Ethnic relations and cultural dynamics in East Kalimantan: the case of the Dayak lady. (Abstracts).
Gerke, Solvay. 1997, Ethnic relations and cultural dynamics in East
Kalimantan: the case of the Dayak lady. Indonesia and the Malay World,
no. 72, pp. 176-187.
The author describes her encounter with a Dayak lady, in every
sense of the word, whom she met at the latter's warung near a
transmigration settlement in the Kutai District of East Kalimantan. She
was a lady of Tunjung Dayak descent, who many years ago had married a
Malay man from Kutai and had adopted Islam. She could vividly recall the
lifestyle of the Tunjung Dayaks, a group settled in four villages in the
middle Mahakam area, during her childhood some fifty years earlier. Her
story is revealing of cultural differences between the Kutai Malays and
the Dayaks. A process of assimilation has been going on for centuries
but the way each group views this is very different. The Malays see it
as an irreversible, one-way process, whereas the Dayaks see each group
as being of equal status. Somewhat paradoxically, given the indubitable Malay feelings of superiority, the longhouse and Dayak symbols have been
adopted as symbols for the province. The author uses the Dayak
lady's story in a somewhat unorthodox way to tr y to contextualize important events in it, in order to seek a meaning not only for them in
themselves, but to transpose this to the wider socio-cultural complex of
Kalimantan (Rosemary Robson-McKillop).