The Unique Culture of East Kalimantan

Rumah Adat Lamin khas Kalimantan Timur

Indonesia is one of the countries with the most diverse ethnic groups. These diverse cultures have a wide range of cultural values, each with its own characteristics. Every region has its own cultural heritage, including dance, traditional ceremonies, songs, and architecture. East Kalimantan is one such province with a rich cultural heritage. One of the unique culture of East Kalimantan is the Dayak people. East Kalimantan is deeply rooted in Dayak culture, which is evident in its architectural styles and arts.

Traditional Houses of East Kalimantan

The architectural style of the Dayak culture is prominently seen in the traditional houses of East Kalimantan. These houses are typically large, symbolizing the communal values of the Dayak people. The spacious design allows many people to live together. Additionally, the carvings on the houses serve as protection against negative forces.

Lamin House

East Kalimantan is identical to Lamin houses, originating from the Dayak Kenyah tribe. Lamin houses are stilt houses standing 3 meters high and can accommodate up to 25 to 30 families. A distinctive feature of Lamin houses is the dragon head decoration at the roof’s end, symbolizing heroism and grandeur.

Bulungan House 

Another traditional house in East Kalimantan is the Bulungan House. This house blends Malay and Dayak architecture with Dutch East Indies colonial architecture influences. Initially, Bulungan houses were used for significant meetings during the Bulungan Sultanate. These houses are adorned with floral and plant motifs and horn ornaments on the roof, representing East Kalimantan’s cultural patterns, while the bright colors reflect Malay culture.

Traditional Dances of East Kalimantan 

Cultural discussions are incomplete without mentioning the arts. One fascinating aspect of East Kalimantan’s culture is its traditional dances. In addition to spacious traditional houses and intricate carvings, East Kalimantan is known for dances like the Hudoq Dance, Giring-Giring Dance, and Mandau Dance. 

These dances, originating from the Dayak community, showcase the unique cultural traits of the Dayak people through music, movements, costumes, and vibrant colors.

Hudoq Dance 

The Hudoq Dance is notable for its iconic masks and performances. Hudoq masks depict animals considered pests, such as crows, rats, and monkeys, as well as eagles and human figures. The Hudoq Dance symbolizes gratitude and prayers to the divine for abundant harvests.

Mandau Dance

Equally unique is the Mandau Dance, a war dance performed during the reception of special guests, the opening of significant events, or festivals. As the name suggests, the Mandau Dance features a traditional Dayak sword called Mandau. This dance reflects the noble characteristics of the Dayak people, such as their high fighting spirit in upholding dignity and honor.

East Kalimantan is undoubtedly a must-visit destination for your next holiday. The unique culture of East Kalimantan offers a unique allure that must be witnessed firsthand. From traditional houses and ceremonies to captivating dances, East Kalimantan will leave you spellbound and longing to return.

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