Central Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Tengah often abbreviated to Kalteng) is a province of Indonesia, one of four in Kalimantan – the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its provincial capital is Palangkaraya.
The province has a population of 1.9 million (As of 2007 census). The population grew 2.7% annually between 1990 and 2000, one of the highest provincial growth rates in Indonesia during that time. Far more than other province in the region, Central Kalimantan is dominated by the Dayaks, the indigenous inhabitants of Borneo.
Since the eighteenth century, the central region of Kalimantan and its Dayak inhabitants were ruled by the Muslim Sultanate of Banjar. Following Indonesian independence after World War II, Dayak tribes demanded a province separate from South Kalimantan province.
- Profile Central Kalimantan Province. Central Kalimantan Province Tourism and Culture Board. September 2001.
In 1957, South Kalimantan was thus divided to provide the Dayak population greater autonomy from the Muslim population in that province. It was approved by the Indonesian Government on 23 May 1957 under Presidential Law No. 10 Year 1957, which declared Central Kalimantan the seventeenth province of Indonesia. President Sukarno appointed the Dayak-born national hero Tjilik Riwut as the first Governor and Palangka Raya the provincial capital.
The three major Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan are the Ngaju, Ot Danum and Dusun Ma’anyan Ot Siang. The three major tribes extended into several branches of prominent Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan such as Lawangan, Taboyan, Dusun Siang, Boyan, Bantian, Dohoi and Kodorin.
In addition to the indigenous Dayak tribes, the province also groups from other areas of Indonesia, including Javanese, Maduranese, Batak, Toraja, Ambonese, Bugis, Palembang, Minang, Banjarese, Makassar, Papuan, Balinese, Acehnese and also Chinese
Central Kalimantan is the 3rd largest Indonesian province by area with a size of 153,800 km2, about 1.5 times the size of the island of Java. It is bordered by West and East Kalimantan provinces to the north, by the Java Sea to the south, by South and East Kalimantan provinces to the east, and by West Kalimantan province to west.
The Schwaner Mountains stretch from the north-east of the province to the south-west, 80% of which is covered in dense forest, peatland swamps, mangroves, rivers, and traditional agriculture land. Highland areas in the north-east are remote and not easily accessible. Non-volcanic mounts are scattered in this area including Kengkabang, Samiajang, Liang Pahang and Ulu Gedang.
The centre of the province is covered with tropical forest, which produces rattan, resin and valuable timber such as Ulin and Meranti. The southern lowlands are dominated by peatland swamps that intersect with many rivers. Sabangau National Park is a protected peatland area internationally acknowledged as sanctuary for the endangered Orangutan. Recently the peat swamp forests have been damaged by the Mega Rice Project, which unsuccessfully sought to turn large areas into rice paddies.
The province’s climate is wet weather equatorial zone with an eight-month rainy season, and 4 months of dry season. Rainfall or precipitation is 2,776 – 3,393 mm per year with an average of 145 rainy days annually.
Central Kalimantan is divided into 13 districts or regencies, which are headed a regent. (Capitals listed in brackets)
- South Barito (Buntok)
- East Barito (Tamiang Layang)
- North Barito (Muara Teweh)
- Gunung Mas (Kuala Kurun)
- Kapuas (Kuala Kapuas)
- Katingan (Kasongan)
- West Kotawaringin (Pangkalan Bun)
- East Kotawaringin (Sampit)
- Lamandau (Nanga Bulik)
- Murung Raya (Puruk Cahu)
- Pulang Pisau (Pulang Pisau)
- Sukamara (Sukamara)
- Seruyan (Kuala Pembuang) and the provincial capital:
In addition to the civil service, Central Kalimantan also recognises a traditional governing system lead by traditional leaders known as Demang. The province is divided into 67 traditional law areas known as Kademangan, headed by Demang. The system is intended to culturally recognise and preserve the customs and heritage of the Dayak tribes
- Barito River (900 km)
- Kapuas River (600 km)
- Kahayan River (600 km)
- Katingan River (600 km)
- Mentaya River (400 km)
- Seruyan River (350 km)
- Lamandau River (300 km)
- Arut River (250 km)
- Sebangau River (200 km)
- Kumai River (179 km)
- Jelai River (100 km)
Rivers are an important mode of transportation and a primary location for settlement. With relatively undeveloped infrastructure, the province’s economy relies heavily on the rivers