Central Kalimantan

The three big Dayak tribes who inhabit this province are Ngaju, Ot Danum, and Ma’anyan Ot Siang. Ngaju, like some other tribes, moves from one region to another. They adhere to the old Kaharingan religion, which is the form of ancestor worship, mixed with animism elements. They have seen progress. Many of them live in the towns, have enjoyed an education and they are intelligent.

The Ot Danum live in longhouses, which sometimes have as many as 50 rooms. The unique longhouse is called Betang. With approximately 6,000 people, the Ot Danum is the largest among the three tribes. They are known for their skill in plaiting rattan, palm leaves, and bamboo. Made by the women, such products are sold in many cities such as Banjarmasin, Kualakapuas, and Sampit. Like other Dayaks, the men are good hunters, using simple tools. The art of Central Kalimantan clearly bears the marks of the Kaharingan religion, which is the traditional belief of the Dayaks in the hinterland of Central Kalimantan. The building styles are the elements of the Hindus, Chinese, and Hindu-Javanese. Aside from their aesthetic properties, such products are appreciated for their magic value.

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