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The People of Kalimantan

The following is a list of Unreached People Groups on the island of Kalimantan (Borneo).



Who are the Dayak Pasir?

The Dayak Pasir are the original inhabitants of the Pasir Regency in the province of East Kalimantan. Based on their living areas, the Dayak Pasir consist of five sub-groups: (1) The Pasir Telake who live along the Telake River; (2) the Pasir Adang who live along the Adang River; (3) the Pasir Kendilo whose living area stretches from the source of the Kuaro River to the mouth of the Pasir River; (4) the Labuan, who live in the village of Labuan; and (5) the Pasir Tanjung Aru, who live in the … [Read more...]

Who are the Ketapang Malay?

The Melayu Ketapang (Ketapang Malay) live along the western edge of the West Kalimantan Province on islands in the Karimata Straits. These islands include Teluk Batang, North Matan Hilir, and South Matan Hilir. The Melayu Ketapang are a Muslim group who come from a mix of Malay and Dayak people. The majority of the Melayu Ketapang people come from Dayak groups while the rest are from the Riau Malay. In the town of Ketapang, there is relic of a Melayu Ketapang traditional house that stood in … [Read more...]

Who are the Kutai?

The Kutai people live spread out along the eastern coast of East Kalimantan. Tenggarong is the heart of their area. The sultan Mulawarman ruled from here as the capital of the Kutai kingdom, the oldest Hindu kingdom in Indonesia. The Kutai live in various districts of the Kutai Tenggara regency. They also live in Tenggarong City and in the West Kutai regency. The Kutai language is part of the Malay language cluster. What are their lives like? The Kutai make their living as farmers, fishermen, … [Read more...]

Who are the Sambas Malay?

The Sambas Malay people live along the northern coastline of West Kalimantan Province. In their area, the Sambas people live alongside the Dayak and West Kalimantan Chinese people. The Sambas people are the descendents of the Sambas Kingdom. Their language is quite different from that of the neighboring Pontianak Malay and Dayak peoples. West Kalimantan is located on the island of Borneo, a fertile and mountainous land shared by three nations: Malaysia, Indonesia, and the small country of … [Read more...]

Who are the Sanggau-Sekadau?

Most Dayak people groups in the Sanggau and Sekadau districts are Christian. But the Sanggau-Sekadu are a Dayak people group who follow Islam. Some have changed religions for personal reasons while others have married a Muslim. Dayaks can become Muslims either as individuals, in a family, or together with all the people in a larger group. The term “Dayak Senganan” refers to a group of Dayak people who are Muslims, and claim themselves as Sekadau Malay. Dayaks are the native people groups on … [Read more...]

Who are the Berau?

The Berau live in many small villages in the Berau regency of East Kalimantan. The Berau speak their own language, which separates them from other ethnic groups in East Kalimantan. What are their lives like? The Berau mainly make their living as either farmers or fishermen. The farmers grow sweet potatoes, cassava, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Like other Kalimantan ethnic groups, the Berau practice migratory agriculture because they cannot maintain the soil’s fertility. New farmland is … [Read more...]

Who are the Pontianak Malay?

The Pontianak Malay live in the Pontianak Regency of West Kalimantan. In their area, the Pontianak Malay live beside Chinese and Madurese people. In a few places, the Pontianak Malay also live near Sambas Malay people. The Pontianak Malay speak a dialect of Malay which is hard for neighboring peoples such as the Sambas Malay to understand, even though they also speak Malay languages. The city of Pontianak became the center of the Pontianak Malay Kingdom, which was founded under the reign of … [Read more...]

Who are the Dayak Tidung?

The Dayak Tidung belong to the Dayak cluster, speak the Dayak Tidung dialect and follow Islam. In the Bulungan regency, they are associated with the Bulungan people (considered the most indigenous group in Bulungan). In that area they are called the Tidung Bulungan. The Tidung Bulungan language is close to the Dayak Tidung language. The Dayak Tidung are also sometimes called Dayak Pantai (pantai means “beach”). Tidung also live in Kinabalu, Marudu and Belud in Sabah, Malaysia. Perhaps because … [Read more...]

Who are the Banjar?

The southern and eastern coast of Kalimantan is home to the Banjar people, who live along the rivers from the interior rainforest to the coastal cities. Most Banjar live in Southern Kalimantan, but there are also significant Banjar populations in East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Riau Province, and Malaysia. The Banjar language and speech is difficult for other Indonesians to understand. However, a person can quickly learn the marketplace language because it is always used in daily life in … [Read more...]

Who are the Bakumpai?

The Bakumpai are a group of Dayak people who speak the Bakumpai language and call themselves the Bakumpai. However, there are many similarities between the Bakumpai and the Dayak ethnic groups around them. In spite of this, they choose to identify themselves as different from the Dayak groups mainly because of their Islamic religion (the Dayak majority are Christian). Most Bakumpai live near the Barito River, which flows through the province of Central Kalimantan. In Southern Kalimantan, the … [Read more...]