Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Population in East Kalimantan

The Banjarese and Kutainese of East Kalimantan are mostly a coastal population, living in towns and cities. The Dayak peoples form the overwhelming majority of the population of the hinterland, who live in long-houses called umaq daru. It is customary for one whole extended family or even one clan to occupy one long- house. Each family is given a separate compartment with the chief of the clan occupying the central chamber. Guardian statues are normally placed in front of the long house to protect it against evil spirits who bring disease and bad fortune. Such long-houses, however, are gradually disappearing and many have been converted into meeting halls or stages for dance and music performances. The Dayaks are also known for their artistry, making beautiful cloths and ornaments for their traditional houses. The Tunjung Dayaks still make a kind of cloth called doyo, which is woven from certain plant fibres, used in the past in rituals. But now they are offered for sale to visitors. Oil and natural gas are found along the entire east coast, with refineries centred at Balikpapan and Bontang.

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