Borneo Island Information
Borneo Island is the world’s third largest island. Even when we separate the north coastal strip which is part of Malaysia and Brunei, the land left is still about as big as France. Some population are Dayak tribe, descendants of the first inhabitants of the island. making a living in the forests of the interior or the coastal swamps.
But most people live in small towns along the river banks, or cities at the great river mouths. Borneo dense rain forest supports a huge number of plant and animal species. In addition, two hundred and twenty one different types of mammals and 450 species of bird are found with nearly 50 of those species found only in Borneo.
Animal species include the long-nosed monkey, orangutan, leopard, crocodile, and monitoring lizard.
Ten thousand years ago orangutans were found through out Southern China. Since then their range has shrunk dramatically, and the species now only found in relic population of the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Orangutans of Borneo and Sumatra are critically endangered.
Continued habitat loss could drive this species close to extinction within a few decades. The word orangutan derives from Malay language, orang means people and utan means jungle. Orangutans are categorized as two main species, namely orangutan Sumatra (Pongo Abeli) and orangutan Borneo (Pongo Pygmaeus).
The main characteristics of orangutans are fat and big body, thick-neck, long and strong arms, short legs and bowed, and they do not have tails. The height is approximately 1,25 to 1,50 meters. All part of body is full of red-brown hair.
They belong to the species of great apes such as gorillas and chimpanzee and classified as mammals. The people can find them in the tropical rain forest of Southeast Asia like in Sumatra and Borneo Islands, Indonesia.
Orangutans can live in a variety of forest types; ranging from ironwood forest, hilly area, to the watersheds swamp forest. Even in the dry soil around mangrove swamps and in the mountain forest. In Borneo Island, the people can discover orangutan at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level.
Orangutan Borneo which is categorized by IUCN as endangered divided into three subspecies, namely Pongo Pygmaeus live in the northern part of Kapuas river to the Northeast of Sarawak; Pongo Pygmaeus Wurmbii live in the southern part of Kapuas river to the western part of Barito river; and Pongo Pygmaeus Mario live Sabah, Sarawak, and in almost all lowland forest of Borneo Island except south Borneo.
Although orangutans are the species of omnivorous animals, they mostly eat plantations and fruits. The eat bark, leaves, flowers, and several types of insects. In addition, they also eat nectar, and mushrooms. Even they drink honey and like eating durian as well.
About Dayak Tribe.
The name of Dayak derive from the word means inland or upriver people. Many anthropologists have stumbled in their attempts to classify the variety of Dayak into neat categories. The variation in languages, art styles, customs and history are too great. Even the broad inland tribes of Borneo island has important exception.
Much of the confusion stems from a long history of large and small scale migration within Borneo island. A result of population pressures, warfare and communications. Groups sometimes adopted language, rituals and other custom their neighbors then brought this mixture of tongues and traditions with them when they moved on.
Although warfare no longer exists, villages still shift location frequently in search of easier access to outside goods, markets, and jobs. Although there are notable differences in the various Dayak groups religious beliefs the common environment of jungles and rivers along with rice-base agricultural seems to have led to similar Dayak faiths.
Spirits crowd the Dayak supernatural world. The Dayak held a vague general concept of a Supreme as the Creator but no special importance was attached to this particular spirit. There is no known representation of this deity.
Emphasis on the Dayak Creator came only with the evangelize of Christianity or Islam which in the process of conversion sought out points of similarity with the local religions. Furthermore, the centuries-old lamin which is located about 300 meters from the pier had short pillars and was made of meranti wood.
At the top of the stairs were two statues, one female and one male. Other ornaments includes carvings of flora and fauna motifs such as crocodiles, dragons, apes and horn bills. The Tanjung Isuy longhouse serves as accommodation for visitors. Moreover, it is rear wing turned into lodging complete with beds and mosquito nets.
The vast main room of the house is often used by local women as a place to sell their handicrafts and fabric woven from doyo leaves; and a home product of Dayak Benuaq women in Tanjung Isuy. Doyo leave is like pandanus or screw-pine. Thrives in this village and thread is drawn from its strong leaves to be woven into fabric. It is further used as cloth, hats and wall hangings.