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Totok Bakaka

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Totok Bakaka means signal or code or sign language commonly known by the Dayak community.


  • Spear. Sending a spear that passed the jernang, means the spear tied with rattan and red marked signifies the asang or war declaration.
  • Bunu Spear. Sending the Bunu spear, means the head of spear with chalk mark, signifies the assistance request as many as possible since a huge danger is threatening.
  • Ash. Sending ash means there’s house on fire.
  • A segment of bamboo containing water inside. Sending a segment of bamboo containing water means an announcement of the drown and dead person, usually without mentioning names.
  • Sending loincloth with burnt tip. Sending loincloth with burnt tip means an announcement of the death of an elder family member
  • Egg. Sending egg  means an announcement that a person from far away already came and entered their village to sell balanga, large water jar and tajau, the things considered special since it has sacral value and show the social status in the community.
  • Kinangan (betel and areca nut). Sending kinangan to a family means to propose one of the girls in the family.
  • Sawang Leaf. When entering a village and finding a house with a sawang leaf tied on its door and a square picture with betel chalk, it means prohibition to enter. Although only for a short visit, it’s better not to come since the family is prohibited to receive anyone due to the customary prohibition.
  • Salugi. Salugi is a pole made by sharp bamboo, fitted slantingly and one of forest’s road sign. It indicates that the slanting side shown by the tip of the bamboo tells to be aware, since in that side there is a “Dondang“, a trap used to catch and kill wild boar and deer. If a salugi with chalk line is put among fruit trees in the fruit farm on harvest, it signifies that the prohibition to take the fruit in the farm since the owner will enjoy the fruit by themselves. Sending a salugi means asking for help, the village is in danger.

Thanks for the translator


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