The Power of Literacy | The Importance of the Historical Origins of Indigenous Peoples

Literacy is becoming increasingly important. One of the conditions for the recognition of indigenous peoples is the history of the origins of indigenous peoples, including the Dayak tribe.

You and I have a responsibility to write and publish a history of the origins of the Dayak people!

Regulation of the Minister of Home Affairs (Menteri Dalam Negeri  Republik Indonesia) N0. 52 of 2014 concerning Guidelines for the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples, states that customary law communities can be recognized as legal subjects if they fulfill 5 conditions, namely:

1) has a history of origin;
2) have customary territories indicated on a map;
3) have customary law;
4) have customary assets and/or objects; and
5) having customary government institutions/systems (Article 5 paragraph (2).

Customary territories are inhabited by indigenous peoples from generation to generation. Dr. Stefanus Masiun stated that for indigenous peoples in Kalimantan, customary territories were obtained in several ways.

First, customary territories are obtained because they are the ones who have been in that area for generations.

Second, customary territories were obtained because they were the first to open up the area.

Third, customary territory is obtained because people migrate to that place and are given the territory by the owner of the area who has been in that place before.

Fourth, customary territory is obtained as a form of recompense for having defended the tribe during the tribal war during headhunting.

Fifth, customary territories were obtained due to the defeat of past inter-tribal or inter-kingdom wars.

Customary territories can be functional areas based on an ecosystem such as following the flow of a river, waters, island or an area. Therefore, customary territory can be very broad because it includes the size of the tribe. However, customary territories can also be small according to the social units in which the indigenous peoples are located, such as kampung (a common name in Sekadau, Sintang, and several other places), ompu’ (Sanggau) page and banua (Ketapang), binua (Landak), menoa (the Iban people in Kapuas Hulu).

illustration: the origins of the Dayak people in Jangkang, Sanggau district.

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Masri Sareb Putra
Articles: 719

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