A Hundreds of years Baluntang , an Unrecorded Cultural Statue | Central Borneo Tourism Information
Friday October 20th 2017

A Hundreds of years Baluntang , an Unrecorded Cultural Statue

 
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Peoples of Dayak Maanyan calls it Baluntang, while in Dayak Ngaju it’s called Sapundu. Both of it has an almost same shape and function. Its age are hundreds.  Unfortunately, this archaeological heritage has not been officially registered  by the government

Generally, for the dayak Maanyan, especially for those who embrace the Hindu Kaharingan religion , establishing a  Baluntang is very important. Because Buntang ceremony , where Baluntang become the main object is an important part in the funeral ceremony phase.

This ceremony aims to lift the spirits of the dead from the grave to the spirit realm filled with perfection as well as a symbol of devotion, respect, and responsibility of the family and the citizens of the deceased.

Baluntang itself has physical function as a place to binding the sacrificed buffaloes at the Buntang event as well as tombstones.

Not surprisingly, a lot of Baluntang can be found in rural areas. The community of Baluntang owner himself was not aware of their ancestral heritage that can be considered as an objects of cultural heritage.

Some of the Children of Dayak Maanyan Community is consistently digging this Dayak Maanyan indigenous cultures from the the elders, visually recorded it and arranged it in the form of dance.

They said there are no specific data about the number of the existing Baluntang. The Age of Baluntang itself depends on when the family began the Buntang Ceremony. Baluntang own physical form is an Ulin Stick (Iron wood) where the of it  carved to resemble a human form. The Forms of the sculpture illustrates the state of deceased during his lifetime.

If the form of sculpture in the form of a man standing and holding a stick, most likely the deceased during his lifetime was a Wadian / Balian (A Shaman). When the statue holding a spear and mandau (saber) it is likely that the deceased was a warrior or knight. However, if the form of the statue is sitting on a chair then it is most likely that the deceased was an officer like headman,  mantir or pembakal (customary chief).

Baluntang itself is used as a marker of social status among the Dayak Maanyan in the past, because to set up a Baluntang is costly. If only in a small house  but there are many Baluntang in front of it, the homeowners family can be considered as a rich family.

The sculptor of the Baluntang are not arbitrary person, since it takes expertise and specialized knowledge to sculpt Baluntang. This adds to the value of art, aesthetic and historical value to the Baluntang. That is why in the 70’s so many  Baluntang were stolen.

Nowadays, it is rare to find a tens to hundreds of years old Baluntang in the good condition. Now, mostly the  Baluntang that we found standing was only a few years old.

The government itself requested the residents to report the existence of this cultural monuments if the government has not conducted a survey, given Baluntang itself is a nation’s identity and can be used as a source of knowledge for the next generation.

Images of Baluntang of Dayak Maanyan

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Peoples of Dayak Maanyan calls it Baluntang, while in Dayak Ngaju it’s called Sapundu. Both of it has an almost same shape and function. Its age are hundreds. Unfortunately, this archaeological heritage has not been officially registered by the government
A Hundreds of years Baluntang , an Unrecorded Cultural Statue
Date Published: 10/23/2011
Peoples of Dayak Maanyan calls it Baluntang, while in Dayak Ngaju it’s called Sapundu. Both of it has an almost same shape and function. Its age are hundreds. Unfortunately, this archaeological heritage has not been officially registered by the government

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