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MAHAKAM RIVER

Mahakam River is the largest river in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, with a catchment area of approximately 77,100 km2. The river originates in Cemaru from where it flows south-eastwards, meeting the River Kedang Pahu at the city of Muara Pahu. From there, the river flows eastward through the Mahakam lakes region, which is a flat tropical lowland area surrounded by peat land. Thirty shallow lakes are situated in this area, which are connected to the Mahakam through small channels. Downstream of the connection with the Semayang and Melintang lakes, the Mahakam meets three other main tributaries - the rivers Belayan, Kedang Kepala, and Kedang Rantau - and flows south-eastwards through the Mahakam delta distributaries, to the Makassar Strait
 

Kalimantan, where the Mahakam lies, is part of the Sunda Continental Plate. The large island has mountain ranges between Indonesia and Malaysia, however, volcanism is absent in this island. As described by van Bemmelen (1949), River Mahakam rises in Cemaru (1,681 m) in the centre of Kalimantan, from there it cuts through the pre-tertiary axis of the island east of the Batuayan (1,652 m) and then reaches the tertiary basin of Kutai. Its middle course traverses a lowland plain with many marshy lakes. This intermontane depression is separated from the neighboring basin, the Barito depression, by a broad hilly tract of less than 500m altitude. After this region, the Mahakam cuts through the Samarinda anticlinorium and reaches its alluvial delta, which spreads like a broad fan over the shelf-sea, with a base of 65 km and a radius of about 30 km.

Activities : Cruising the river, visit the longhouses of the Dayak people.

Getting there: Direct flights to Balikpapan from Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu

Reccommended tour package : ORANGUTAN & DAYAK ADVENTURE

Meet the Long Eared Dayak Dayak Tattoo Hudog Festival

The elongated ear lobe that could be found in Borneo is a dying art. Ear lobes were elongated by piercing at an early age and brass weights ear rings are put on for the sole reason of elongating the ear lobes. It was suppose to signify beauty for the wearer and men and women can be found to have elongated ear lobes.
Maybe men’s grooming did not start with the modern age after all Elongated ear lobes also signify status. The longer it is the more significant that person is to the tribe. Perhaps the length is due to age as the ears can only be elongated over time.

In Dayak culture, tattoo is not only for esthetics reason, but it’s a part of their tradition, religion, and social status and or as an appreciation for someone’s special ability.
For dayak people tattoo has a meaning of a torch in their journey to the eternal life after death. More tattoos, means more torches and also means more easily to them to reach the next world. But they cannot have tattoos as much as they like since there are tribal laws to obey in making tattoo.

Hudog is a kind of thanksgiving festival of many of Dayak’s sub-ethnic groups of east Kalimantan province.According to traditional belief of Bahau, Busang, Modang, Ao’heng and Penihing people, hudoqs are 13 pests that destroy crop like rats, lions, crows, etc.Hudog is symbolized by dancers who wear masks that represent pests and jackets made of areca palm or banana tree bark. The dance is finished when two human hudogs come out and chase the pest hudogs. The dance duration is 1–5 hours.It arranged from village to village after people dibble the land to grow dry-field paddy in September to October every year. They pray to god so that their field will grow abundantly.