They maintain the culture given down by their ancestors and up to date they are one of the few most feared tribes on earth.

Victoria Tunggono   04 February 2016 12:00 - Indonesia has so many tribes and ethnics and one of them is Dayak. These people live in Kalimantan (famous as Borneo) and far from the world of development and technology. They maintain the culture given down by their ancestors and remain in the path undisturbed by the changing of modern life. And up to date they are one of the few most feared tribes on earth. Why? had compiled them as follows:

1. Tattoo


Dayak has been one of the oldest tribes that has tattoo as part of their culture. Each tattoo has its own meaning and purpose. A tattoo can be given each time someone visits one place, for it took hundreds of kilometers and many forests away to travel from one village to another, as a sign that the person’s origin is from Dayak, as a keeper from evil spirit, and many others. The tattoo is not made by modern machine but using traditional tools from the nature. The process itself needs certain rituals that not everyone can follow. Dayak tattoos became even more famous since the vocalist of Red Hot Chili Pepper, Anthony Kiedis, got his tattoo after traveling through the wild jungle of Borneo.

2. Mandau


This is not just a regular blade weapon. Mandau is an heirloom and shows the identity of the user, like Keris is for Javanese. Dayak people used to carry Mandau everywhere but the use of it should be according to the rules, as in it cannot be used for threatening people, and cannot be removed from its sheath arbitrarily. Mandau is believed to have magical power, can fly and kill its target just like that, so it’s also considered as the ultimate weapon.

3. Magical power


Dayak is one of believers of animism and dynamism. They praise the spirits of ancestors and gods and do rituals for their religious act. They perform magic for various purposes. They could send magic through the wind and known as “racun paser” (paser poison). If paser poison gets through one person’s body, his body will be itchy and his skin dry like being sucked into its bones. This kind of magic made Dayak people both feared and respected for.

4. Poisonous sumpit

Image: Kalimantaninside

Another weapon and magic that belong to Dayak is the sumpit. The tube-shaped device is equipped with poisonous needle that is blown to the neck of a target to kill it right away. In the wartime, the VOC that used guns and bullets was defeated with this fatal and effective weapon that brings death within minutes after the victim had convulsions.

5. The Ghost Warrior


The VOC of Netherlands believed that Borneo has this fearful army called as The Ghost Warrior. Some other believed they are the Dayak people but some other said it was The Bird Commander, a spirit who protects the Dayak people. Besides the sumpit and Mandau, the Ghost Warrior also has sikerei (the shaman) who could cure the bullet victims from their wounds within days. It made Dayak unbeatable in wars and I don’t think there will be one fool enough to dare to try disturbing them again.



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