were outgrowths of the Aluk To Dolo to a largely Christian society.

The Torajan people had little notion of themselves as a distinct ethnic group before the 20th century. Before Dutch colonization and Christianization, Torajans, who lived in highland areas, identified with their villages and did not share a broad sense of identity. Although complexes of rituals created linkages between highland villages, there were variations in dialects, differences in social hierarchies, and an array of ritual practices in the Sulawesi highland region. “Toraja” (from the coastal languages’ to, meaning people; and riaja, uplands) was first used as a lowlander expression for highlanders. As a result, “Toraja” initially had more currency with outsiders such as the Bugis and Makassarese, who constitute a majority of the lowland of Sulawes than with insiders. The Dutch missionaries’ presence in the highlands gave rise to the Toraja ethnic consciousness in the Sa’dan Toraja region, and this shared identity grew with the rise of tourism in the Tana Toraja Regency. Since then, South Sulawesi has four main ethnic groups, the Bugis (the majority, including shipbuilders and seafarers), the Makassarese (lowland traders and seafarers), the Mandarese (traders and fishermen), and the Toraja (highland rice cultivators).

Family is the primary social and political grouping in Torajan society. Each village is one extended family, the seat of which is the tongkonan, a traditional Torajan house. Each tongkonan has a name, which becomes the name of the village. The familial dons maintain village unity. Marriage between distant cousins (fourth cousins and beyond) is a common practice that strengthens kinship. Toraja society prohibits marriage between close cousins (up to and including the third cousin) except for nobles, to prevent the dispersal of property. Kinship is actively reciprocal, meaning that the extended family helps each other farm, share buffalo rituals, and pay off debts.

Each person belongs to both the mother’s and the father’s families, the only bilateral family line in Indonesia. Children, therefore, inherit household affiliation from both mother and father, including land and even family debts. Children’s names are given on the basis of kinship, and are usually chosen after dead relatives. Names of aunts, uncles and cousins are commonly referred to in the names of mothers, fathers and siblings.

Before the start of the formal administration of Toraja villages by the Tana Toraja Regency, each Toraja village was autonomous. In a more complex situation, in which one Toraja family could not handle their problems alone, several villages formed a group; sometimes, villages would unite against other villages. Relationship between families was expressed through blood, marriage, and shared ancestral houses (tongkonan), practically signed by the exchange of buffalo and pigs on ritual occasions. Such exchanges not only built political and cultural ties between families but defined each person’s place in a social hierarchy: who poured palm wine, who wrapped a corpse and prepared offerings, where each person could or could not sit, what dishes should be used or avoided, and even what piece of meat constituted one’s share.

Before the start of the formal administration of Toraja villages by the Tana Toraja Regency, each Toraja village was autonomous. In a more complex situation, in which one Toraja family could not handle their problems alone, several villages formed a group; sometimes, villages would unite against other villages. Relationship between families was expressed through blood, marriage, and shared ancestral houses (tongkonan), practically signed by the exchange of buffalo and pigs on ritual occasions. Such exchanges not only built political and cultural ties between families but defined each person’s place in a social hierarchy: who poured palm wine, who wrapped a corpse and prepared offerings, where each person could or could not sit, what dishes should be used or avoided, and even what piece of meat constituted one’s share.

Nobles, who were believed to be direct descendants of the descended person from heaven, lived in tongkonans, while commoners lived in less lavish houses (bamboo shacks called banua). Slaves lived in small huts, which had to be built around their owner’s tongkonan. Commoners might marry anyone, but nobles preferred to marry in-family to maintain their status. Sometimes nobles married Bugis or Makassarese nobles. Commoners and slaves were prohibited from having death feasts. Despite close kinship and status inheritance, there was some social mobility, as marriage or change in wealth could affect an individuals status. Wealth was counted by the ownership of water buffaloes.

Slaves in Toraja society were family property. Sometimes Torajans decided to become slaves when they incurred a debt, pledging to work as payment. Slaves could be taken during wars, and slave trading was common. Slaves could buy their freedom, but their children still inherited slave status. Slaves were prohibited from wearing bronze or gold, carving their houses, eating from the same dishes as their owners, or having sex with free women a crime punishable by death.

Toraja’s indigenous belief system is polytheistic animism, called aluk, or “the way” (sometimes translated as “the law”). In the Toraja myth, the ancestors of Torajan people came down from heaven using stairs, which were then used by the Torajans as a communication medium with Puang Matua, the Creator. The cosmos, according to aluk, is divided into the upper world (heaven), the world of man (earth), and the underworld. At first, heaven and earth were married, then there was a darkness, a separation, and finally the light. Animals live in the underworld, which is represented by rectangular space enclosed by pillars, the earth is for mankind, and the heaven world is located above, covered with a saddle-shaped roof. Other Toraja gods include Pong Banggai di Rante (god of Earth), Indo’ Ongon-Ongon (a goddess who can cause earthquakes), Pong Lalondong (god of death), and Indo’ Belo Tumbang (goddess of medicine); there are many more.

The earthly authority, whose words and actions should be cleaved to both in life (agriculture) and death (funerals), is called to minaa (an aluk priest). Aluk is not just a belief system; it is a combination of law, religion, and habit. Aluk governs social life, agricultural practices, and ancestral rituals. The details of aluk may vary from one village to another. One common law is the requirement that death and life rituals be separated. Torajans believe that performing death rituals might ruin their corpses if combined with life rituals. The two rituals are equally important. During the time of the Dutch missionaries, Christian Torajans were prohibited from attending or performing life rituals, but were allowed to perform death rituals. Consequently, Toraja’s death rituals are still practiced today, while life rituals have diminished.

In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive is the funeral. In the aluk religion, only nobles have the right to have an extensive death feast. The death feast of a nobleman is usually attended by thousands and lasts for several days. A ceremonial site, called rante, is usually prepared in a large, grassy field where shelters for audiences, rice barns, and other ceremonial funeral structures are specially made by the deceased family. Flute music, funeral chants, songs and poems, and crying and wailing are traditional Toraja expressions of grief with the exceptions of funerals for young children, and poor, low-status adults.

The ceremony is often held weeks, months, or years after the death so that the deceased’s family can raise the significant funds needed to cover funeral expenses. Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife). During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept under the tongkonan. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.

Toraja’s Cave Cemetry

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Toraja tongkonan house

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The Toraja are perhaps best know for the elaborate, colorful feasts for the dead. Many buffalos and pigs are slaughtered, at the feast which can occur even long after the person’s death.

Tau-tau effigies installed on a high cliff balcony overlooking the green valley of the Toraja. (Above)

Storage House




Bali & Nusa Tenggara Barat 13 Tribes

Bali & Nusa Tenggara Barat 13 Tribes :

Bali, Loloan, Nyama Selam,Trunyan, Bayan, Dompu, Donggo,KoreNata, Mbojo, Sasak, Sumbawa :———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Bali :

—  Province


MottoBali Dwipa Jaya (Kawi)
(Glorious Bali Island)

Location of Bali in Indonesia

Coordinates (Denpasar): 8°39′S 115°13′ECoordinates8°39′S 115°13′E
Country Indonesia
Capital Denpasar
– Governor Made Mangku Pastika
– Total 5,632.86 km2 (2,174.9 sq mi)
Population (2009)
– Total 3,551,000
– Density 630.4/km2 (1,632.7/sq mi)
– Ethnic groups Balinese (89%), Javanese(7%), Baliaga (1%), Madurese(1%)[1]
– Religion Hindu (93.19%), Muslim(4.79%), Christian (1.38%),Buddhist (0.64%)
– Languages Indonesian (official), Balinese
Time zone CIT (UTC+08)

Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.

With a population recorded as 3,551,000 in 2009,[2] the island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia’s small Hindu minority. About 93.2% of Bali’s population adheres toBalinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest touristdestination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music.


Main article: History of Bali

Bali was inhabited by about 2000 BC by Austronesian peoples who migrated originally from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia.[3] Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, and Oceania.[4] Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island’s west.[5]

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian and Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, in a process beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa (“Bali island”) has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning “Walidwipa”. It was during this time that the complex irrigation systemsubak was developed to grow rice. Some religious and cultural traditions still in existence today can be traced back to this period. The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. When the empire declined, there was an exodus of intellectuals, artists, priests and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century.

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Tanah Lot, one of the major temples in Bali

The first European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1585 when aPortuguese ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung[6]. In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali and, with the establishment of the Dutch East India Company in 1602, the stage was set for colonial control two and a half centuries later when Dutch control expanded across the Indonesian archipelago throughout the second half of the nineteenth century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island’s north coast, when the Dutch pitted various distrustful Balinese realms against each other.[7] In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island’s south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender.[7] Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 1,000 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders.[8] In the Dutch intervention in Bali (1908), a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung. Afterwards the Dutch governors were able to exercise administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

In the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologistColin McPhee created a western image of Bali as “an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature”, and western tourism first developed on the island.[9]

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Balinese dancers show for tourists, Ubud.

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II, during which time a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese ‘freedom army’. The lack of institutional changes from the time of Dutch rule however, and the harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule little better than the Dutch one.[10] Following Japan’s Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch promptly returned to Indonesia, including Bali, immediately to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels now using Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance. In 1946 the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly-proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the “Republic of the United States of Indonesia” when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting these traditional values. Politically, this was represented by opposing supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI’s land reform programs.[7] An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto. The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island’s population.[11] With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.[12]

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency, and his “New Order” government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as “paradise” was revived in a modern form, and the resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country.[7] A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, andanother in 2005, severely affected tourism, bringing much economic hardship to the island. Tourist numbers have now returned to levels before the bombings.


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Topography of the island

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of theequator. Bali and Java are separated by Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and spans approximately 112 km (69 mi) north to south; its land area is 5,632 km².

Bali’s central mountains include several peaks over 2,000 metres. The highest is Mount Agung (3,142 m), known as the “mother mountain” which is an active volcano. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali’s volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad steadily descending area where most of Bali’s large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

The island is surrounded by coral reefsBeaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500(2002). Bali’s second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar’s urban area; and Ubud, which is north of Denpasar, and is known as the island’s cultural centre. Ubud Palace – Below)

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida,Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait. (Temple of Klungkung – Below)

The temple of Klungkung

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of theIndomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.


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The Bali Starling is found only on Bali and is critically endangered.

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna which is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the Yellow-crested Cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali Starling, which is endemic. Others IncludeBarn SwallowBlack-naped OrioleBlack Racket-tailed TreepieCrested Serpent-eagleCrested TreeswiftDollarbirdJava SparrowLesser AdjutantLong-tailed ShrikeMilky StorkPacific Swallow,Red-rumped SwallowSacred KingfisherSea EagleWoodswallowSavanna NightjarStork-billed KingfisherYellow-vented BulbulWhite HeronGreat Egret.

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild BantengLeopard and an endemic subspecies of Tiger, the Bali Tiger. The Banteng still occurs in its domestic form, while Leopards are found only in neighboring Java, and the Bali Tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a Tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s.[13] The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all Tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, while few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan Rusa deer and the Wild Boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian Muntjac, also occurs.

File:Monkey Forest, Ubud 200507-1.jpg

Monkey Forest, Ubud.

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often the Asian Palm Civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi LuwakBats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The Crab-eating Macaque, known locally as “kera”, is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three “monkey forest” temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, far rarer and more elusive is the Silver Leaf Monkey known locally as “lutung”. They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. Other, rarer mammals include the Leopard CatSunda Pangolin and Black Giant Squirrel.

Snakes include the King Cobra and Reticulated Python. The Water Monitor can grow to an impressive size and move surprisingly quickly.

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as TulambenAmed, Menjangan or neighboring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance Hawksbill TurtleGiant SunfishGiant Manta RayGiant Moray EelBumphead ParrotfishHammerhead SharkReef Sharkbarracuda, and sea snakesDolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast nearSingaraja and Lovina.

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native. Among the larger trees the most common are: Banyan trees, Jackfruitcoconutsbamboospecies, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscusfrangipani,bougainvilleapoinsettiaoleanderjasminewater lilylotusrosesbegonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salakmangosteencorn, Kintamani orangecoffee and water spinach.

Administrative divisions

The province is divided into 8 regencies (kabupaten) and 1 city (kota). Unless otherwise stated, the regency’s capital:


Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry; and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. About 80% of Bali’s economy depends on tourism.[14] The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry is slowly recovering once again.


Although tourism produces the GDP’s largest output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer;[15][citation needed] most notablyrice cultivation.

Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops.[citation needed] Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs.


Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavors include lemon and other citrus notes.[16] Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on theHindu philosophy of “Tri Hita Karana”. According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.[17]


The tourism industry is overwhelmingly focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well.

kuta beach bali

(Kuta Beach – Above)

The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs (which were once independent townships) of Legian and Seminyak; (Sanur Beach – Below)

the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub); in the center of the island Ubud; to the south of the airport is Jimbaran and the newer development of Nusa Dua.

Another increasingly important source of income for Bali is what is called “Congress Tourism” from the frequent international conferences held on the island. The number of these events increased after the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, to resurrect Bali’s damaged tourism industry as well as its tarnished image. One such event was the 2010 World Geothermal Congress.

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. As of 2009 the Australian government still rates it a 4 danger level (the same as several countries in central Africa) on a scale of 5.

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are springing up along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis have remained stable.

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia’s currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry and not due to any travel warnings.

Bali’s tourism economy has not only survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, the tourism industry has slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels and the longterm trend is a steady increase of visitor arrivals.

The Indonesian Tourism Ministry expects more visitors arrivals in 2010, whose target for visitor arrivals is aimed to be the highest ever.[18]

Bali’s tourism brand is Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti.[19] Where Shanti derived from Sanskrit “Shanti” (शान्‍ति) meaning peace.

Bali, received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure 2010. The award was presented in the show “World’s Best Awards 2010” in New York, on 21 July. Hotel Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran also received an award in the category of “World Best Hotel Spas in Asia 2010”. The award was based upon survey results of travel magazine Travel + Leisure readers, during the period December 15, 2009 through March 31, 2010, and was based upon several criteria. The island of Bali won because its natural state is uniformly attractive (both mountain and coastal areas), tourist attractions are diverse and widely distributed, the excellent availability of restaurants food (international and local), and the friendliness of the local people to visitors.

A coastal road surrounds the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar and enables cars to travel quickly in the heavily populated south. Bali has no railway lines.


The population of Bali is 3,151,000 (as of 2005). There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.[20]


The Mother Temple of Besakih one of Bali’s most significant Hindu temples.

Cremation procession (Ngaben) :

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Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93.18% of Bali’s population adheres toBalinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (4.79%),Christianity (1.38%), and Buddhism (0.64%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

When Islam surpassed Hinduism in Java (16th century), Bali became a refuge for many Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practiced in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the “Island of a Thousand Puras”, or “Island of the Gods”.[21]

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and in Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behavior.[22]

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple’s odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese.[23] Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.[24]


Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual ortrilingual. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing.

English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry.


Main articles: Music of Bali and Balinese art

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The famous dancer i Mario, picture taken 1940.

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendetlegongbaristopengbaronggong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance).





Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.[25]

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. But the day before that large, colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Portert van twee jonge Balinese danseressen TMnr 10004678b.jpg

Balinese dancers wearing elaborate headgear, photographed in 1929. Digitally restored.

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context.[26] Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation.[27] Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Oftentimes two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other in order to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.[28]

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island’s largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja andkelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.[29]

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardized in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists in order to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.[30]

Tourism, Bali’s chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.[31]

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family’s ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied.[32]Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including “kasepekang“, or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratization and decentralization of Indonesia since 1998.[32]

Bali Traditional Wedding Dress :

Aksara Bali

The Balinese alphabet or Carakan descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. The oldest known inscriptions in the Balinese alphabet date from the 11th century AD, but they are thought to be reproductions of texts originally written on palm leaves at an earlier date.

The Balinese alphabet is still used to this day, although very few people are familiar with it and it is mainly used for religious works. Generally a version of the Latin alphabet known as Tulisan Bali is used instead, though what little Balinese printed material exists in the Latin alphabet consists mainly of school books, religious works and a few books of stories. Although Tulisan Bali is a required subject in Balinese primary schools, most people promptly forget it afterwards.

Notable features
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet / abugida.
Each consonant has an inherent vowel. Other vowels can be indicated using diacritics which appear above, below, in front of or after the consonant. If the vowels appear in the middle of a word, the vowel signs are attached to the syllable ha. Independent vowel letters are used when a word begins with a vowel.
Each consonant has an appended form (Pangangge Akśara) which is used when one consonant follows another without a vowel in between.
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
There are no spaces between words.
Used to write
Balinese (Basa Bali), an Austronesian language spoken by about 3 million people mainly on the Indonesian island of Bali and in western part of the neighbouring island of Lombok. Balinese is also spoken in Nusapenida, Java and Sulawesi.

Balinese consonants (Akśara Wreşāstra)

The appended forms (Pangangge Akśara) are shown in red.

Additional Balinese consonants (Akśara Şwalalita)
There consonants are used for writing words from the Kawi (Old Javanese) language.

The final consonants are shown in red.

Balinese vowels (Akśara Suara)

Balinese vowel diacrtics

Balinese semi vowels

Balinese sound killers (Pangangge Tengenan)
These symbols are used at the ends of syllables to add a consonant sound or to mute the inherent vowel.

Balinese numerals

Balinese punctuation

Sample text in Balinese (Balinese alphabet)

Akeh akśarane, 47, luir ipun: akśara suara, 14, akśara wianjana, 33, akśara suara punika talĕr dados pangangge suara, tur madrĕwe suara kakalih, kawāśt,anin: suara hrĕswa miwah dīrgha

Source  :

Loloan Tribe :

The Loloan people are located in the Jembrana Regency of the island of Bali. More specifically, they live in the villages of Pengembangan, Tegal Badeng Islam, Cupel, Tukadaya, Banyubiru, Tuwed, Candi Kusuma, Sumber Sari, Ketatan, Airkuing, Sumbul, and Pekutatan. The word loloan is derived from the word liloan (“wrapped around” or “winding”), which refers to the first settler’s description of the River Ijogading, which is turbulent with changing currents. It is thought that their ancestors were Muslim immigrants from Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Malaysia. Sunan Wajo led the first group of settlers from Sulawesi. They came to Bali in the 17th Century to escape from the Dutch military. At that time, I Gusti Ngurah Pancoran, the King of Jembrana, welcomed them. He had also resisted the Dutch. These Bugis-Makassar immigrants developed good relationship with the King for the purpose of converting all of his people to Islam. Another group of settlers came from Kalimantan and was led by Abdullah bin Yahya Al Qadry, a descendant of the Sultan of Pontianak. Several of the Melayu groups from Malaysia originated from the areas of Pahang, Johor, Kedah and Trengganu and some of the immigrants were of Arab origin. These groups were also seeking to evade the Dutch military and became assimilated into the Loloan people group.
As a community, the Loloan villages have significantly different characteristics than the villages of the Bali people who live in the surrounding areas. In addition to the obvious religious differences, there are also other differences such as the style of homes. The Loloan houses are built on raised platforms, on top of stilts approximately two meters high. The main door of their houses always faces to the east. The location of the door in this manner is designed to avoid any distraction when they are doing their prayers toward Mecca in the west .The decorations of their houses is generally Islamic in nature, such as Arabic calligraphy. The Loloan style of dress, especially the womens’, is also Islamic. In general, they maintain a special and distinctive cultural pattern in the midst of the Hindu Bali people, who have in turn, maintained their own cultural distinctiveness in the midst of an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
They are strong Muslims, which is different from the majority of the Bali people group who are Hindu. This leads to their being ostracized by the Bali people. Loloan traditional laws have been handed down through the generations, and they also strictly enforce Islamic law. Despite this, there are Loloan people who are greatly influenced by animism and many superstitions. These beliefs cause them to seek protection using magic by either appeasing or controlling good and evil spirits.

Makepung and Perancak


Mekepung and Perancak.  Jembrana is best known for its Mekepung, or traditional buffalo race.  The regency even calls itself “the land of the Mekepung”.  The Mekepung was originally held as part of the harvest festivities.  It uses the carts and buffaloes that were used until quite recently as a means of transportation and which originated in Java.

The Mekepung consists of a race between two carts pulled by water buffaloes.  The animals are colourfully decorated and they run a 2 km long course.

Makepung Buffalo RaceMakepung Buffalo Race 

Nowadays championship events are organized under the sponsorship of the local government, which uses the race  as a promotional tool for tourism.


Trunyan village is located on the bank of lake Batur just on the foot of the mount Abang . Their unique tradition from the rest of Balinese is their tradition of not burrying their dead member. They have 3 cemetries. One is for the normal dead, second is for abnormal death such as fall from the wood during harvest of greenery for the cattles, or certain sickness which is considered very dangerous, and cemetry for the children.For the normal dead person the corp is not burried like the rest of Balinese, but just put on the narrow spot of land on the foot of hill and just exposed to the atmosphere until the whole flesh disolve from the body and left only the bones. There is really strange because the expored dead body in Trunyan normal cemetry is not radiationg bad smell. Many people say that it is just because of the water absorb the bed smell or probably the tree that is known to name Maja tree can absorb the bed smell. As a matter of fact Trunyan village has been recorded on king charter in the 10th century. A temple dedicated to the God of Bhatara Datonta is clearly mentioned 1000 years ago to be maintained and worshiped.

Trunyan Village Bali Island Tour1 Trunyan Village Indigenous Peoples of Bali Island

trunyan village bali1 Trunyan Village Indigenous Peoples of Bali Island

Skull in Trunyan Village 550x350 Trunyan Village Indigenous Peoples of Bali Island

Lombok Island Indonesia

Lombok Island (total population in 2001: 2,722,123 inhabitants) [1] is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands or Nusa Tenggara are separated by the Lombok Strait from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait to the east of Sumbawa. The island is roughly spherical with a kind of “tail” on the southwest side of a length less than 70 km. Extensive island reaches 5435 km ², placing it on the ranking list of 108 of the island based on the extent of the world. The main town on the island is Mataram.

Infrared photographs from satellites show Lombok island with crater of Mount Rinjani.

Lombok including West Nusa Tenggara province and the island itself is divided into 4 districts and 1 municipality:

* Municipal Mataram
* District of West Lombok
* Central Lombok District
* District of East Lombok
* District of North Lombok


Lombok Strait marks the boundary of flora and fauna of Asia. Starting from the island of Lombok to the east, much flora and fauna shows similarities to the flora and fauna found in Australia than Asia. Scientist who first stated this is Alfred Russel Wallace, an Englishman in the 19th century. To honor this limit is called the Wallace Line.

Topography of the island is dominated by Rinjani volcano which reaches 3726 meters height above sea level and make it the third highest in Indonesia. The mountain last erupted in June-July 1994. In 1997 the area of the mountain and lakeSegara Anak in its declared protected by the government. Area south of the island consists mostly of fertile land which is used for agriculture, commodities are usually planted in this area include maize, rice, coffee, tobacco and cotton.


Map of the language on the island of Lombok

Approximately 80% of the population of this island is the Sasak tribe, a tribe that is still close to the tribal peoples of Bali, but most converted to Islam. Rest of the population are Balinese, Javanese, Tionghoa and Arabic.


In addition to Indonesian as the national language, Lombok island residents (mainly ethnic Sasak), Sasak language as the main language in everyday conversation. Lombok itself in the Sasak language can be found in four different dialects of the different dialects of northern Lombok, central, northeast and southeast. In addition to the many tribal people who live in Bali Lombok (mostly from the former Kingdom of Karangasem), in some places, especially in West Lombok and Mataram municipality can be found villages in the Balinese language as the language of everyday conversation.


Most of the islanders, especially Lombok Sasak tribe embraced Islam. The second largest religion professed in this island is the Hindu religion, which is embraced by the descendants of Bali’s population amounted to about 15% of the population there. Christian, Buddhist and other religions can also be found, and especially embraced by the immigrants from various tribes and ethnic groups residing in this island.

In the northern part of West Lombok, precisely in the Bayan, especially among elderly people, still to be found the adherents of Islam flow Wetu Telu (three). Unlike most adherents of Islam who do pray five times a day, the adherents of this teaching practice must pray only three times in the course. It is said that this happens because the propagator of Islam as Islam is taught in stages and for some reason could not complete his preaching.


Form typical rice lombok island

According to the Babad Lombok content, the oldest royal ever ruled the island kingdom called Laeq (in Sasak language means laeq the past), but other sources of Suwung Chronicle, states that the oldest monarchy in the Kingdom Suwung Lombok is built and led by King Bethara Sense. Kingdom Suwung then subsided and was replaced by the Kingdom of Lombok. In the 9th century until the 11th century stood Kingdom Sasak later defeated by one of the kingdom that comes from Bali at the time. Some of the other kingdoms had stood on Lombok island, among others Pejanggik, Langko, Bayan, sokong smarkaton and Selaparang.

Selaparang own kingdoms emerged in the two periods of the 13th century and 16th century. Selaparang kingdom first is a Hindu kingdom and reign ended with the arrival of the Majapahit kingdom expedition in 1357. Kingdom Selaparang second is the Islamic kingdom and the power ended in 1744 after defeated by the combined forces of the Balinese kingdom of Karangasem and Arya who is a brittle Banjar royal family who defected to the Selaparang because problems with the king Selaparang. [2]. This led to the occupation of Bali Balinese influence of a strong culture in the west side of Lombok, as in dance and heritage buildings (eg in AmpenanCakranegaraPalace). It was not until 1894 Lombok Karangasem free from interference from Batavia (Dutch East Indies) who entered because of the rebellion Sasak people invited them to come. However, Lombok and then under the control of the Dutch East Indies directly.

The entry of Japan (1942) makes automatic Lombok was under Japanese occupation government control the eastern region. After World War II, Lombok could be under the State of East Indonesia, before then in 1950 joined with the Republic of Indonesia.

Cidomo, the traditional means of transportation on the island of lombok, major transportation facilities in rural areas

Lombok in many ways similar to Bali, and in the decade of the 1990s began to familiar foreign tourists. But with the emergence of the monetary crisis that hit Indonesia in late 1997 and other crises that accompanied it, the potential for tourism overlooked. Then in early 2000 riots between ethnic and inter-religions throughout Lombok and this caused a massive displacement of minorities. They mainly fled to the island of Bali. But after a while later the situation has become conducive and they’re back. In the year 2007 the tourism sector is the only sector in the developing Lombok.

Object of tourism destinations :

* Beach Senggigi
* Cakranegara
* Gili Air
* Gili Meno
* Gili Trawangan
* MountRinjani
* KutaBeach, Lombok
* Sentanu
* Tetebatu
* Sendang Gile Waterfall
* Gili Nangu
* Gili Sundak
* Gili Tangkong
* PusukMonkeyForest
* Taman Narmada
* Taman Mayura

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Bayan is a village in the surrounding forest is located on the southwest side of the island of Lombok, located at the foot of Mount Rinjani. The village is known as the native Sasak tribe has a loyalty to tradition in many ways, patterns and procedures reside. Architecture can be said to be very relevant and teaches how to appreciate a place and region. The village has an area of 2600 hectares is one of the existing six villages in Bayan district, West Lombok district. The majority of the population converted to Islam, known as the Islamic Wetu Telu.
Administratively, the village of Bayan in Bayan subdistrict, West Lombok NTB. This village area stretching from the foot of Mount Rinjani to the north shore. The location is one route to the mountain. In terms of topography, the parrots and the surrounding hamlets are scattered from the sea directly adjacent to the village which has a height of 700 m above sea level. Livelihoods in this region is largely farming. Agricultural products of rice, vegetables, coconuts, fruits and red onion and garlic into the mainstay.
Habits of the people live very closely kaitanya with the principles set out in the customs. In a village has a variety of custom homes and areas that distinguishes between the general and specific. Kampu in the area (area allotment for stakeholders-adat) there are some traditional houses that are divided and named according to the function or the nature of the profession or maloka stakeholders. Areas in kampu is sacred territory, the customary law is not arbitrary one can go in this area, for that region is isolated by a bamboo fence around it.
Pattern arrangement masses in general buildings in this village has a linear typology. Lengthwise and always in pairs, facing each other and back each other, the whole house is patterned facing west and east. This refers to the guidance and the prevailing customs. In the case of determining the location and setting the building mass, has an absolute requirement in its placement. For houses that occupy the most southern position where the front of the house facing west (Qiblah) becomes imperative for the occupied by the oldest brother, following the lineage, the opposite side of the house facing south east is occupied by the next brother. Traditionally this pattern symbolize the mass order of oldest brother who can protect, maintain and protect the other brothers.
In the structure of mass system is always well marked by a Baruga (meeting place) at the points that have been determined, the middle position of the pattern of a linear arrangement. This position indicates the importance of the function itself Baruga. Baruga is a place for anyone accepting guests, they serve as a traditional ceremony. Baruga size not too big, small, but scattered in several places in a village. Baruga can accommodate approximately 15 people. Closing Baruga roof made of reeds and re (fibers) with a structure supported by six pillars (pillars pillars six). This pole building at the head of each tied with 3 blocks, called pillars enclose a block and two block walls called Aton to be bound by the pins (pen). Both types of blocks are supported bearing the burden of sky (the horses) which in the end there were horses senggoko (ridge beam). Structure of the lower pole of the time the land is cendi (base) stone.
Custom houses (bale) in this village woven bamboo walls, dirt floors, reed roof, with the framework of mixed construction wood and bamboo. Inside the building there is a divided territory and was named inan bale (main house) and also consists of six pillars. Function inan bale itself as a place to store the values that nature can not be known by many people other than the house. Like property, other valuables and rice stored in the barrel (temberasan or kemeras), is also a place to store nenoq (offerings to the spirits of ancestors and the spirit of the inhabitants of the house), and given time to be a place of meditation families. In the area of the house there is also a place reserved for women when visiting, divan bleh. Overall, there is room in the house reflects a unified whole in the pattern room setup. And unique to each house there is a system didesa organizing the same room with each other.
The division of general and specific areas in this village is a picture of the importance of appreciating the meaning and positive values are contained, to be guarded and respected, without exaggeration. Village community life and still hold fast to the customary rules that govern all forms of relationship between man and God, fellow human beings and other creatures (plants and animals) and the surrounding environment. And the other side really appreciate and uphold the value of the life of a village in the settled order.

East-Kalimantan 48 Tribes

East Kalimantan – 48 Tribes

East-Kalimantan 48 Tribes

East Kalimantan is one of province in Indonesia. It’s serves as a gateway to other destinations on Kalimantan Island. Most destinations, such as the Dayak settlements in the hinterland along the big rivers, can be reached from here, moreover, a visit toKalimantan does not seem complete without a visit to East Kalimantan.The province of East Kalimantan occupies an area of 211,440 square kilometres. It is the biggest province of Indonesiasince Irian Jaya has been officially divided into three. It has a population of more than two million, distributed over 1,080 villages, in 73 districts, or seven people per square kilometer.The province consists of four regencies : Kutai, with the capital Tenggarong: Pasir ( capital Tanah Grogot ) ; Berau ( capital Tanjung Redeb),and Bulungan (capital Tanjung Selor).
Kalimantan Tour Operator in Indonesia, is able to serve your Golden Traveling Routes to the Deep Hinterland of Mystic Borneo / Kalimantan Island, as Jungle treks, Dayak indigenous Culture, Adventure trips in area's as the Apokayan, Kayan River, Mahakam River, Barito River, Rungan River, Kahayan River, Katingan River, Kapuas River, Mount Meratus, Kutai Reserve, Kayan Mentarang Reserve, Tanjung Puting Reserve, Camp Leakey, Orangutan tours, Tangiling National Park, Gunung Palung National Park, Danau Semantrum National Park, Kersik Luwai Reserve, Diving at Derawan Islands, Longhouse Tours, Dayak Hunting Tours, Mahakam Dolphin Tours, Orangutan safari,Safari, Safari Tours, Safari Tour, Adventure Tour, Adventure Tours, Adventure expedition, Adventure Expeditions, Expedition Tours, Expedition tour, Expeditions tour, trip, trek, trekking, Adventure trek, Adventure trekking, Adventure trips, jungle trek, jungle treks, jungle trekking, jungle trekkings, jungle tour, jungle tours, jungle adventure tour, jungle adventure tours, rain forest trek, rainforest trekking, rain forest trekkings rain forest tour, rain forest tours, rain forest adventure tour, rain forest adventure tours, rain forest expeditions, rain forest adventure expedition tours, wild life adventure, wild life tour, wild life tours, wild life expedition, wild life expedition tours, bird tour, bird tours, wild life safari, wild life safari tour, wild life safari tours, safari trip, , travel to Kalimantan, travel to Borneo, wild life travel, adventure travel, expedition travel, traveler, traveling, touring, tourism, backpack tour, backpack tours, backpacker tour, backpacker tours, backpacker expedition, backpacker safari, backpacker traveler, backpacker traveling, of the beaten track tours, of the beaten track expeditions, of the beaten track travel, of the beaten track safari, of the beaten track expedition, Kalimantan of the beaten trek, of the beaten trek, of the beaten trek tours, of the beaten trek adventure, Kalimantan of the beaten track, itineraries, itinerary, tour program, tour programs, pax, travel compagnion, travel friend, cross the border of Malaysia to Indonesia, cross the Kalimantan Border, cross the Borneo border, Tawau to Nunukan, Tawau to Tarakan, cross the border tawau, cross the border Nunukan, cross the border Long Bawan, cross the Border Entikong, fly, flights, airlines, Hotel, Hotels, tour reservation, tour operator, Kalimantan tour operator, Borneo tour operator, eco tourism tour, eco toursim tours, eco tour, eco tours, ecotourism, tours to Sabah, Sarawak etc, etc. Hotel bookings, Taxi / Car rental service, Boat rental, Flight bookings and a lot more can be arranged.
The average annual rainfalls is 1,642 mm in the coastal regions, and 3,963 mm in the hinterland up to the northern parts of the province, bordering on Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo.

About 80 percent of East Kalimantan consists of tropical rain forests, which cover on area of about 15.9 million hectares, consisting of nature and wildlife reserves and recreational forests (1.9 million hectares);protected forests(3.6 million hectares); limited production forests (4.8 million hectares ); production forests (5.5 million hectares); and research and educational forests (18,000 hectares). The acreage covered by convertible production forests is 5.1 million hectares.
The forests of East Kalimantan contain a wealth of rare flora and fauna. The black Orchid (Clogena pandurata), Nephents Amularia and Rattan vines growing up to 200 meters long, grow in these forests. So do various species of valuable tropical hardwoods.
Among the animal species typical of Kalimantan, living in the forests are chimpanzees (Pongee pygmaeus), bekantan (Nasalis Larvatus), Mahakam fresh – water dolphins or pesut (Orcela fluminalis) and many bird varieties.

The cultural and artistic traditions of the island’s indigenous Dayak population are still preserved in this region, especially in the hinterland of East Kalimantan. Sailing up the streams near the Malaysian border, one can still meet Traditional Dayak settlements than seem to have been little touched by the advent of modernity.
Decades ago, a stone bearing inscriptions in the ancient Palawa script of India was found revealing advanced civilization in this area in as early as the Fourth century A.D. The inscriptions mention the name Mulawarman as that of a great and noble king, reigning in the area.Apart from that ancient monument , however , very little has been left of the Hindu and Buddhist period in Kalimantan. Subsequent evidence found attests to the rise of Islam at around the 16th century, in Kalimantan.
The Dutch came to Kalimantan to trade, but although a flotilla visited Kutai in 1635, real attempts to establish a permanent relationship were not made until the middle of the 19th century. An agreement between the Dutch and the Bulungan Kingdom was closed in 1850. The cooperation did not last long , however, because the BulunganKingdom did not gain anything from the relationship . Some tribal chieftains even revolted against the king of Bulungan, who they considered to have become a Dutch puppet.
In 1933, a Dutch company began mining oil in Tarakan and BunyuIsland. During World War II , When the Japanese invaded what was then the Netherlands East Indies, the first target for their attaches was Tarakan, which they occupied for the main purpose of taking over its oil field.


Kwangkai is the death ceremony of the Tunjung and Benuaq, Dayaks of East Kalimantan . It usually lasts for ten days and ten nights and is designed to fulfill the dual purpose of leading the soul of the dead to the hereafter, and welcoming the new spirits which are arriving through the newborn.The first part of the ceremony is called Setanggih, which reflects the Dayak cult of ancestor worship.

The follows the Ngerangkai, in which a dance is performed by group of women.Next come the Pekanan Saru, in which offering are made to the spirits. This involves the performance of ritual dances by the Belian Bawo (shaman). Also the Gantar Adat Dance is performed. The most important part of the ceremony involves the killing of buffaloes and other animals.

The Kwangkai ceremony is held either by individual families or collectively. It is usually held shortly after the harvest season. Before the ceremony takes place , the corpse is placed in the Lungun, a round wooden coffin, where , it is kept for many months so that the bones become dry.

.In Families which cannot afford to keep the remains in the house for so long, (it must be given food every day), they are preserved for a few days only. Then the corpse is buried in the usual way, to be dug up and moved as soon as the means needed to hold a Kwangkai are available.

Ngungu Tahun is an annual post-harvest offering ceremony. It is held as a kind of thanksgiving ritual after a prosperous year.The ceremony starts with the worship of the ancestors, followed by a series of rituals.

(thanks to  Upacara_Adat_Kematian_Dayak_di_Kubar for the nice pictures)

Erau Paray

Erau Paray is a ceremonial feast of the Kenyah and Punan Dayaks. It starts with the worship of the ancestors and the offering of thanks.
Bob Jenggeu is ceremony of the Medang tribe in the Muara Ancalong and Muara Wahau district, Kutai regency , which is accompanied by other rituals such as Uding, Dang Tung, Ne Legur , Ne Lei, Ne Blok and Nam Bleu. It is also accompanied by traditional sport events, as well as dances such as the Jong Nyelong, Ngeway and Ding Suk.

Erau Hudeg or Hudeg Feast is ceremony of the Bahau, in Long Iram and Long Bangun, Kutai regency This feast is held after the harvest season as an expression of gratitude. It lasts for several days and is accompanied by traditional dances and sporting contest.

Dangai is ceremony held by the Bussang and Penihing Umak Suling Dayaks in the hinterland along the Mahakam river, in the Long Pahangai and Long Apari districts, and in the hinterland of the Kutai regency. It is also held by the Kayan Dayaks in the hinterland regions of Bulungan regency. Dangai is held after the harvest season, and usually lasts for ten days and ten nights. It starts with the worship of the ancestors, with food offerings for the gods and the spirits of the ancestors. Dancing girls circle the offerings, dancing and singing in worship of the ancestors. The Tepung Mawar ceremony is held at the same time for girls entering adulthood , so that they will get good, honest and responsible husbands. Newly born babies are givens names. The highlight of the Dangai ceremony is a fight a kind of wrestling contest – between men, which takes place on rotten rice spread on banana’s leaves . While the match goes on , women dance and sing in a circle around the arena, stamping their feet all the while.

(Thanks to for the nice pictures)
Palas Tahun is a thanksgiving ceremony of the Malayu Kutai Tribe , in Muara Bengkal , Kutai Regency. It lasts for three days and three nights, and is accompanied by traditional dances and sporting events.
Pangkon is ceremony originating from the Kutai Sultanate. It is held apart from the tribal Erau feast to honor the quest. There are various other rituals and ceremonies, designed to mark important events too numerous to mention one by one.

Ampanang 33.000 Animism
central, southeast of Tunjung, Jambu, Lamper area
The Ampanang people group lives just east of Central Kalimantan, southeast of the city of Tunjung, not far from the cities of Jambu and Lamper. Kalimantan, meaning “River of Diamonds,” is the name for the Indonesian two-thirds of the island of Borneo; Malaysia and Brunei occupy the other one-third. The Ampanang are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster, which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic complex. Dayak peoples tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan. They are sometimes sub-divided as either Land or Sea Dayaks, although this is primarily a European designation to distinguish the various groups. They are usually further characterized by: (1) bilinear inheritance and bilateral kinship reckoning; (2) uxorilocal residence or living with or near the kin of the wife; (3) political unity rarely above the level of the village; (4) absence of social stratification (although slavery is or was practiced by some groups); (5) multifamily dwellings (often including longhouses); and (6) in most cases, secondary burials. The Dayak tribes apparently came from West Asia as a migration of the Mongols who entered the archipelago through the southern Kalimantan coastal city, which is now called Martapura.
The primary means of livelihood for the Ampanang include hunting, gathering forest products, fishing, farming, and trade. Although most Ampanang live beside rivers, there are also those who live in areas far from any river. The Ampanang culture is intertwined with their belief in unseen spirits. In the same way, the arts and various other activities are incorporated into their belief system. The Ampanang also uphold various traditional ceremonies. These ceremonies include matchmaking and engagement, marriage, pregnancy, birth, healing of a sickness, and burial. Ritual ceremonies are also often observed during the time of celebrating their important holidays.
Generally the Ampanang people are followers of the traditional Dayak beliefs, called Kaharingan. In addition, some are also followers of the Nyuli belief. The focus of the Nyuli teaching is that there is a resurrection after death (Suli). According to Nyuli teaching, Bukit Lumut releases the departed spirit. Such a spirit then returns to their village, bringing something from eternity that can be used to improve the condition of the world. The Ampanang people also give praise to the spirits of their ancestors (duwata). Each Ampanang family has a place of worship for their own duwata in their house. This place of worship is usually called kunau. They also use a pangantuhu, a piece of human bone, as a tool to call departed ancestors. 


Aoheng 2.630 Animism
north central near Sarawak border, upper reaches of Kapuas, Barito, and Mahakam rivers. Alternate names: Penihing. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 69% with Kereho [xke], 67% with Hovongan [hov].
Bahau 4.800  Animism 

Bahau , kalimantan, tribe, dayak, suku

Northeast, north, and southeast of Busang. Long Apari, Long Pahangai, Long Bagun, and Long Hubung subdistricts, Kutai Barat Regency.
Bakumpai 108.000 Islam 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, Bakumpai , suku

Kapuas and Barito rivers, northeast of Kuala Kapuas. Alternate names: Bakambai, Bara-Jida. Dialects: Bakumpai, Mengkatip (Mangkatip, Oloh Mengkatip). Lexical similarity: 75% with Ngaju [nij], 45% with Banjar [bjn].
The majority of the Bakumpai live near the Barito River, which flows through the province of Central Kalimantan. In southern Kalimantan, the Bakumpai live in Bakumpai District of Barito Kuala Regency while those in Central Kalimantan live in South Barito Regency. Their neighbors in the south are the Banjar people and in the north the Ngaju and Maanyan peoples. Some experts speculate that the Bakumpai are one of the sub-groups of the Ngaju people group, although the Bakumpai consider themselves a separate people group. The Bakumpai are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic cluster. Dayak peoples (sometimes subdivided as either Land or Sea Dayaks) tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan. The Dayak tribes probably originated from West Asia as migratory Mongols who entered the archipelago from the west through the coastal city which is now called Martapura (in South Kalimantan).
The area where the Bakumpai live is crisscrossed with many rivers. The Bakumpai have therefore developed technology for water transportation. They usually farm wet rice fields due to the rise and fall of the tide. Other work is cultivation of un-irrigated fields, fishing in the rivers, trade, and production of household tools. Although the Bakumpai are considered part of the larger group of Dayak tribes, their social life and culture is influenced more by the culture of the Banjar people. In the past, when the area of the Banjarmasin was still controlled by a Hindu kingdom, the social system was influenced by the caste system according to the Hindu religion. The system of kinship of the Bakumpai is also similar to the bilateral system of the Banjar. Along with the husband, the wife also exercises an important role in the nuclear family. According to the traditions of the Bakumpai, the newly married couple is free to choose their place to live. They may choose to live with the husband’s relatives, with the wife’s relatives, or separately in their own home. The system of dividing inheritance tends to be implemented according to the rules of the religion of Islam.
Generally, the Bakumpai are followers of Islam.
Banjar  3.916.000 Islam 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, , banjar, suku

Around Banjarmasin south and east; East Kalimantan, coastal regions of Pulau Laut, Kutai and Pasir; Central Kalimantan as far as Sampit. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Bandjarese, Banjar Malay, Banjarese, Labuhan. Dialects: Kuala, Hulu. Lexical similarity: 73% with Indonesian [ind], 66% with Tamuan (Malayic Dayak), 45% with Bakumpai [bkr], 35% with Ngaju [nij]. 

The southern and eastern coast of Kalimantan is home to the Banjar people, who live up and down the rivers from the interior rainforest to the coastal cities. Banjar culture dominates the province of South Kalimantan, and there are also significant Banjar populations in East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and Malaysia. Although they are devout Muslims, the Banjar proudly trace their origins to a legendary Hindu kingdom, the Negara Dipa. Contemporary ethnic identity developed from a combination of Jawa (Java), Melayu (Malay), and Dayak cultures. Through the Jawa people, Buddhism, Hinduism and finally Islam were introduced into South Kalimantan. In 1526, Banjar Prince Samudera accepted Islam and took the name of Sultan Suriansyah as a condition of receiving help from a Jawa army in overthrowing his uncle.
Banjarmasin, the capital city of South Kalimantan, is located 22 kilometers from the Jawa Sea, and since portions of the city are below sea level, the city rises and falls with the tides. Lanting (houses on stilts) line the multiple waterways, which crisscross the city. Taking a small klotok (motorized boat) around the rivers and canals shows a wide variety of activity: people bathing, washing laundry, gossiping, and buying fruit and vegetables and fish from women vendors in tiny canoes. The Banjar people seldom move to other areas of Indonesia. They tend to marry and settle near their parents or other relatives in Kalimantan. Most seek their livelihood through farming and plantation work near the rivers. Trade, transport, and mining are also prominent occupational fields. Many Banjar work in traditional manual sawmills but are reluctant to work in the plywood factories and commercial sawmills because of the unhealthy conditions.
The all-pervasiveness of Islam in Banjar society has a great influence on every aspect of individual and family life.
Basap 26.000 Animism
scattered in Bulungan, Sangkulirang, and Kutai regencies. Dialects: Jembayan, Bulungan, Berau, Dumaring, Binatang, Karangan.
Berau Malay 12.000 Islam
central coastal area, Tanjungreder and Muaramalinau north to Sepinang south. Alternate names: Berau, Merau Malay.
The Berau live in Berau Regency, East Kalimantan Province and especially in the districts of Tanjungredeb, Gunung Tabur, Sembaliung, and Babanir. The Berau speak their own language. This language differentiates them from other people groups in East Kalimantan. According to a linguist, there are not more than 45,000 people speaking the Berau language.
The Berau mainly make their living as either farmers or fishermen. The farmers grow sweet potatoes, cassava, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Like other Kalimantan people groups in general, the Berau practice migratory agriculture (shifting from one field to another) mainly because they cannot maintain the soil’s fertility. New farmland is opened by cutting down trees and burning the underbrush. The initial clearing of a field is accomplished with the help of a large group of neighbors. This farming method is often accused of being the main cause of forest fires in Kalimantan. Even though their actions do cause some damage, it is not comparable to the destruction done by businessmen who hold “Forest Enterprise Rights” from the government. Some Berau living in cities work for government or private businesses. Others work as craftsmen or day laborers.The Berau people also produce a handicraft of specially woven fabric, which they often sell to outsiders. A new form of income that has developed recently is the presenting of their traditional ancestral ceremonies as a tourist attraction.Most of the Berau follow the patrilineal kinship system (tracing descent from the father). Male primacy is very important and is dominant in every aspect of life. The men determine issues concerning marriages and inheritance. In the past, the Berau apparently had class distinctions but these have since faded in modern times. Today, wealth and formal education are factors determining one’s social status. The richer a person is or the higher a person’s formal education, the higher their position and social standing in the eyes of the Berau community.
Today most Berau identify themselves as Muslims.
Bolongan  18.000 Christian
Tanjungselor area, lower Kayan River. Alternate names: Bulungan. Dialects: May be a dialect of Tidong [tid] or Segai [sge]. Classification uncertain.
Bukit Malay  76.000 Animism
Bukitan 570
Iwan River, Sarawak border. Also in Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Bakatan, Bakitan, Beketan, Mangkettan, Manketa, Pakatan. Dialects: Punan Ukit, Punan Busang.
Burusu  9.100 Animism
Bulungan Regency, Sesayap subdistrict, Sekatakbunyi area, north of Sajau Basap [sjb] language. Alternate names: Berusuh, Bulusu.
Busang Kayan 4.500  Animism
upper Mahakam, Oga, Belayan rivers. Alternate names: Busang, Kajan, Kajang. Dialects: Mahakam Busang, Belayan, Long Bleh.
Dusun Malang 4.600  Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, North Barito Regency, west of Muarainu, northeast of Muarateweh. Dialects: Bayan, Dusun Malang. Most similar to Ma’anyan [mhy], Paku [pku], Dusun Witu [duw], Malagasy [plt]. Lexical similarity: 90% between the 2 dialects.
Dusun Deyah 30.000 Animism
South Kalimantan Province, Tabalong River northeast of Bongkang. Alternate names: Deah, Dejah. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 53% with Lawangan [lbx], 52% with Tawoyan [twy].
Dusun Witu 5.300  Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, South Barito Regency, Pendang and Buntokecil regions; south of Muarateweh. Dialects: Dusun Pepas, Dusun Witu. Most similar to Ma’anyan [mhy], Paku, Dusun Malang [duq], Malagasy [plt]. Lexical similarity: 75% with Ma’anyan, 73% with Paku [pku].
Hovongan  1.200 Animism
West Kalimantan Province near Sarawak and East Kalimantan Province borders; Kapuas Hulu Regency, far northeast corner. Alternate names: Punan Bungan. Dialects: Hovongan, Penyavung, Semukung Uheng. Lexical similarity: 69% with Kereho [xke], 67% with Aoheng [pni].
Kayan Mahakan 1.800 Animism
West Kutai and Malinau regencies, 2 areas.
Kayan River Kayan 3.000 Animism 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, kayan, , suku

Kayan River, 2 areas. Alternate names: Kajang, Kayan River Kajan. Dialects: Uma Leken, Kayaniyut Kayan, Uma Laran.
Kelabit  5.200 Christian 

Kelabit, kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

remote mountains, on Sarawak border, northwest of Longkemuat. Mainly in Sarawak. Alternate names: Kalabit, Kerabit, Apo Duat. Dialects: Lon Bangag, Tring, Bareo (Bario), Pa’ Mada, Long Napir. 

Kelabit, kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

The Kelabit are an ethnic group in Malaysia with a small number living in Indonesia. The main Kelabit settlement is in northeast Sarawak, Malaysia. The Kelabit heartland, Bario lies 1,000 metres above sea level in the remote Kelabit Highlands. Bario is accessible only by air transport. Sixteen Kelabit villages are located within this highland plateau, while four other villages are located in the lowlands along the tributaries of the Baram River. 

The Kelabit’s ancestors were traditionally farmers and headhunters. The Kelabit of today live a more progressive life. Many have migrated to urban areas for work or further education.

The Kelabit are a close-knit community, noted for their cheerful, industrious and refined nature and generous hospitality. Family life and friendships are highly valued in their society.
Most Kelabit villages are longhouse settlements. The rural Kelabit plant wet-paddy, producing high quality rice commonly known as ‘Bario Rice’. They also cultivate fruits and raise buffaloes, sheep and cattle. The people hunt and fish when the rice-planting season is over. The level of education among the Kelabit is considerably high. Many work in the civil service and the private sector in major urban areas.

They used to strictly observe a social hierarchy which consists of three classes, namely the paran ‘aristocrats’, the pupa ‘middle class’ and the anak lun ian ada ‘commoners’. However with the advent of Christianity and education, such classifications are slowly diminishing.

A Kelabit couple may mark their new status as parents and grandparents by changing their names at a special festive ceremony called Irau Naru Ngadan. The Kelabit are good dancers. Well-known dances include the Arang Papate (The Dance of War) and the graceful Arang Menengang (The Dance of the Hornbill).

Singing, story-telling and joke-sharing sessions are popular traditional pastimes. Games such as football and volleyball are also popular among them. Antique beads are highly valued by the Kelabit. These centuries-old valuable beads are not only used as body adornments but also serve as family heirlooms.
The Kelabit’s forefathers were fervent animists. They appeased spirits and depended on the sighting of certain animals to warn them of impending disaster. Certain taboos and bad omens required the abandonment of ripening rice crops, the dissolution of marriages and even the killing of newborn infants.

The arrival of Christianity in the 1940s saw the Kelabit discarding most of their old beliefs. Most Kelabit today are evangelical Christians. Christmas and Easter are two important festivals celebrated as a community.

Kereho  500
West Kalimantan Province, far east Kapuas Hulu Regency, near Sarawak border, Kereho River. Alternate names: Keriau Punan. Dialects: Busang (Kereho-Busang), Seputan, Uheng (Kereho-Uheng). Lexical similarity: 69% with Hovongan [hov], 69% with Aoheng [pni].
Kota Bangun Kutai Malay 80.000 Islam
central Mahakam River basin. Dialects: Not intelligible with Tenggarong Kutai Malay [vkt], but may be intelligible with one of its dialects (Northern Kutai).
Lawangan 100.000

Karau River area. Alternate names: Luwangan, Northeast Barito. Dialects: Ajuh, Bakoi (Lampung), Bantian (Bentian), Banuwang, Bawu (Bawo), Kali, Karau (Beloh), Lawa, Lolang, Mantararen, Njumit, Purai, Purung, Tuwang, Pasir, Benua, Taboyan. At least 17 dialects. Tawoyan [twy] may be inherently intelligible. Lexical similarity: 77% with Tawoyan, 53% with Dusun Deyah [dun].

Lun Bawang 34.000  Animism, Christian 20 %
The Murut comprise several people groups that are scattered in parts of Borneo Island including Brunei, Kalimantan (Indonesia), and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Their largest numbers are in Sabah but some also inhabit the rural Temburong District in Brunei. They were among the last tribal groups on Borneo to renounce headhunting. The largest Murut people groups are Tagal, Tidung, Timugon, Sembakung, Paluan, Bookan, Kalabakan, and Serundung Murut. The Sabah Murut population is around 135,000 while around 1,200 are found in Brunei.


The literal meaning for Murut is ‘hill people’. The Murut were formerly shifting cultivators moving their settlements every few years. Each people group has their own dialect, but most are also conversant in Malay which is the national language in Brunei and Malaysia. Interior from Brunei Bay to Padas River headwaters, to Baram headwaters, and into East Kalimantan, Indonesian mountains where Sesayap River tributaries arise. Also in Brunei, Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Southern Murut, Lundayeh, Lun Daye, Lun Dayah, Lun Daya, Lun Dayoh, Lundaya Putuk. Dialects: Lun Daye, Papadi, Lun Bawang (Long Bawan, Sarawak Murut). Not Murutic, although sometimes called Southern Murut.

The Murut used to live in communal longhouses, usually near rivers. Today, they have abandoned this style of living for individual family houses. These modern-style Murut villages are still located in the areas of their former longhouse communities. They are a very hospitable people.

Traditionally, they used the rivers as their highways. They planted hill rice and tapioca, and hunted and fished for a living. The men were skilled hunters, using blowpipes, spears and hunting dogs. Today, cultivating hill rice is their main occupation. Saw milling, timber processing and military careers are other means of livelihood.

Generally speaking, the Murut in Brunei have participated in the economic prosperity and modernization of Brunei Darussalam over the past few decades. The Murut in Sabah have also had increased opportunities resulting from modernization, although those who live in remote locations have not benefited as much from these changes.
Many of the Murut peoples in both Sabah and Brunei characterize their entire people group as being Christian. However, this is often done to distinguish their culture from their earlier culture and from the predominant Muslim culture than to characterize individual beliefs.

Many of those that call themselves Christian are nominal believers. Among church members, there is a mix of Roman Catholic and Protestant affiliations. Brunei statistics reveal that the Murut community is 58% Muslim, 30% “tribal religionists” (animists) and the rest Christian. Malaysian census data count the Murut in Sabah as about 82% Christian, 13% Muslim, and 5% other religions. These numbers can be misleading since they count all those in a household as having the same belief as the head of the household.

Ma’anyan 150.000


Central Kalimantan, Barito Selatan Regency, South Tamianglayang area, Dusun Hilir, Karau Kuala, Dusun Selatan, Dusun Utara, Gunung Bintang Awai, Dusun Tengah, Awang, and Patangkep Tutui subdistricts. Patai River drainage area. Alternate names: Ma’anjan, Maanyak Dayak. Dialects: Samihim (Buluh Kuning), Sihong (Siong), Dusun Balangan. Related to Malagasy languages in Madagascar. Lexical similarity: 77% with Paku [pku], 75% with Dusun Witu [duv].
Mainstream Kenyah 12.000
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau Regency, Pimping, Long Setulang, Batu Kajang, Long Uli, Long Belua villages, Kayan, Mahakam, Upper Baram, Bahau, Upper Balui, Malinau, Belayan, and Telen river areas. Also in Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Usun Apau Kenyah, Highland Kenyah. Dialects: Lepo’ Tau, Lepo’ Bem, Uma’ Jalan, Uma’ Tukung, Lepo’ Ke, Lepo’ Kuda, Lepo’ Maut, Lepo’ Ndang, Badeng, Bakung, Lepo’ Tepu’.
Modang 23.000  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Segah, Kelinjau, and Belayan rivers. 5 areas. Dialects: Kelingan (Long Wai, Long We), Long Glat, Long Bento’, Benehes, Nahes, Liah Bing.
Ngaju , Dayak Ngaju, Biadju 958.000 Christian 

Ngaju , kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

Kapuas, Kahayan, Katingan, and Mentaya rivers, south. Alternate names: Biadju, Dayak Ngaju, Ngadju, Ngaja, Ngaju Dayak, Southwest Barito. Dialects: Ba’amang (Bara-Bare, Sampit), Katingan Ngaju, Katingan Ngawa, Kahayan, Kahayan Kapuas, Mantangai (Oloh Mangtangai), Pulopetak. Related to Bakumpai [bkr]. Lexical similarity: 75% with Bakumpai, 62% with Kohin [kkx], 50% with Ot Danum [otd], 35% with Banjar [bjn].
Okolod, Murut Okolod 3.390 Animism, Christian40%
East Kalimantan Province along Sabah border, east of Lumbis, north of Lundayeh; also in Sarawak. Also in Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Kolod, Kolour, Kolur, Okolod Murut. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 82% with Okolod of Sabah, 70% with Pensiangan Murut dialect of Tagal Murut [mvv], 34% with Lun Bawang [lnd].
Ot Dahun 78.800 

Ot Dahun , kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

Upper reaches of south Borneo River, large area south of Schwaner Range. Ulu Ai’ on Mandai River with 7 villages. Alternate names: Dohoi, Malahoi, Uud Danum, Uut Danum. Dialects: Ot Balawan, Ot Banu’u, Ot Murung 1 (Murung 1, Punan Ratah), Ot Olang, Ot Tuhup, Sarawai (Melawi), Dohoi, Ulu Ai’ (Da’an), Sebaung, Kadorih, Kuhin. Lexical similarity: 70% with Siang [sya], 65% with Kohin [kkx], 60% with Katingan dialect of Ngaju [nij], 50% with Ngaju (main dialect) [nij].
Paku 3.700 Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, East Barito Regency, south of Ampah. Alternate names: Bakau. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 77% with Ma’anyan [mhy], 73% with Dusun Witu [duv].
Punan Aput 600  Animism 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, punan, suku

East Kalimantan Province, west and north of Mt. Menyapa. Alternate names: Aput. Dialects: Allegedly unintelligible to other Penan languages.
Punan Merah 200  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Mahakam River, east of Ujohhilang.
Punan Merap 200  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, east of Longkemuat.
Punan Tubu 3.100   Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau, Mentarang, and Sembakung rivers, coastal. 8 locations. Dialects: Not a Kenyah language (Soriente 2003).
Sa’ban 900 Christian
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency, Sarawak border, south of Lundayeh. Alternate names: Saban, Merau.
The Sa’ban are a small people group living in the Punang Kelapang region in the remote Kelabit Highlands of northeast Sarawak. Long Banga is the main Sa’ban village in the highlands. Many Sa’ban have also moved to urban areas such as Miri for work purposes. 

The Sa’ban originally lived in the upper reaches of the Bahau River in east Kalimantan. Migration to Sarawak began around 1900 and continued until the late 1960s.

Despite sharing many cultural similarities with the neighboring Kelabit, the Sa’ban are a distinct people who even today seldom intermarry with outsiders. Historically their warriors were renowned for their bravery and steadfastness in battle. The Sa’ban are an industrious people. A strong desire exists among them to improve their standard of living.
A typical Sa’ban village consists of houses built in an alignment similar to that of a longhouse. Nowadays, individual houses are also built in the villages. Farming is a major economic activity. They practice shifting paddy cultivation. Coffee and sugarcane are planted as cash crops.

Many Sa’ban have taken up jobs in urban areas. They also work in the logging and plantation industries. The level of education among the Sa’ban is high. Schoolchildren normally have to finish their higher secondary school education in faraway towns. A few individuals are university and college graduates. The Sa’ban live in extended families. The adoption of children among close relatives is common. Sa’ban society consists of aristocrats and commoners. Formerly there was also a slave class. Village heads are usually elected from the aristocratic class. A Sa’ban couple changes their names upon the births of their first child and first grandchild. Parents also address their children using special terms. Certain traditional practices of elongating earlobes and tattooing among both men and women have almost died out. The practice of keeping antique jars and beads as heirlooms continues even today.
The Sa’ban previously practiced animism. Deep in spirit-worship, they kept the skulls of their enemies in their longhouses.

In the early 1950s, the first Protestant Christian missionaries went to the Sa’ban people. The Sa’ban responded positively and the people today are predominantly Christians. Christmas and Easter celebrations are looked forward to as a time of festivities and family reunions.

Sajau  Basap 9.100 Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Berau and Bulungan regencies, northeast of Muaramalinau. Alternate names: Sajau, Sujau. Dialects: Punan Sajau, Punan Basap, Punan Batu 2. Related to Basap [bdb].
Segai 3.000  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Berau regency, Kelai River and around Longlaai. Alternate names: Called Segayi by the Berau, Ga’ay by the Kenyah and Kayan. Dialects: Kelai, Segah.
Selungai Murut 700  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency east of Lumbis on upper reaches of Sembakung River. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Murut.
Sembakung Murut  3.500   Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency, Sembakung River mouth into Sabah. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Sembakoeng, Sembakong, Simbakong, Tingalun, Tinggalan, Tinggalum
Siang 86.000  Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, Murung Raya Regency, east of Dohoi. Alternate names: Ot Siang. Dialects: Siang, Murung 2. Related to Dohoi.
The Siang people live in the province of Central Kalimantan. They are often called the Siang-Murung people because of the close relationship between the Siang and Murung peoples. The Siang primarily live in the Tanah Siang, Permata Intan, Laung Tuhup, Sumber Barito, and Murung districts of the North Barito Regency.The Siang are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster, which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic cluster. Dayak peoples (sometimes identified as either Land or Sea Dayaks) tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan.Their language is called Siang, which is part of the Ot Danum language cluster. The Siang language is considered a “more polite” language than the Murung language. The Siang are particularly proud of their songs honoring respected guests or praising those who have done extraordinary feats.
The main means of livelihood of the Siang people is farming. Other than that, they tap rubber trees, gather forest products such as rattan, hunt pigs, and pan for gold and diamonds. They still use simple tools such as spears, blowpipes, and trident harpoons. The Siang people’s mobility is low. In spite of this, the Siang people group is not a closed group. They are known as a friendly and open people, but of course any newcomer would have to adapt himself to their customs and traditions.The custom of helping one another is dominant in their communities. For example, during planting and harvest time, neighbors come to help, bringing their own tools, while the owner of the field provides the food and drink. This type of helping one another is called haweh. Nango is helping spontaneously without an invitation, and ndohop is giving aid to one who is unable to proceed with the requirements for a marriage ceremony.The ancestral line is characterized as ambilineal. Extended families are formed by the groom living with the bride’s family. Social interaction is clearly defined. Their customs and manners are carefully defined, in matters concerning parents-in-law relations to their children-in-law. Another example is that a brother-in-law is not allowed to enter the house of his sister-in-law if her husband is not home.
The Siang people follow an ancestral belief system called Kaharingan. They believe invisible creatures and spirits of the deceased inhabit the natural world around them. These spirits at times actually enter the visible world which is called Lewu Liau. When someone dies, they are temporarily buried, then later a special observance called numbeng is held to send the spirit to the spirit world to face the highest god/spirit called Ranying Mahatalla Langit.
Tagal Murut  2.700  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency, Pegalan Valley, Alumbis River. Alternate names: Semambu, Semembu, Sumambu, Sumambu-Tagal, Sumambuq. Dialects: Rundum (Arundum), Tagal (Tagol, North Borneo Murut, Sabah Murut), Sumambu (Semembu, Sumambuq), Tolokoson (Telekoson), Sapulot Murut (Sapulut Murut), Pensiangan Murut (Pentjangan, Tagul, Taggal, Lagunan Murut), Alumbis (Lumbis, Loembis), Tawan, Tomani (Tumaniq), Maligan (Mauligan, Meligan, Bol Murut, Bole Murut).
Tawoyan ,Dayak Tawoyan  30.000  Animism
East Central around Palori. Alternate names: Tabojan, Tabojan Tongka, Taboyan, Tabuyan, Tawoyan Dayak, Tewoyan. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 77% with Lawangan [lbx], 52% with Dusun Deyah.
The Tawoyan people (also called Tabojan, Tabuyan, or Taboyan) are almost all involved in tapping rubber trees. They also grow rice and harvest rattan vines. Farmers will cultivate fields until the land is depleted and then move to new fields. Also swallow nests are gathered and sold for birds nest soup. To add to family income, the women and children above 10 years of age typically weave different products for sale.
Common transport for traveling to district capitals is a small motorboat. The area government is developing roads, but during the rainy season, public transportation is only available once a week on market day. Trade and business is almost completely dominated by newcomers from the Banjar and Bakumpai people groups. The Tawoyan from Gunung Pure have not even developed a market system yet. Therefore, it is no surprise that there is not a single market in the area. 

The Tawoyan people do not practice polygamy. The husband is the head of the household, but the opinions of the wife are not to be neglected. There is freedom for women to express their opinion. Both husband and wife have the right to work outside of the home.
Most Tawoyan people follow Kaharingan beliefs. They are obligated to offer food to the spirits of departed ancestors in a ceremony called warah. A cave in the Angah Mountain was designated as a place of ascetic meditation by the Sultan Mangkusari. According to their beliefs, some things which possess special magical powers are Air Silo, a special sacred water and Pupur Silo, a face powder made of finely ground rock sold as a cosmetic that has the power to attract men to women.

Tenggarong Kutai Malay 210.000 Islam 

guitarman-thehague, Online Album, photo, picture, image

100,000 in Tenggarong, 60,000 in Ancalong, 50,000 in Northern Kutai. East Kalimantan Province, Mahakam River basin, east central coastal area, from Sepinang and Tg; Mangkalihat north to Muarabadak and Samarinda south. Alternate names: Kutai, Tenggarong. Dialects: Tenggarong Kutai, Ancalong Kutai, Northern Kutai. Many dialects. Tenggarong and Kota Bangun (Malay, Kota Bangun Kutai [mqg]) are not inherently intelligible. Shares phonological innovations with Berau Malay [bve], Banjar [bjn], and Brunei [xkd]. 

ikat-weaving-pasarmalam, Online Album, photo, picture, image

dance-kutai-woman, Online Album, photo, picture, image

Online Album, photo, picture, image

Sultan Kutai’s Palace

ceremony of Sultan Kutai Kertanegara ing Martadipura XX at     the palace

Tidong 49.000 Islam
East Kalimantan Province, Bulungan Regency, Sembakung and Sibuka rivers, coast and islands around Tarakan and interior, Malinau River. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Camucones, Tedong, Tidoeng, Tidung, Tiran, Tirones, Tiroon, Zedong. Dialects: Nonukan (Nunukan), Penchangan, Sedalir (Salalir, Sadalir, Saralir, Selalir), Tidung, Tarakan (Terakan), Sesayap (Sesajap), Sibuku.
The Tidong live on the eastern coast of Bulungan Regency in the province of East Kalimantan and to the northeast of Putoh in the coastal area facing the island of Sulawesi. Perhaps, their location in the coastal regions make them more open to outsiders than many other groups. This openness and exposure to the modern world has lead them to be influenced by the outsiders’ cultures. This has been heightened by the fact that most of their dwelling areas have become transmigration areas. The Tidong speak their own language, Bahasa Tidong (Tidong language). 

The Tidong make their living mainly as farmers. They grow sweet potatoes, cassava, lentils, fruits and vegetables. The Tidong practice migratory agriculture (shifting from one field to another), mainly because they cannot maintain the soil’s fertility. The Tidong farmers typically clear new farm land by cutting down trees and burning the underbrush. This farming method is often accused of being the main cause of forest fires in Kalimantan. Even though this process does cause some damage, it is not comparable to the destruction done by businessmen who hold “Forest Enterprise Rights” from the government.Some of the Tidong are ocean fishermen. The Tidong harvest rice, coconuts, and wood from their land. Petroleum is also produced on Bunyu and Tarakan islands. Some of the Tidong young people choose their own marriage partner. However, others marry partners chosen for them by their parents. The birth of a child is gladly welcomed and celebrated by a kenduri (ritual feast), which is a party led by a religious leader. Neighbors are invited to come to the feast in which the child is given a name (tasmiah). Usually, the celebration is held after the child is one or two weeks old. At the party, there is a naik ayun (swing riding) ritual. In this ritual, the child’s parents put the child in a swing and cut the child’s hair and cover him/her with flour.
Generally, the Tidong are Muslims.

Tunjung , Tunjung  Dayak  76.000 Animism 

Tunjung , kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

East Kalimantan Province, Kutai Regency, between Adas, Dempar, Melak, and east around the lake; south Muntaiwan area. Alternate names: Tunjung Dayak. Dialects: Tunjung (Tunjung Tengah), Tunjung Londong, Tunjung Linggang, Pahu.
Uma’Lasan 1.500
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau regency, primarily Long Pujungan and Long Jelet Mesahan villages, also Long Pejalin (Uma’ Alim). Alternate names: Western Kenyah. Dialects: Uma’ Alim, Uma’ Lasan, Uma’ Baka.
Uma’Lung 3.000
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau regency mostly, Pimping, Long Setulang, Batu Kajang, Long Uli, Long Belua villages. Alternate names: Oma Longh. Dialects: Marginally intelligible with Uma Lasan [xky].
Wahau Kenyah  1.500 Christian
East Kalimantan Province, upper Mahakam River, Batu Majang, Buluk Sen, Uma’ Dian, Muara Pedohon, Kampung Baru, Uma’ Bekuai, Tabang Lama villages. Alternate names: Wahau Kenya, Lebu’ Kulit. Dialects: Uma Timai, Lebu’ Kulit, Uma’ Ujok.


Punan Tribe of Kalimantan


An elderly Punan man performing Bungan rites. Photo taken at Punan Sama
Total population 5,000 (Sarawak only)
Office website Punan.Net
Region Sarawak
Language Punan
Religion ChristianityAnimist
Related Ethnic Groups Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan’

Bah’ or Punan is an ethnic group found in SarawakMalaysia. They are distinct, unrelated to the Penan and also the other so called Punan found in the Indonesian part of Borneo. Their name stems from two rivers along the banks of which they have been living time immemorial. They do have other names – ‘Mikuang Bungulan’ or ‘Mikuang’ and ‘Aveang Buan’. But these terms are only used ritually these days.
The Punan (or Punan Bah) have never been nomad. In the old days they base their living on a mixed economy. Swidden agriculture with hill paddy as the main crop, supplemented by a range of tropical plants which include maniok, taro, sugar cane, tobacco, etc. Hunting especially wild boar, fishing, and gathering of forest resources are the other important factors in their economy.
However, in the late 1980s many Punan, notably the younger, more educated, gradually migrating to urban areas such as BintuluSibuKuching and Kuala Lumpur in search of better living. However that doesn’t they abandon their longhouses altogether. Many would still return home – especially during major festivities such as Harvest Festival / or Bungan festival as it is known among Punan.
Punan is a stratified society of ‘laja’ (aristocrats), ‘panyen’ (commoners), and ‘lipen’ (slaves). This is a fact determine their historical traditions that have been preserved. Just like most of the history of European Middle Ages is linked to and mainly concerned the various ruling monarchs, so are the historical and mythical traditions of Punan closely connected to their rulings aristocrats.
‘Are all Punan related tribes/ethnic?’ There is this popular misunderstanding that all the so called Punan on the island of Borneo are related and referring to the same tribe. In Sarawak there is the confusion between Punan and Penan. On the whole island of Borneo the term Punan have been indiscrimately use referring then an unknown tribes as such as Punan Busang, Penihing, Sajau Hovongan, Uheng Kareho, Merah, Aput, Tubu, Bukat, Ukit, Habongkot, Penyawung asPunan. Sadly this colonial naming system name stick until today. Hence, there are now more than 20 different tribes / ethnics found on the island of Borneo being called Punan. They are;



Punan Busang

Punan Penihing

Punan Batu

Punan Sajau

Punan Hovongan di Kapuas Hulu, Kalbar

Punan Uheng Kereho di Kapuas Hulu, Kalbar

Punan Murung di Murung Raya, Kalteng

Punan Aoheng (Suku Dayak Pnihing) di Kalimantan Timur

Punan Merah (Siau)

Punan Aput

Punan Merap

Punan Tubu

Punan Ukit/Bukitan

Dayak Bukat

Punan Habongkot

Punan Panyawung
These so called Punans are not related to the
Punan or Punan Bah as being described in this page.


Officially, as under the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance and Article 161A, Clause 6 of the Malaysia
Constitution”, Punan is group under Kajang together with Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan and Sihan.
Unoffically, they are also included in the politically coined term
Orang Ulu – popularized by a political association known as Orang Ulu National Association or (OUNA). The association is a Kayan and Kenyah dominated association which they established in 1969.


‘Where are the Punan to found?’ Punan are mostly found around
Bintulu, Sarawak. Punan peoples can only be found at Pandan, Jelalong and Kakus in Bintulu Division; along the Rajang River, their longhouses dotted areas spanning fromMerit District to lower Belaga town.
The Punan are believed to be one of the earliest peoples to have settled in the central part of Borneo, the Rajang River and
Balui areas together with the Sekapan, Kejaman and Lahanan. However the mass migrations of Kayans, subsequently followed by the warfaring Ibans into Rejang and Balui areas approximately some 200 years ago, forcing the Punan communities living in these areas retreating to Kakus and subsequently to Kemena basin.
As in year 2006, there were more than 10 Punan settlements (longhouses) found along the Rejang, Kakus, Kemena and Jelalong river. These settlements (longhouses) are:

Punan Lovuk Sama,

Punan Lovuk Ba,

Punan Lovuk Biau,

Punan Lovuk Meluyou,

Punan Lovuk Lirung Belang (name by Rumah Bilong before and now as known as Rumah Ado)

Punan Lovuk Mina,

Punan Lovuk Pedan (also Rumah Nyipa Tingang), and

Punan Lo’o Buong (Jelalong also known as Rumah Adi).
Total Punan population is estimated to be around 3000 – 5000 people.


Punan speak a language categorized as
Punan Bah-Biau, a sub Rajang-Sajau language. Although often confused for the Penan, Punan language is actually closer to the language spoken by the Sekapans and Kejamans but not the Penan.
Here some word spoken in Punan:

1. Nu denge? – How are you?

2. Nu ngaro no? – What is your name?

3. Piro umun no? – How old are you?

4. Tupu koman si – Do you have your lunch/diner/breakfast?


Punan traditional regilion was a form
animist known as “Besavik”. The Brooke era saw the arrival of Christianmissionaries, bringing education and modern medicine into Sarawak. But the Punan communities remain with their traditional religion of Besavik and subsequently adopting a cult religion – Bungan brought by Jok Apui, a Kenyah from Kalimantan.
However in the late 1990 show an increase in the number of Punan converting to Christianity. This is partly due to more and more Punan have became educated and modernization. As in 2006 almost half of Punan are now Christian, leaving only the elderly, less educated still remain observing “Bungan” religion.

The Punan have a unique burial custom. In the early days they did not bury their aristocrats or “lajar”. Instead they built a pole known as kelirieng of 50 meter high to lay down their beloved leaders. In Sarawak it is estimated to be less than 30 kelirieng left standing. The Punan still practice secondary burial ceremony – whereby the dead body is kept at their longhouse for at least 3 – 7 days. This is partly to give more time for far away relatives to give their last respect to the deceased.


Nicolaisen, IDA.1976. ”Form and Function of Punan Bah Ethno-historical Tradition” in Sarawak Museum Journal Vol XXIV No.45 (New Series). Kuching.

‘Punan National Association’.

‘Leigh, MICHEAL’. 2002. ”Mapping the People of Sarawak”. UNIMAS. Samarahan.

The Official Punan Community site

The Official Punan Community Blog

Punan Community Forum

Calvin Jemarang


‘Note:’ There is still lack of literatures on Punan peoples. Available information about these peoples were often sourced from either passing notes written by Brooke and Colonial administrators not in-depth scholarly research. The earliest? literature on Punan is probably one written by Eduardo Beccari, an Italian botanist and traveller in 1876?. In the late 1950s, Rodney Needham, Tom Harrisson, de Martinoir wrote a brief notes on Punan people they either personally met or heard from their guides along the Rajang river. Because of the lack of information many have confused them for Penan and also the Punan of Kalimantan. In Sarawak for example the Punan was wrongly classified as Penan by the National Registeration Department in the late 1990. They are also often confused for a politically coined term such as “Kajang” and “Orang Ulu”. As such the Punan through their association ‘Punan National Association’ is willing to collaborate with both foreign and local scholars who interested in doing social, economic research among the communities.


Banjar Tribe of South Kalimantan


Negeri Sambang Lihum

Almost original citizen of South Kalimantan is Banjar tribe which is consist of sub tribe, it is Maayan, Lawangan and Bukiat and also has interference with Malay, Java and Bugis tribe. The main identity which is shown is Banjar language as a general medium. New comer citizen is like Java, Malay, Madura and Bugis has come to South Kalimantan for a long time. Malay tribe comes since Sriwijaya Kingdom or as the trader who is staying there. Java tribe come in Majapahit Kingdom even before and Bugis people come and build Pagatan Kingdom in the past.

Maayan tribe, Lawangan, Bukit and Ngaju is influenced by Malay culture and Java. It is joined by Budhas’ Kingdom, Hindu and the last is Islam or From Banjar Kingdom, so it makes the Banjar tribe which speaks in Banjar language. Banjar kingdom in 16 and 17 century has a relation with Sultanate of Demak and Mataram. This Kingdom was not slipped away from strange country like Holland and England which is alternately come from Banjar’s anchorage.When there were a fight to Holland in 29 century, there are leader is like Sultan Hidayat and Prince Antasari dace Holland.

Tradition people of South Kalimantan especially Banjar tribe know a lot of tradition ceremony which is about human life, from the time that human is in uterus until the death. For example: there are prohibition for pregnant woman tradition, Babalas Bidan ceremony when the baby born is 40 days old and also give the name. Marriage ceremony which is consisting of some part, Sajaka Babasasulus is looking for the candidate wife data, Badatang is asking for the hand parents. Bantar Patalian is to give a set of goods or bride price, Qur’an and the top ceremony is Batatai bride or sit in stage, Last is Pemakanan Pengantin, Both of bride and groom go though the honeymoon for 7 days and 7 nights to eat and drink behind the close screen.

In Banjar people, they have developed the literature art and beautiful voice art which come from daily association. One of them is tease each other, sometimes they use poem and Pantun and ones, it is humor between the young generations. This tease in a long time had been changing to become a beautiful literature art until today. For example is aphorism.

Fine art, Banjar tribe knows about the beautiful embroidery and usually use as the equipment of ceremony carved art. In the building of house or mosque; they have carved object which is made by wood, also in equipment industry from brass, it is like place for Betel Vine, Cuspidor, Bokor, Kapit, Abun and soon. Cane work from Pandanus or rattan, generally doing by women to fill up their free time is increased in other territory.

To building art especially for house building, the Banjar people has had the high value of architecture, traditional house is like grand stand house with the highly roof. If you see from side of the house, it is like pyramid. This grand stand houses id different with other because we can know from social class of the owner. A long time ago that house is devided into some high people of group; it is like nobility, the leader of Muslim and trader. They have high Bebungan house which is known as Gajah Baliku, Palimasan Palimbangan, Gajak Manyusu, Balai Laki house and Balai bini house. In the other hand common house are Cacak Burung houses, Tadah Alas house, Gudang house or common cottage. Generally, the houses for common people have cross cubic shape or long cubic.


Traditional Architecture of Banjar People (South Kalimantan)

(Thanks to Ari)

Mar 4, ’08 3:07 AM
by Ari for everyone

The black color on the Banjarese house in both South Kalimantan and Banjarmasin’s coat of arms represent the high culture of Banjar people. As a Banjarese, it’s my duty to appreciate and promote our own heritage. So from now on I will try to write about our culture.

For the first article I choose to do an overview of Traditional Architecture of Banjar people, the reason is because I’ve written parts of the article about this specific matter in Wikipedia, so it’s easier for me. These types of houses could still be found in South Kalimantan, but unfortunately they are in a bad shape to say the least. Such a shame, because their existence resonates the glory of our past.

Not only we should preserve it for the sake of our heritage, but because this type of houses was built with great consideration and expertise. Traditional dwellings in Indonesia have developed to respond to natural environmental conditions, particularly Indonesia’s hot and wet monsoonal climate. Banjarese traditional vernacular homes are built on stilts. A raised floor serves a number of purposes: it allows breeze to moderate the hot tropical temperatures; it elevates the dwelling above stormwater runoff and mud; allows houses to be built on rivers and wetland margins; keeps people, goods and food from dampness and moisture; lifts living quarters above malaria-carrying mosquitos; and the house is much less affected by dry rot and termites. “Modern” houses which most Banjarese prefer nowadays don’t have that kind of sensibility.

Bubungan Tinggi:

Among the 4 Kalimantan provinces in Indonesia, South Kalimantan is the only one that depicts our traditional house in our province’s coat of arm. The house in those particular coat of arms is the one named as “Bubungan Tinggi”, the style of “kraton” (royal palace) with its signature 45ºsteep roof. In the days of our kingdom, this was the type of house that a royalty would live in (although in time this type of house were also built by commoners). The house is built with the philosophy of harmony between the upper world and the under world.

In time, Bubungan Tinggi became the symbol of Banjar culture that represents both palace and vernacular traditions. But there are other types of traditional house in Banjarese community other than Bubungan Tinggi. Fortunately, not many Banjarese know these types of house, but it’s already explained in old Banjarese poem:
Bubungan tinggi wadah raja-raja,
Palimasan wadah emas perak,
Balai laki wadah penggawa mantri,
balai bini wadah putri gusti-gusti,
Gajah manyusu wadah nanang-nanangan, raja-raja atau gusti nanang

Gajah Baliku: this particular style of house was intended for the closest relatives of the ruler.

Gajah Manyusu: the type of house of the nobles or “pagustian”, the ones who bore the title of “gusti”.

Balai Laki: the type of house for high officials such as the ministers.

Balai Bini: they type of house for the ladies of the court, such as women of nobility and nannies of the court.

Palimbangan: the type of house for high clerics and big merchants.

Palimasan (Rumah Gajah): this type of house was where gold, silver and other precious belongings kept.

Anjung Surung (Cacak Burung): This is the type of house of commoners. The shape of this house if seen from above is the shape of a cross(+), that is why it is also known as RumahCacak Burung

Anjung Surung (Cacak Burung): This is the type of house of commoners. The shape of this house if seen from above is the shape of a cross(+), that is why it is also known as RumahCacak Burung.
Rumah Lanting: raft house which floats

Tadah Alas: A development of the Balai Bini style.

Joglo Gudang: This type of house has the roof that is similar to Joglo (Javanese-style house),hence the name. While the name “Gudang” (which means “storehouse”) was given because the lower part of the house is usually used to store things. This feature makes this type of house is the preferred style of the Chinese-ethnicity who live in South Kalimantan.

Bangun Gudang: a type of traditional house in South Kalimantan.


Kenyah People – Kalimantan (Borneo)


The Kenyah people are an indigenous, Austronesian-speaking people ofBorneo, living in the remote Baram (Lio Mato, Long Selaan, Long Moh, Long Mekaba, Long Jeeh, Long Belaong, Long San, Long Silat, Long Tungan and etc), Data Kakus, Data Surau,Sg. Senep, Long Dungan, Long Busang, Long Beyak, Bintulu, Miri, Sungai ASAP, Long Bulan, Long Jawe and Belaga regions in SarawakMalaysia and the remote Apau Kayan, Bahau (Bau), Benua Lama & Baru and Mahakam regions in East KalimantanIndonesia.

Kenyah Dance

Kenyah people are divided into various tribes including the Uma Bakah, Lepo Anan, Lepo Tau, Lepu Jalan, Lepo’ Tepu, Uma Kelap, Badeng (Jamok, Lepo Aga’), Bakung, Kayan, Penan, Lepu Kulit, Uma Alim, Uma Timai, Uma Lasan, Lepo Ma-ot, Sambop, Lepo Ke’, Lepo Ngao, Ngurek, Kiput, Long Ulai, Long Tikan, Long Sabatu, Lepo Ga, Lepo Dikan, and Lepo Pua

Kenyah people
Total population 45,000
Regions with significant populations BelagaBintuluMiriSarawakMalaysia and East KalimantanIndonesia
Language Kenyah
Religion ChristianityBungan

1. Culture and economy

The Kenyah people, traditionally being swidden agriculturalists and living inlong houses (uma dado’), is an umbrella term for over 40 sub-groups that mostly share common migration histories, customs and related dialects. Kenyah people lived in long houses in a small communities. Each long house consists of families who choose their own leader (headman). When they have any event or celebration such as harvest festival they will normally use the long house verandah (oseh bi’o) to gather and deliver speeches to guide their youngsters. Normally this harvest festival celebration (tau bio Ramay o o Ajau, pelepek uman) is a major festival because most of them are still farmers.

2. Religion

Almost all Kenyah people are Christian. Before they became Christian they believed in ‘Bungan Malan Peselong Luan’ (a traditional form of animism). But now there are only a small number of Kenyah people that still believe in Bungan. When they die they believe they go to Alo Malau (heaven) with theirancestors (tepun).

3. Population

Statistical figures, based on the Indonesian and Malaysian national censuses collected in 2000, recorded a total of 44,350 Kenyah people in East Kalimantan and 24,906 in Sarawak. [1]

4. Origins

The Usun Apau (aka Usun Apo) plateau(in the Peliran river valley) or Apo Kayan Highlands (a remote forested plateau in Malaysian and Indonesian border) in the present-day Indonesian province of East Kalimantan was the largest concentration site of Kenyah populations between the late 19th century to the early 1980s.

5. Languages

The Kenyah languages are a small family of Austronesian languages.

Borneo Dayak with the tattoed bodies

Kalimantan 127 Tribes

Kalimantan 127 Tribes :


Iban Tribe :

Iban people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iban girls.jpg 

Iban girls dressed in full Iban (women) attire during Gawai festivals in DebakBetong region,Sarawak

Total population 600,000 (Sarawak only)
Regions with significant populations SarawakBruneiWest Kalimantan
Language Iban
Religion Christianity
Related Ethnic Groups Kantu, Mualang, Semberuang, Bugau & Sebaru’

The Ibans are a branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo. In Malaysia, most Ibans are located in Sarawak, a small portion in Sabah and some in west Malaysia. They were formerly known during the colonial period by the British as Sea Dayaks. Ibans were renowned for practising headhunting and tribal/territorial expansion. In ancient times the Ibans were a strong and successful warring tribe in Borneo. They speak the Iban language.

Today, the days of headhunting and piracy are long gone and in has come the modern era of globalization and technology for the Ibans. The Iban population is concentrated inSarawakBrunei, and in the West Kalimantan region of Indonesia. They live inlonghouses called rumah panjai or rumah panjang [1]. Most of the Iban longhouses are equipped with modern facilities such as electricity and water supply and other facilities such as (tar sealed) roads, telephone lines and the internet. Younger Ibans are mostly found in urban areas and visit their hometowns during the holidays. The Ibans today are becoming increasingly urbanised while retaining most of their traditional heritage and culture.

Iban History

Main article: Iban history

The origin of the name Iban is a mystery, although many theories exist. During the British colonial era, the Ibans were called Sea Dayaks. Some believe that the word Ibanwas an ancient original Iban word for people or man. The modern-day Iban word forpeople or man is mensia, a totaly modified Malay loan word of the same meaning (manusia) of Sanskrit Root.

The Ibans were the original inhabitants of Borneo Island. Like the other Dayak tribes, they were originally farmers, hunters, and gatherers. Not much is known about Iban people before the arrival of the Western expeditions to Asia. Nothing was ever recorded by any voyagers about them.

The Ibans were unfortunately branded for being pioneers of headhunting. Headhunting among the Ibans is believed to have started when the lands occupied by the Ibans became over-populated. In those days, before the arrival of western civilization, intruding on lands belonging to other tribes resulted in death. Confrontation was the only way of survival.

In those days, the way of war was the only way that any Dayak tribe could achieve prosperity and fortune. Dayak warfare was brutal and bloody, to the point of ethnic cleansing. Many extinct tribes, such as the Seru and Bliun, are believed to have been assimilated or wiped out by the Ibans. Tribes like the Bukitan, who were the original inhabitants of Saribas, are believed to have been assimilated or forced northwards as far as Bintulu by the Ibans. The Ukits were also believed to have been nearly wiped out by the Ibans.

The Ibans started moving to areas in what is today’s Sarawak around the 15th century. After an initial phase of colonising and settling the river valleys, displacing or absorbing the local tribes, a phase of internecine warfare began. Local leaders were forced to resist the tax collectors of the sultans of Brunei. At the same time, Malay influence was felt, and Iban leaders began to be known by Malay titles such as Datu (Datuk)Nakhoda and Orang Kaya.

In later years, the Iban encountered the Bajau and Illanun, coming in galleys from the Philippines. These were seafaring tribes who came plundering throughout Borneo. However, the Ibans feared no tribe, and fought the Bajaus and Illanuns. One famous Iban legendary figure known as Lebor Menoa from Entanak, near modern-day Betong, fought and successfully defeated the Bajaus and Illanuns. It is likely that the Ibans learned seafaring skills from the Bajau and the Illanun, using these skills to plunder other tribes living in coastal areas, such as the Melanaus and the Selakos. This is evident with the existence of the seldom-used Iban boat with sail, called the bandung. This may also be one of the reasons James Brooke, who arrived in Sarawak around 1838, called the Ibans Sea Dayaks. For more than a century, the Ibans were known as Sea Dayaks to Westerners.

Religion, Culture and Festivals

File:Iban weaver.jpg

An Iban woman prepares cotton for spinning

The Ibans were traditionally animist, although the majority are now Christian, some of themMuslim and many continue to observe both Christian and traditional ceremonies, particularly during marriages or festivals.

Significant festivals include the rice harvesting festival Gawai Dayak, the main festival for the Ibans.Other festivals include the bird festival Gawai Burong and the spirit festival Gawai Antu. The Gawai Dayak festival is celebrated every year on the 1st of June, at the end of the harvest season, to worship the Lord Sempulang Gana. On this day, the Ibans get together to celebrate, often visiting each other. The Iban traditional dance, the ngajat, is performed accompanied by the taboh and gendang, the Ibans’ traditional music. Pua Kumbu, the Iban traditional cloth, is used to decorate houses. Tuak, which is originally made of rice, is a wine used to serve guests. Nowadays, there are various kinds of tuak, made with rice alternatives such as sugar caneginger and corn.

The Gawai Burong (the bird festival) is held in honour of the War God, Singalang Burong. The name Singalang Burong literally means “Singalang the Bird”. This festival is initiated by a notable individual from time to time and hosted by individual longhouses.

photo info:  top left: A young member of the Iban tribe.  top right: Two girls wait in costume for the festivities to begin. bottom left:  A friendly Dayak tribesman.  bottom right: Iban children play together outside their shared quarters.

The Gawai Burong originally honoured warriors, but during more peaceful times evolved into a healing ceremony. The recitation of pantun (traditional chants by poets) is a particularly important aspect of the festival.

For the majority of Ibans who are Christians, some Chrisitian festivals such as ChristmasGood FridayEaster, and other Christian festivals are also celebrated. Most Ibans are devout Christians and follow the Christian faith strictly.

Despite the difference in faiths, Ibans of different faiths do help each other during Gawais and Christmas. Differences in faith is never a problem in the Iban community. The Ibans believe in helping and having fun together.

File:Modern Iban Longhouse.JPG

A Modern Iban Longhouse in Kapit Division

Musical & Dancing Heritage

Main article: Agung

Iban music is percussion-oriented. The Iban have a musical heritage consisting of various types of agung ensembles – percussion ensembles composed of large hanging, suspended or held, bossed/knobbed gongs which act as drones without any accompanying melodic instrument. The typical Iban agung ensemble will include a set of engkerumungs (small agungs arranged together side by side and played like a xylophone), a tawak (the so-called ‘bass’), a bendai (which acts as a snare) and also a set of ketebung (a single sided drum/percussion).

The Iban as well as the Kayan also play an instrument resembling the flute called ‘Sapek’. The Sapek is the official musical instrument for the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is played similarly to the way rock guitarists playguitar solos, albeit a little slower, but not as slow as blues.[1][2] One example of Iban traditional music is the taboh.

The Ibans perform a unique dance called the ngajat. It serves many purposes depending on the occasion. During Gawais, it is used to entertain the people who in the olden days enjoy graceful ngajats as a form of entertainment. Iban men and women have different styles of ngajat. The ngajat involves a lot of precise body-turning movements. The ngajat for men is more aggressive and depicts a man going to war, or a bird flying (as a respect to the Iban god of war, Singalang Burong). The women’s form of ngajat consists of soft, graceful movements with very precise body turns. Each ngajat is accompanied by the taboh or the body.

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Iban people of Betong

Branches of the Iban People

Although Ibans generally speak a dialect which is mutually intelligible, they can be divided into different branches which are named after the geographical areas where they reside.

  • Majority of Ibans who live around the Lundu and Samarahan region are called Sebuyaus.
  • Ibans who settled in areas in Serian district (places like Kampung LeborKampung Tanah Mawang & others) are called Remuns. They may be the earliest Iban group to migrate to Sarawak.
  • Ibans who originated from Sri Aman area are called Balaus.
  • Ibans who come from BetongSaratok & parts of Sarikei are called Saribas.
  • The Lubok Antu Ibans are classed by anthropologists as Ulu Ai Ibans.
  • Ibans from Undup are called Undup Ibans. Their dialect is somewhat a cross between theUlu Ai dialect & the Balau dialect.
  • Ibans living in areas from Sarikei to Miri are called Rajang Ibans. They are the majority group of the Iban people. They can be found along the Rajang RiverSibuKapitBelaga,Kanowit, Song, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri. Their dialect is somewhat similar to the Ulu Ai dialect.

In West Kalimantan (Indonesia), Iban people are even more diverse. The KantuAir TabunSemberuangSebaru’BugauMualang & along with many other groups are classed as “Ibanic people” by anthropologists. They can be related to the Iban either by the dialect they speak or their customs, rituals & their way of life.