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Dayak people

Dayak People- The Remarkable Indigenous of Kalimantan ( Borneo )

Who are the Dayak People- Indigenous of Kalimantan

Dayak People

Dayak  People as Indigenous of Kalimantan is a continuation of the series about Kalimantan

Before we discuss any further about the island of Borneo, we need to know first about who inhabits the island of Borneo

Dayak People

The original natives of the island of Kalimantan are the Dayak people

Dayak people are very unique because they still hold their customs to this day.

The Dayak have different characteristics from others such as language, and clothing, to traditional houses.

The origin of the Dayak People

The group that inhabits the island of Kalimantan consists of 405 sub-ethnics that have almost the same culture

Although the Dayak is a resident of Kalimantan, their existence is spread to the islands of Sabah and Sarawak which are included in the territory of the Malaysian state

Nansarunai kingdom

The first Dayak kingdom was Nansarunai, This kingdom is from the Maanyan Dayak

But then it was destroyed after being attacked by the Majapahit kingdom in 1389

Due to the collapse of the Nansarunai kingdom, the Maanyan Dayak people became desperate and scattered.

Some entered areas that were in the land of the Lawangan Dayak group.

The Dayak population then separated and dispersed again, when the next big current came, namely when the influence of Islam from the Demak kingdom began to enter with Malay traders around 1520.

When the influence of Islam entered into the group, most of them in the east and south of Kalimantan left the group  because they embraced Islam,

By the way, the Dayak population who embraced Islam, don’t want to recognize themselves as part of the Dayak  anymore

They were acculturation with immigrants so they got the influence of the language, culture, and genetics from that acculturation

But the Dayaks, who rejected the teachings of Islam, remained firm with their old religion

and went back down the river, and then lived in the jungle.

The big family of the Dayak Group

The Dayak ethnic group has 6 major families which are divided into West, Central, North, East, South, and other provinces.

The 6 major groups are Apokayan, Klemantan, Ot Danum Ngaju, Murut, Klemantan, and Iban.

As additional information, there is one more Dayak group, The Punan Dayak.

The Punan Dayak family is the oldest Dayak living on the island of Borneo,

While the other Dayak clans are the result of assimilation between the Puna Dayak and the Proto-Malay group

Or the ancestors of the Dayaks who came from Yunnan (one of the areas in southwest China).

Dayak Tradition

There are several traditions of the Dayak  that are still maintained to this day but are not exposed by the media

and those traditions are

1. Long ear tradition

Dayak People

The Dayak people have a unique tradition of lengthening their ears.

This tradition is only carried out by Dayak women in East Kalimantan.

There is an assumption that when a Dayak woman has long ears, she will look more beautiful.

Therefore, many Dayak women lengthen their ears because the longer they are, the more beautiful they look.

Apart from being beautiful, lengthening the ears is also referred to as a tradition to show nobility and practice patience

2. Tattoo

Dayak people

Another tradition of the Dayak community is tattooed which are symbols of their strength and relationship with God, the journey of life, and so on.

Until now, the tradition of tattooing is still owned and carried out by the Dayak people.

Drawing tattoos is not only done by men but also by Dayak women.

The process of getting tattoos carried out by the Dayak people is also extreme.

This is because they still use simple equipment, where the person who will be tattooed will only bite the cloth as a pain reliever

and the body will be carved using traditional tools.

By the way, The image of the tattoo depicted on the Dayak tribal community  has its own meaning so it’s not made haphazardly

3. Headhunting

Dayak people

The headhunting tradition is called Ngayau

Ngayau or headhunting is one of the traditions owned by the Dayak ethnic but is no longer practiced in modern times.

The reason is that this tradition is quite terrible and threatens a person’s life and in the modern era it’s called Barbaric

Ngayau is a tradition where someone from the Dayak will hunt for the head of his enemy.

This Ngayau tradition is only carried out by a few Dayak families, namely Ngaju, Iban, and Kenyah.

4. Tiwah

Dayak People

Tiwah is a funeral ceremony performed by the Ngaju Dayak people, where they burn the bones of deceased relatives.

According to the Kaharingan belief, the Dayah Tiwah tradition is believed to be able to deliver the spirits of the dead so that they can easily go to the afterlife also known as Lewu Tatau.

5. Mantat Tu’Mate

Like Tiwah, the Mantat Tu’mate tradition is a tradition to deliver to people who have just died.

But, Mantat Tu’Mate is different from Tiwah’s.

The Mantat Tu’mate is carried out for seven days with the content of the accompaniment of music and traditional dance events.

After the seven-day ceremony is over, the body will then be buried

6. Manajah Antang

Manajah Antang is a war tradition, they make  a ritual to find where the enemy is

According to the story of the Dayak community,

The Manajah Antang ritual is a ritual to summon ancestral spirits with the Antang bird,

the bird is believed to be able to tell the location of the enemy.

In addition to being used when fighting, the Manajah Antang tradition is also used to look for other clues.

The Religion of Dayak People

There are several religions adhered to by the Dayak groups

some groups still adhere to their ancestral religion namely Kaharingan

However, in the first century AD, Hinduism began to enter Kalimantan accompanied by the discovery of the Great Temple as a relic of Hinduism in Amuntai, South Kalimantan.

Then in the 4th century, the people of Kalimantan began to enter a historical era marked by inscriptions from the Hindu kingdom of Kutai in East Kalimantan.

Meanwhile, Islam began to spread in Kalimantan in the seventh century which was marked by the discovery of Sandai tombstones and the peak of its spread was in the early 16th century.

In addition to Hinduism and Islam today, there are also many Dayaks who embrace Christianity

There are also Dayak people who embrace Buddhism because they are married to people of Chinese ethnicity

Okay, guys, that’s a brief description of the Dayak people

indigenous ethnic who inhabit the island of Kalimantan

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