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A pregnant woman in hinterland area usually has Ehet tatamba; it is woman charmed to protect herself during pregnancy period. Balian or midwife will help the pregnant woman to deliver her baby. If there is trouble during the delivery process, family will immediately make Kahang badak; it is a fake rhinoceros waist made from rais leaves to be worn by the mother in order to help her to do the delivery process because they believe that the mother would have the same waist as rhinoceros if she wore it. After the baby was born, he will get Sampun Tuyung; a charmed wrapped by grey clothes consist of certain branches to guard the baby away from bad spirit. It is usually tied or hung in baby cradle.

After a child entering teenage period, he or she has to follow some tradition rules otherwise they will get punishment for breaking it.

Figure 10. A Dayaknese girl in the past

(Tjilik Riwut documentation)

E.2. Marriage

According to Tjilik Riwut there are three steps for conducting marriage in Central Kalimantan: 1) Hakumbang Auh or proposing process, 2) Hisek or engagement process and 3) Wedding ceremony

E.2.1. Hakumbang Auh or Proposing Process

If a guy wants to propose a girl therefore he has to find out information about the girl covering her family, situation and condition[1]. He has to find out whether the girl is still single or married. He will ask his relative to come to the girl’s house to get confirmation about her status. After he knows about it, he then continues to serious discussion with the girl’s parent, the girl and older person from her village. It follows to a proposal. If the girl’s family confirmed the proposal then he would give her amount of money and sinde mendeng clothes or woman’s clothes package called batu pisek ( Riwut, Nila.)

E.2.2. Hisek or Engagement Process

Bride’s parents and her relatives gather to confirm the proposal whether they would accept or refuse it. If batu pisek is returned back to groom meaning the proposal is refused but if the batu pisek is kept and not returned back to groom meaning the proposal is accepted by the bride. After that it continues to engagement process (Riwut, Nila )

E.2.3. Wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremony is obligatory for Kaharingan religion. It is written in Pelak Rujin Perkawinan; the basic rule for wedding.

Figure 11. Lawang Sekepeng or gate

(Tjilik Riwut documentation)

During the wedding day, groom’s family comes to bride’s home. The ceremony is called Maja Misek or official proposal ceremony. In the bride’s home, groom’s family has to pass lawang sekepeng or a decorated gate. With the gong procession, groom’s family will be welcomed by pantan made from rope and is cut by pencak silat panca. After the rope is cut, the boundaries between them are vanished and it follows to 3 times lahap (Dayaknese screaming tradition) in turn. The bride’s family spreads yellow rice everywhere to welcome Ranying Hatalla (God). The groom has to sit in a garantung or gong. At night, gifts delivery will be conducted in which they have been dealt during the proposal process. The next day, a sacrificed animal is slaughter and its blood is put in plate or bowl or kendara. Bride and groom sit in garantung or gong facing east while their hands holding sawang leaf. Their parents will put the sacrificed blood over them and their hands will be tied with lamiang lilies. The last activities are signing the official wedding letter and lunch (Riwut, Nila.).

E.3. Mortality

According to Maneser Panatau Tatu Hiang’s book if there is an accident in family thus the family will immediately spread the news to community[2]. The tradition for mortality procession commonly uses garantung or gong. If the news has spreaded out mouth to mouth among community, they will immediately come to the mourn house to give assistance.

They will come bringing crops from their field. After seeing the death body, the community will do ”gotong royong” (working together) to help the family taking care of anything needed for ceremony.

The death body is put in the central area and surrounded by the family and relatives. Coffin is made immediately with gotong royong. The common coffin is called raung; a coffin is made from wood which is cut into two then the center is scratched in order to put the death body.

There are some ways to burry death body in Dayaknese community in Central Kalimantan: 1) Burnt, the ash is put in a jug and kept at home. 2) Buried then it continues to Tiwah ceremony. 3). Balit or Belit, the death body is put on the coffin called runi, it then hangs somewhere in woods. A year after, the skeletons are taken in order to do tiwah then they are kept in Sandung Naung. 4) Drifting the death body in river (Riwut, Tjilik,2003:250).

F. Tiwah Ceremony

Tiwah is mortality ritual of Dayaknese people. This is the highest and biggest ritual from Dayaknese people. Tiwah is conducted in order to lead the death spirit to the eternity life in Lewu Tatau Dia Rumpang Tulang, Rundung Raja Dia Kamalesu Uhate, Lewu tatau Habaras Bulau, Habusung Hintan, hakarang lamiang or Lewu Liau in 7th heaven. The preparation for this ceremony should be well prepared in order to avoid any reduction otherwise it may cause misfortunes to the inheritance.

Tiwah ceremony usually conducted in gotong royong way in order to cheapen the cost. Some families make joint saving to conduct tiwah for their late relatives (Riwut, Nila. )

Figure 12. Sapundu

(Tjilik Riwut documentation)

Figure13. Manganjan, dancing with the spirits during tiwah ceremony

(Tjilik Riwut documentation)


Figure 14. Manganjan, dancing with the spirits during tiwah ceremony

(Tjilik Riwut documentation)

Figure 15. Slaughtering the sacrificed animal

(Christian Bela Bangsa documentation)


[1] In community, a girl is protected by the rules as follows:

1) Forbidden to talk privately especially with girls in desolated area. The punishment is custom punishment and fine payment.

2) Forbidden to watch and look at a glance with girls met on street. If one of her relatives saw it, the person might be sued during community meeting.

3) If a girl spoke to unknown guy on street and the girl’s relative saw it, the guy could get fine for it.

4) If a guy took a girl or girls out without asking permission from her family or the worst he has not known the girl yet therefore he could be sued during custom meeting ( Riwut,2003:223-224).

[2] Page 246



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Last Updated on Sunday, 07 February 2010 22:32  



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