the bamboo rafting

Posted: January 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

One of my best experience during Banjarmasin trip was Bamboo rafting. Yep, it was RAFTING but with Bamboos. Here i got journey crossing mount Kantawan and tropical forest on riverside. At first i little bit worry, i cant swim and somehow i have no guts to beat the river. But the local Dayak rafter guarantee my safety for this journeys. Others told me that the Dayak have very excellent skill to drive the bamboo raft in rapid river.

So, I WONT REGRET my decision. It was the BEST RAFTING i ever had in my life. Going to forest to cut bamboos and set the bamboo raft with villagers, then do the two hours save Bamboo Rafting through Amandit rapid river. Surprisingly, i met the native people, DAYAK, and learning their culture and tradition.

Me and the group planned to stay overnight in one of old DAYAK village community that only can reach across the river. But we ran out of the time. So we only stop and share some stuff there.

Ohhh….. i lost my word with how the treat us. when the Dayak saw our group came into their village, they gave us such a warm greeting. The moment after, the elder came into stage and….. wait, he was about start the welcome ceremony. they pray, they touch our skinhead and gave our bless.What a amazing people.

I met 95 years old dayak lady. she’s still looks young, like 50 years old. she still work, and kinda girlish. she cant speak Indonesian nor english, but she always flirt anyone there.

well, she is not the only one old lady. but if you wish to see dayak ear length, you wont get it. you need to go deep Kutai’s forest, not in Banjarmasin.

According Amai Pebulung (A Pampang Dayak tribal elders), The first dayak many live in the forest, to distinguish between humans and monkeys, “If the short ears mean he’s a monkey …..”

Ear length is characteristic of the Dayaks, in the past almost everyone either male Dayak and long-eared women. For women if the ears get longer and more ear pendant she was more beautiful then. For the boys usually pendant ears made carvings.

I was little bit disappointed when found the fact that those people didnt wear the famous dayak headhunters. Silly, but somehow i wanna have my own fairy tale. It must be noted that individual Dayak groups have their social and hierarchy systems defined internally, and these differ widely from each region.

The dayak people that i met that day is Islam society. The head dayak society said to me that in Kalimantan there are about 200 Dayak nation. Each society have their own religion and system. But mostly Dayak have Mandaus (matches ‘parang’ in Indonesian ). The blade is made of a softer iron, to prevent breakage, with a narrow strip of a harder iron wedged into a slot in the cutting edge for sharpness. In headhunting it was necessary to able to draw the parang quickly. For this purpose, the mandau is fairly short, which also better serves the purpose of trailcutting in dense forest. It is holstered with the cutting edge facing upwards and at that side there is an upward protrusion on the handle, so it can be drawn very quickly with the side of the hand without having to reach over and grasp the handle first. The hand can then grasp the handle while it is being drawn. The combination of these three factors (short, cutting edge up and protrusion) makes for an extremely fast drawing-action.

Before sunset, we’re continue our journey. and you know what…. i tried to ride my own bamboo, and yessss…. i become an expret in 2 minutes only. The guide told me that it is also possible to swim in the river but i cant swim. Shot!!!


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