Betang Traditional House


This Betang House is the creation of Dayaknese Tribe that lived in Kalimantan inland with group concept of life. At that time, Dayak tribes stay inland of Kalimantan and pass their live in group, together in a house called 'Rumah Betang' (Betang traditional house).

Betang has its unique points that can see from the elongated shape and there are only a staircase and entrance into the Longhouse. The stair which is used for enter to the Longhouse called 'hejot'. Betang has built in high position from the ground in order to avoid the trouble things for residents of the Longhouse, include avoiding enemies that can come suddenly, wild animals, or floods that sometimes hit the Longhouse. Almost all betang can be found on the outskirts of major rivers in Kalimantan.

Usually, Betang built in rather big size with about 30-150 meter length, 10-30 meter width and the mast about 3-5 meter height. Betang built using high quality wood, the ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri T et B). This wood can stand over hundreds of years and anti termite. This is the real best wood.

Betang House common inhabited by 100-150 people and you may imagine how crowded inside. Betang can said as tribe house because it led by a Pambakas Lewu (the tribe leader). Inside, you will meet several rooms that inhabited by each families.

On the front of the house, there is a hall as a place to receive guests as well as the customary meeting place. Usually, here you will meet a sapundu. Sapundu is a statue or totem, which generally formed in human shaped. Sapundu functioned as a place to tie the animals to be sacrificed for the ceremonial procession. Sometimes there are also patahu in front yard of betang that use for worship house.

On the back of the Longhouse you will found a small hall called tukau used as a warehouse for storing agricultural equipment, such as lisung or halu. In betang, there is also a room used as weapon storage area, called bawong. On the front or back part of betang, there is also Sandung. Sandung is a storage place to save the bones of the family who had died and has gone through tiwah ceremony process.


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