Accepted Paper:

Dayak articulations of heritage in Borneo and times of intervention   


Johan Weintre (Andalas University / International Indonesian Forum for Asian Studies (

Paper short abstract:

Diversity is an enshrined element of human existence. The combination of historical tradition and intervention has created different paths of living conditions and opportunities for communities. The sum of those heritages is the enrichment of our human enrichment in the Bornean environment.

Paper long abstract:

Diversity is a historical enshrined element in Indonesia's state ideology and regional autonomy legislation. Those are aimed to raise prospects of local representation and indigenous resource access and expression. This paper is designed to explain and contribute to an understanding of the divergence between values on social political and economic theory and the perceived reality that is being experienced by Dayak communities and in particular the Dayak Kantu' and Taman communities.

The combination of specific past historical intervention, cultural tradition and local emotions, natural resources, human skills and traditional governance base, have created a different path of opportunities for the diverse communities. One of the most striking differences on the first sight was that Kantu' Dayak communities are living almost completely in single family dwellings, while the Taman Dayak have largely remained loyal to their tradition of long-house living. The government interventions of introduced family planning and introduction manufactured fertilisers have changed the agricultural tradition of shifting cultivation dramatically. However the application is not by every individual farmer the same. Empirical evidence has shown both Kantu' and Taman Dayak have commitments to tradition, but also willingness of new inputs to shape future articulations of heritage by the Dayak groups. Different steams of tradition can be discovered within the Dayak groups with a shift from heritage to heritage arts in which the element of visuality has often overtaken rituality. The dedications by small sub groups have given capacity to remain in touch with the deeper visualised meaning.

Panel RM-MRB03
Indigenous peoples in South and Southeast Asia: migration, refugee and IDP issues