Guest Lecture: Rites and Traditions of The PUNAN in Kalimantan

Author: Vany Fadhilah, S.T

The Forestry Engineering Undergraduate Program has held a guest lecture for all Forestry Engineering students on Wednesday (18/04/2018) at 10.00 WIB – 11:30 WIB at the Public Lecture Building (GKU 2) ITB Campus Jatinangor. The event was attended by around 70 ITB Forest Engineering students, ITB Biomanagement students, Head of Forestry Engineering Study Program; Dr. Elham Sumarga, Director of the French Institute of Indonesia (IFI); Melanie Martini-Mareel with staff and Research Director of the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD); Dr. Edmound Dounias as the speaker at this event. This guest lecture was titled Rites and Traditions of The PUNAN in Kalimantan.


Dr. Edmound Dounias explained that PUNAN is one of the Dayak clans on the island of Borneo. Most PUNAN people live in Kalimantan, others in Malaysia, and a small number of nomads (moving places). Based on the area of ​​residence, PUNAN people are divided into two groups, PUNAN who live in urban and PUNAN who live remote areas. They have the same language and tradition but differ in terms of the environment they live in. Those who live in remote areas are living in forests and around the natural forests of Kalimantan. Restricted by mountains and hills, they have no access to urban areas, untouched by development infrastructure, as if forgotten. They really depend on forest resources to fulfill their living needs and use the river as a means of transportation. Therefore, they have a low standard of living and high child mortality rates.


Furthermore, in his presentation, PUNAN people use forest products as a source of income. An interesting fact is that income of people using forest products and living in areas close to urban areas but not too far from forest is the highest compared to income of people living in cities and living in the forest itself. Hence, this is one of our concerns.


Besides, Dr. Edmound Dounias also explained, Kalimantan is closely related to the Dipterocarpaceae flora. Dipterocarpaceae fruiting time is irregular and unpredictable. However, wild boar can detect it. Wild pigs move from one patch to another patch to look for Dipterocarpaceae which are fruiting. Wild pigs eat Dipterocarpaceae that just fell to the ground, if the pig arrives late then the fruit is not edible. Therefore, wild pigs have the ability to detect times of change at the right time. On the other hand, many groups of mammals follow the footsteps of these pigs because these mammals can eat other seeds that fall from the body of a pig. This kind of condition is used by PUNAN people to hunt mammals and also as a sign of the position of wild pigs to hunt. PUNAN people hunt wild pigs to meet their protein needs. Pork meat is known to meet 50% of the protein needs of the people of Borneo. But now, wild pigs are very difficult to find due to increased deforestation in the Kalimantan region. The last, Dr. Edmound Dounias said that forests, people and wild life cannot be separated. As well as, aspects of archeology, anthropology, ecology and conservation biology are one entity that needs to be understood. Students are expected to become researchers to uncover many aspects of the many natural processes that have not been revealed for the welfare of mankind and a sustainable environment. The guest lecture was closed with a speech from the speaker for the active participation of students, and SITH’s appreciation for Dr.’s willingness. Edmound Dounias as a speaker and ends with a photo.

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