Living 7 Days with DAYAK IBAN TRIBE at Sungai Utik (West Borneo, Indonesia)
What's up you guys and welcome back to the channel My name is Kristian Hansen I'm currently on a solo journey for three years To travel all over Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke And in this episode we're in West Borneo Not too far from here is a village called the Sungai Utik And there lives the indigenous Dayak Iban tribe So I'm planning to move in with them to learn as much as possible About their culture and their way of life I don't know what to expect but I know.. it's gonna be an adventure of a lifetime All right guys I have had an incredible stay here in lanjak At Lake Sentarum Now it's time to continue the tour We got 50 kilometers and 50 minutes to get to Sungai Utik Where we will meet the indigenous people the Dayak Iban So Macan, let's rock and roll And let's go and learn about some cultures, some traditions And a different way of life. Let's get to it I'm meeting with my contact there Girl called Augustina Wow it's beautiful here She's apparently supposed to make the introduction for me Because this is not a place for like mass tourism So it's kind of on an invite-only base, as far as I understand Here it is See if we can find the long house All right, here we have it Hi, Tina! And after a quick briefing from my host Tina The most incredible adventure of my life was about to begin How are you, guys? A few days before my arrival, one of the elders, Apay Antonius, had passed away Apay means Mister, in the Dayak Iban language And when someone passed away at Sungai Utik They have their own grieving rituals Once they have buried their Elder The Grieving period was set Usually for one or two weeks Where no music is allowed No cutting of hair or nails And in general no happy or loud activities This is to show respect for both the one passing and his or her family I had gotten a special permission to walk around with my camera And to document as long as I didn't film inside of their long house So I try to be as careful as I could Not to be in the way and not to interfere with their grieving We were two days away from the ending of The Grieving period Where they would perform a special ritual So today all the women would walk together into the forest To collect vegetables for the final day of The Grieving period And I was invited to tag along In 30 degrees and with 89 humidity The forest is like one big Supermarket for sungai utik They first collected bamboo as this serves as a form of pot For cooking the food over the fire The leaves are burned to repel mosquitoes Also for example there is a disaster such as death, we also burn leaves If there are children, the charcoal smeared on the forehead Tubok leaves we bring it for later bro It is hot out here, guys Luckily it's cloudy today But humidity is so high out here And the ladies, they're just working non-stop They're washing all the bamboo pieces And now, I've realized why they are all wearing long sleeves and long pants I totally forgot about this, but there are an incredible amount of mosquitoes out here I don't know if you can see it on the video But they are all over This is my first experience out with the locals here And I'm really enjoying it. It's so beautiful here That looks deep Sungai utik actually means Crystal Clear River And they say I can drink the water I've never tried drinking water straight from a river in Indonesia before But I trust them when they say it's really clean so Let's try it That's weird Tastes like mineral water from a bottle That's really nice Wow that experience nearly cost me my camera Look! Wet all the way up to here I was holding the camera in straight arm like this To keep it from going in the water is it waterproof? only a little bit..
They're laughing at me because I fell in the water It looks almost like a big marijuana field Like when you watch the movie "The Beach," if you watch that When they arrive on the island and they see this big field They can collect up to one ton of food out here Per day One ton That is a lot of food Tonight I am confident I will regret that I did not wear long pants and long sleeve out here Because I must have gotten about 150 mosquito bites today oh no.. They are all over (Kristian imitating the Iban language) Come on my love This is like a full-on workout There's just no stopping these women They're just plowing through with their machetes And I'm just trying to keep up And we are back on the road So we're finished? We are! good! They asked if I'm tired and I said no, but.. I'm tired As we came back, I thought now is probably time to rest but...
No, no. They knew exactly what to do They then started sorting all of the vegetables and cleaning them And the other women who hadn't been to the field they had been preparing treats and snacks For the big day Miss A lot of the women have tattoos Because tattoos are very special for the Dayak Iban The bracelet tattoo is only worn by women And as a sign that they are good at working with their hands Both in terms of craft and in the household But I'll get back to that later on The kids then invited me on an afternoon tour And they told me I just had to wear my bathing shorts But I had a pretty good idea of where we were going Your muscle. My muscle? cooool I don't have bro oh yes you have! cooool! You're strong. Incredible Hi Bella Be careful Come on jump Kris! okay.. They want me to jump, so I better jump Let's hope it's deep, yeah? Right here? Look, look! Hello Elvira and Nola But the party wasn't gonna stop there Because for my first evening I had been invited in to try their homemade alcohol Tuak And as I told them I rarely drank alcohol They then told me, ah, don't worry it's only 0.5% alcohol
And six glasses later they then revealed to me.. it was actually more like 20% It had been an incredible first day at Sungai Utik Good morning, guys This morning I am out in the forest With all the guys We are out collecting vegetables So today is basically the preparation day, because tomorrow Starts a very special ritual Actually this ritual has never been documented on YouTube on video before So tomorrow starts the ritual of the passing Where they are basically letting go of the spirit of the person who passed Morning! Morning, bro! On the last day before the ritual It was only the men who went out And today we were collecting what's called Upa Pantu A unique and popular vegetable in the ethnic Iban cuisine It requires hard work peeling off layer by layer To get to the inside of the Palm trunk As we only needed the shoots inside of it like this one It's like... But now I have to move Macan Because they've actually equipped Macan.. with some of the of the vegetables That we have to bring back Hopefully I can balance it Okay, guys! Heavy? But luckily I have the Rok straps form Enduristan Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to carry them on Macan Okay, let's go home Coming back from the field I was once again ready to go and rest But the others they kept going I could tell that they have done this hundreds of times before Everybody knew exactly what their job were And what to do next And everyone else at home Were already in the process of cooking for the plus 300 people Who would be attending the funeral ritual All right guys it is now 9.30 We're still preparing And we are having our first glass of tuak, traditional alcohol It is good, huh? It's good. It's sweet I don't think they usually drink alcohol this early in the morning, but...
It is the day for preparing for the ritual, so... It's a very special day for them Ready for tomorrow? Yes we are So guys this afternoon because everyone is still preparing for the ritual I'm still not allowed to film inside of the houses But basically what we have done today for lunch Is that we've all sat together down Inside of the house We will be tomorrow for the ritual So now we're just hanging out We're having some more tuak And drinking Let's drink! One jerry can of Tuak A strong one like this we can make in one night Coming from the tree 100.000 per jerry can Do you drink tuak every day? Every day Almost every day, we drink tuak We have enough supply This one is strong I absolutely love the way that they spend time together Everyone is sitting here together Everyone's cooking together Everyone is eating together I enjoy so much just sitting here Even when the camera is turned off And just being a part of it without even doing anything Just talking, sitting, observing And enjoy. I really enjoyed to see how much interest they take In me documenting all of this This is for tomorrow's ceremony, at 9AM We put it into bamboo, or we call it buluh It's been kept, add water, then we cook it We burn the bamboo On the fire until it dries For tomorrow. The ritual So now guys we have stuffed All of the bamboo it is now being cooked And then it is ready for being eaten tomorrow For the ritual It seems like everybody's happy and just excited about tomorrow Good morning, guys It is the day of the ritual To say goodbye to the Elder they lost And to set his Spirit free So I'm heading over there now I was standing on the balcony at five o'clock this morning And people were already heading there Over there that early But now it's around quarter past six So I thought I better get over there, because it starts at eight o'clock So I'll have to be a bit discreet with the camera today Not too... Yeah, to seem like a distraction
So I'll try my best to document the, the day And show you guys what it's about So... Let's get to it It's gonna be another good day It has been a long time Since I've had my first class of alcohol at 6.30 in the morning But today, I've decided everything they offer me, I will try it In Dayak Iban tradition or culture if someone offers you something, like this And you are grateful that they offer you But you don't want it, then you just say terima kasih And then you just touch it like this, and pull your hand back It's a sign of respect And when you do this, it is called "Nego" Where are we going now? We are going to the cemetery, to pray for Mr. Antonius' spirit
The funeral is actually for the guy's, his father He was only 59 years old and he had a stroke Even people from Villages outside are coming here as well I knew that this was a funeral ritual What I was not prepared for was the feeling that suddenly came over me As a cold chill, as we reached their burial areas You could hear cries and mourning, throughout the entire forest Because one of the ways they mourn is by telling a small story about the deceased's life While they cry It was heartbreaking Even though I wanted to understand everything that was going on I couldn't bear to ask a single question I was completely silent, and just trying to be invisible Not trying to be a distraction They mourned They prayed And they poured a bit of tuak next to his grave It was really sad, but Also beautiful in its own way Clean again. Clean, no more sin The water is clean, we are clean as well So apparently the whole purpose of this is to wash away any bad luck So we don't bring it back with us into the house So now we washed it off And now we can go change our clothes and join once more And it was then time to end The Grieving period With the final ritual The men were divided into one room and the women in another In the middle of the room was a suitcase With some of Apay Antonius' belongings A candle and a rifle Because they still believed the deceased spirit is still around And this ritual was about setting it free And here I met Tina's son Kynan Tegar An 18 year old filmmaker who was accompanied by Jimmy from UNICEF Who was making a piece about Kynan But before releasing Apay Antonius' spirit The chief of Sungai Utik would first walk around with the chicken Over people's heads He does this while praying So that the chicken becomes a medium between the prayer and the people Not long after this the chicken is killed And some of its feathers removed, and dipped in its own blood The prayers are then transferred from the feathers Through the blood Onto everyone who is attending the funeral During the normal rituals The bloody feathers will touch the hands But during a funeral it must be the feet The women who are close relatives to the deceased Wears a piece of black fabric on their clothes To show that they are still mourning These are then cut off and put in a coconut shell The men have a bit of hair cut off which also goes into the shell And this is then all thrown away As a sign of the end of The Grieving period And it was then time to extinguish the candle and fire the rifle In order to fully release the spirit And so, the feast could begin hungry bro? let's eat! And for the rest of the night We would eat and drink together And a younger subscriber of mine, Fidel And remember the quote from my first Kalimantan episode Because he knew exactly what time it was Fidel, what time is it? It's Kalimantan time As The Grieving period was over I could then start making some clips Inside of the 217 meter long long house Also known as Rumah Panjang It's an elevated traditional communal house And it's an essential part of the Dayak Iban life It's divided into 28 compartments, also known as a bilik With each family having their own private living space within I was staying in bilik number one Together with Jimmy, from UNICEF. Julie, a school teacher Tina, Tina's children, Fidel and Kunan. Tina's husband, Tomo
Tomo sister, Duman. Her husband and two children, Bella and Bagas Tomo's brother and Tomo's Aunt, as she had lost her husband And I was then invited to come and live with the rest of the family Because the family is a very big part of the Dayak Iban life The main room called "Ruai," is mostly empty during the day As everyone is out doing some sort of work or studying The room is for everyone to use For activities, ceremonies, storytelling, music and so on In here you won't wear your shoes And you should always greet the people you pass going through the longhouse They will even sometimes invite you into their bilik for a chat And if it's your first time to come to the long house It's called Muay They will then serve you a glass of tuak That you will slowly pour out through the cracks of the floor As you pray for the long house and its people A lot of my chats with the locals here They always end up with a few glass of tuak Because they're always happy if you like the tuak So drink slowly, because if you finish it fast They will offer you more Right? Yes Some of the elders can no longer go out to work in the forest or the fields So instead they make mats, baskets, and other traditional woodwork They can sometimes sell to tourists and visitors There are many dogs and cats here Because the Dayak Iban believe that the ancestors Will sometimes test their kindness By showing up in the form of animals, to see if they will feed them But there's one key element that have made to Sungai Utik in what it is today The forest The Dayak Iban have lived in this customary territory for hundreds of years And they have created a life that is suited to the environment here And to the nature The leader of the Sungai Utik community Apay Janggut, meaning father with beard Showed me a map of the customary territory Ten thousand hectares of land, divided into four categories Green is protected Forest. Purple is a reserved forest Red is production, and yellow is agricultural use But having a customary forest Without legal documentation stating it was theirs It was hard to send away the continuously approaching logging companies So a young spirit from Sungai Utik, Kynan Tegar, joined the fight And started documenting the life of Sungai Utik And this brought attention from around the world And soon eventually reached the international stage in 2019 My name is Kynan I'm from the indigenous community of Sungai Utik And after a very long struggle Sungai Utik eventually received their legal recognition in 2020 Which according to Kynan, is also a credit to their elders My name is Kynan Tegar. I'm 17 years old And I'm a filmmaker from the Dayak Iban tribe, here in Sungai Utik It was since the 1970s, is when logging companies at first Wanted to come to Sungai Utik And when they came, they didn't come with nothing They came burying money by the truckloads And they said that in exchange for all of this money We'd like access to your forests But the elders back then they rejected them They didn't want these people cutting down the forest Cutting down their source of life There's one quote that I really remember from one of our elders He was saying that if what the people here The people here in Sungai Utik wanted was money Then they'd have just cut down all of the trees, and sell it But when the trees are gone the so will the money and then we'd have nothing left In the afternoon, Tomo, Kynan's father Invited us on a small trip To show us how the forest can be used for different purposes We'll later make the area becomes an ecotourism And also for education purpose For instance, to present the name of trees The children can learn about the trees and their names We expect that in the future, they can recognize those trees From this area. So they can at least know what trees are here And they will know which ones are edible and which ones are not And also to use them as medicine They will learn which trees to use as medication So at least there are two functions The first one is ecotourism, and also education For learning purpose The rice fields in Sungai Utik are different than those in Java As they are not always underwater And as a part of their culture They have a very special rule for their farming Actually, Iban people aren't allowed to sell rice Now allowed And only for personal consumption So they don't need to buy rice Only to feed Sungai Utik people? Correct You know, guys. Sometimes in the village, you know You'll play whatever is available, even charcoal Right, guys? Good morning, guys So this morning we are heading up the river We're heading a bit deeper into the forest Because they have a small cabin out there that we will stay in And yeah, get a little bit closer to the nature So the indigenous people here they practice an agriculture technique called shifting cultivation So they move from one field to another after a few years And then they move to another And in the process for clearing it, they burn the land And make it become more fertile That's why a lot of it is burnt Many countries might consider this system as a less efficient way of farming But because Sungai Utik they have so much land They can follow the way of their ancestors without using any fertilizers And then wait 10 to 15 years until the nutrients in the soil Is replenished naturally, and then starting using the fields once again So now we are at the Sungai Utik customary forest And this is the package the tourism that built by the community So this is how we use our forest So we're not just keep it, but we try to maximize the potential And this is the experience So a whole package is managed by Community We use the fruit from our land And then we will go to upstream Tehere's a cabin that people can stay for a couple nights with a basic facility But it's really amazing place that you can visit We're making a small lunch break here, lunch stop I'm trying for the first time one of the homemade products here From Sungai Utik. This is what marmelade bro? It's called Demawang
So it's made from one of the trees here And usually even this village looks like tons and tons of the fruit So they finally try to make use of it And in the form of this syrup And it tastes amazing. Sweet and sour at the same time And as we're about to head upstream, I noticed the water line And this is what Sungai Utik have made themselves Which supplies them with unlimited free and clean water Running all the way from their protected forest area to their village That evening they were doing two rituals As a member of the community, Apay Ube were going on a journey The first ritual called "Keduran Pansut" Is about asking blessings and protection from the ancestors For someone who is about to embark on a journey The second ritual is called mindarajari It means blessing of the hands It is a cleansing ritual, where the hands are first tied together With red yarn and then offerings are put in the hands In the form of seven different items Like a coin, a beetle, a nut, a leaf a cigarette And then food from where you will eventually eat the offerings Members of Sungai Utik will do this At for example birthdays, New Years, end of the harvest season Or when going away for some time to receive blessings from the ancestors And to be thankful for the blessings we received thus far They believe that the hands are special This is how they can work, get blessings, get food money and so on And once again, the chicken was used As a medium for the blessings and to remove any bad Omens The chicken was killed and its blood brought around to everyone Along with its blessings Apay Ube could then finalize his cleansing ritual And the offering for the ancestors were then put outside of the Longhouse On the roof Because this way the ancestors will know that it's an offering And they will then give the blessings inside of the house The rest of the food is then shared by everyone And there was one thing that caught me by surprise Seeing all of the kids were cleaning up, pouring new drinks And handing them out There were no complaining about having to clean up They just went ahead and did it like they had done it a thousand times before The respect of your parents and the elders Is another core principle for the Dayak Iban at Sungai Utik It was just heartwarming to see One big family Good morning, guys. It's another beautiful day here at Sungai Utik And this morning, I wanted to visit the schools here They both have a primary school, SD They have a junior high school, SMP And they have a kindergarden Because I imagine that some people watching this video Might be curious as to how the school system work here So let's try and join some of the classes And see how it is to go to school in a local community here at Sungai Utik Let's do it Good morning! Morning! All students wear uniform every day Junior High School students start the day with a small flag ceremony Before greeting their teacher And then it's off to their English class Where they are currently learning about the numbers, months, and the days The day starts early for even the young students in the primary school They are already at the school at seven o'clock As the teachers doesn't arrive until eight o'clock They spend the time productively by preparing for today's classes And by tidying up the classroom Which runs like clockwork, according to their designated schedule We wake up and get ready. Have a breakfast, then go to school at 7 o'clock We wait the teacher to arrive Today we will learn math I like school school is nice We get useful lessons You can see the kids at Sungai Utik They're really excited to go to school They come early in the morning, and start prepare all the equipment But now we have problem Because we don't have enough teacher So sometimes the teacher just give the text and then move to another class And just give a task and move to another class again So it's a big challenge for now We really need to thinking harder how to solve this problem Because it's not just problem for Sungai Utik But for many other villages Luckily Sungai Utik will sometimes have University students come here as well Who is studying to be a teacher Good morning! My name is Juliana Kristina I'm 21 years old I'm a university student from Pontianak I study to become a teacher Catholic teacher I'm being placed in Sungai Utik To practice I've been teaching here for 3 days I enjoyed these first 3 days I can see that the children are very happy and passionate to learn I'm very happy to help them to learn For example in the first grade, I teach them to count Writing, and some other things There are differences indeed between the school in cities and in the villages But we can eliminate the differences By giving them the best The children have asked me again and again, if I could help teach them some English But as per Indonesian law, you need a specific visa for this So instead, I asked him if it was okay that I tested their English skills. And they happily accept it Eleven Twelve Thirteen For now many visitors they come, you know, they give time So they can visit the school Sometimes they teach about English Teach about personality sometimes Because it's important to uh, talking together with the kids about what they want to be You know what they want to learn And what they want to do with their life in the future Policeman Policewoman Doctor Policeman Army Math teacher Policewoman one more time because there is..
Bahasa Indonesia teacher Stewardess IPS teacher Religion teacher I want to become a Pastor Football player And after school, it's hangout time The kids they get together and chat Eat snacks, play a bit on their handphones Basically anything you can do outside in the fresh air So we're here in the afternoon We come down to the school Because right behind us we have the big antenna, and right there as well For getting the signal So they do have Wi-Fi here But it is only turned on from around 4 30 in the afternoon until five o'clock in the morning So here in the afternoons we tend to go down here When you got a signal, what do you watch? Tiktok! So the signal is not fantastic, but yeah it's better than nothing And it's actually nice not to have access to signal all the time Because we tend to just check our phones, you know And we always have signals so kind of nice What is it called? This one? Eggplant flower Symbol of Dayak Iban? Yes If there's tattoo here, it means he is an Iban Kris, this is a long flower The kids they love when foreigners visit Sungai Utik And share some of their experiences from other countries and different professions So that night I told them a bit about my journey and about chasing dreams Let's check out some clip from my Youtube channel Come and watch Rain or sun, the day still starts early for Apay Salem, the local tuak connoisseur He comes out here every morning To supply the entire village with delicious drinks What's the name of the tree? We call it Ijuk In Bahasa it's called Aren If there's anyone want to climb the tree up Let's sit up here and drink directly I slice this every morning In the afternoon I take it home And we drink together at home The gentlemen and the ladies drink together I produce around 7 to 8 liters per day Because the flower stalk is not big Is it good? It's good You want to try? Now I will try the tuak directly as a drips from the tree Wah, it's so good! You want more? Enough It's still raining and I must climb down the tree Thank you. You're welcome In the afternoon The entire Longhouse we're preparing for a special welcoming ritual Because a long time friend of Sungai Utik, Ratih Ibrahim A psychologist from Jakarta and her team Were coming to visit once again They then enter through the official entrance To the Longhouse. Where they are blessed and cleansed by Apay Imam A prayer is made for the Longhouse with tuak An offering is made to the ancestors asking permission to enter And a traditional Idat is presented as a welcoming gift Some of the best dancers of Sungai Utik then escort the special guests All the way into the Longhouse by dance This ritual is another way of supporting Sungai Utik As the ritual and all the food prepared is covered by the guests who's visiting The food is prepared for all of the community's members and the guests And everyone celebrates it together And as it was my last afternoon at Sungai Utik We of course had to swim in the river once again And the girls even surprised me with a special song And just like all the other nights We all sat on the floor together in bilik 1 And enjoy a home-cooked dinner With greens from the forest, and fish from the river As one big family My last night at Sungai Utik couldn't have ended any better Or so I thought Because the kids, they had one more Ace up their sleeve that blew me away Guys, I'm going to sleep Have a good night See you tomorrow goodbye my besties It was time to say goodbye to Sungai Utik I've been so lucky to spend the entire week with Jimmy from UNICEF and Kynan They had to leave first as Kynan were going to South America To represent Sungai Utik at an indigenous tribe event But there were one more thing that I wanted to do Before I continued my Sabang to Merauke adventure Indigenous tribe tattoos were frowned upon for many years And not recognized as a culture or traditions But luckily that's different today The Dayak Iban are extremely proud of their tattoos And it's a way for them to remember their traditions and story As their ancestors did before them For me, it was a way of showing my appreciation And bringing a souvenir with me that I will never forget I'm thinking some of you guys might wonder how much this hurts And I would say it actually hurts less than it did in Mentawai Because the needle here is smaller And it will take about two hours in total to complete So right now we're almost halfway And the tattoo that I'm making today is called Terung It's believed that when the Dayaks.. The Dayak Iban was first created here on Earth It was the very first thing they ate That is also why it is the first tattoo that any Dayak Iban gets Because it is kind of a symbol of the very beginning of the Dayak Iban And normally when you get the Terung tattoo you get two But I've decided together with them that I will be making just one So next time I come back here then I will get the second one All-right, guys It has been a fantastic stay here at Sungai Utik And it's uh.. it's not an easy day for me To leave I don't really feel like leaving But at the same time I have to continue the journey So yeah... This is the pro and con about a life on the road
Is that you meet a lot of fantastic people But sometimes you have to.. say goodbye to them at least until next time And of course, I couldn't make this video clip without my.. camera assistant number one Bagas Thank you bro Good luck