Where is Kalimantan?

Kalimantan is Indonesia’s region of Borneo, the third largest island in the world after Greenland and Papua. It is divided into 4 provinces: East, South, West, and Central Kalimantan.


According to The Nature Conservancy in Indonesia, East Kalimantan Province contains some of the last remaining large, intact wilderness areas in Indonesia. Primal rain forests, limestone spires and huge tracts of undisturbed mangroves and seagrass beds all converge here.

According to API Tours, East Kalimantan is the home of the original inhabitants of Kalimantan, the Orang Gunung or Mountain People. The tribes are collectively called Dayak, although this name is not embraced by many tribes-people themselves, who prefer to be known as separate tribal names such as Iban, Punan and Banuaq. Local tribes traditionally live in communal longhouses called Lamin or Umaq Daru and many of those are artistically decorated with carving using animals and plants as motif. They are built on wooden piles, sometimes 3 meters high as protection against animal and flooding. The interior of the longhouse is divided into separate family quarters with a communal where village meetings are held and ceremonies are performed. Guardian statues are usually placed in the front of the house to protect them from evil spirit.

South Kalimantan is divided into two distinct regions by Meratus Mountains, in which the eastern part is mountainous with dense tropical rain forest, while the southern part is much flatter with large rivers meandering through the lowlands to vast mangrove swamps along the coast make the areas exceptionally fertile, and is where the indigenous Banjar people dwell. South Kalimantan is full of colorful and distinctive traditional arts and cultures which can be seen in its people’s way of life, art, dance, music, traditional costume, and ceremonies. The Barito Rivers are literally the life-blood of the city and everything revolves around them. A lot of business is done on the waterways; floating markets flourish selling enormous variety of daily needs.

Central Kalimantan is the biggest province on the island and most of which is dense jungle. The northern area is mountainous and difficult to reach, while the central area is lush tropical forest, and the southern area is swampy and has many rivers. The climate is hot and humid. The art of Central Kalimantan clearly bears the marks of the Kaharingan religion, a form of ancestor worship mixed with elements of animism which is the traditional belief of the Dayaks in the hinterland of Central Kalimantan. Aside from their aesthetic properties, many objects are appreciated for their magic value.

West Kalimantan covers an area rich in a variety of mineral and precious stones, and remains largely unexplored. Kapuas River which is the longest river in Indonesia (1143 km long) divides the town into two providing an essential and historical communication link, and like Java and Sumatra, West Kalimantan was once an important cultural cross-road around the 4th century during the arrival of Hindu and Buddhist and the coming of Islam around the 5th century. The coastal area of west Kalimantan are mainly swampy land with more than 100 rivers sculpting the flat plains, while in the mountainous eastern parts of the province, away from the city and plains are where the Dayak people live.


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One Response to “Where is Kalimantan?”

  1. Tattoolog Says:


    […]Where is Kalimantan? « Travelchick’s Weblog[…]…

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