Sanaman Mantikei, Pure Iron of Central Kalimantan | Central Borneo Tourism Information
Thursday May 23rd 2019

Sanaman Mantikei, Pure Iron of Central Kalimantan

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Once upon a time in the hamlet of Nusa kuluk Riam Kaleka Habambang, left Samba river, there lived a family of farmers. The farmer has a son named Tinjau. One day Tinjau went to deliver food to his mother and father in a field. In the middle of the road, suddenly he saw a person similar to his  father. The man then took him to walk to one direction. Tinjau obeyed, because he felt it could not hurt to follow his own father. They both went on until we came to a wide and clean roads.

Finally arrived at a betang (traditional longhouse of Dayak). In which many people had gathered. They then climbed into the betang. An elder of the gentlemen said to a man similiar to Tinjau’s father : “Where did you get this son of man? What if he knows the secret of our work that can not be seen bt other creatures, especially human beings. “

“I found this kid at the end of my street, before reaching our village roads. Suddenly he seemed to me and he saw me too. Fortunately, I could change my face, disguised as his father. Maybe he’s a man who comissioned to lurking our work. I’m in hurry so I brought he here. It’s up to headmaster to take action, “said the man who brought Tinjau earlier.

Chairman of the spirits said again: the Son of man is not allowed to get away with it. Later, when he escaped, he would tell about all our works. Try to lock him up in big garantung (gong) . “Tinjau then held under a garantung. He realized that he was kidnapped by a spirits. Fortunately, the floor boards under the garantung is not flat. If not, he could have died out of breath. After Tinjau locked, they began to organize the division of labor for the next day, to make stone tools, and melt into sanaman mantikei (true or pure iron).

His parents wonder why Tinjak not come today to deliver food as usual. Feeling hungry, they were forced to return home. Apparently Tinjau was not there. The whole family and the whole village participated looking fro. But all failed. Tinjau disappear like swallowed by earth .

While in betang, Tinjau questioned by the elder of spirits.

“Did you see our deeds?”, asked the spirit.

The clever Tinjau then replied: “Yes. I saw all your actions clearly. “

Elder spirits said: “Then try to cover him with rakung (large basket made of bark).” Tinjau then closed by their rakung. “Oh,” said Tinjau, “do not cover me with rakung because I could see all your works very clearly.”

“Then try with pangalau (a type of fishing traps from woven rattan loosely), so he did not see our work,” said the head of the spirits.

Tinjau shouted: “Boy! Do not you cover me with this pengalau. I became blind and deaf at all. “Spirits laughed uproariously excited, because Tinjau can not see the fruit of their actions. In fact, because pengalau plaited infrequently will facilitate Tinjau to see the fruit of their actions. Their devices used to cover Tinjau are tools that are still used by traditional blacksmith until today in Central Kalimantan.

 According to the spirits work, to speed up the smelting of stone into the iron , around the tubs, planted three statues of clay with a specific shape. Fish-shaped head, tail-shaped buffalo. The heead of chameleon with a fish tail and the pig head with alligator tails’ shape.

From their conversation, there are several requirements in their work , among others, should not be seen or talk to women, joking or talking dirty and fight. In addition it should be close to the water and there are high wooden branches. Last conditions closely associated with technical equipment. Regarding the type of rock is a rock that is in the soil.

Three days and three nights duration Tinjau notice their work from making equipment, melting rocks into iron and hammered into weapons and equipment. They are so busy working, and forget about Tinjau, so he can escaped and go home. His family and the whole village are very joyfull by the return of Tinjau. They were stunned to hear about his story, especially concerning the treatment of iron which at that time was not known by the people.

A few years later, Tinjau took his family to build Sanaman mantikei as he has seen in the spirits’ village . They do it well because the equipment is quite perfect with excellent results as well.

Former sanaman Mantikei’s processing place is seen on the right of Mantikei rivers, Manten river and Kaleka Nusa kuluk Habambang cascade. Sanaman Mantikei possesses a softer but sharper and weapons made from this material is easily bent. Rocks containing sanaman mantikei can only be found in the Mantikei river, the way to get it is by digging it from the ground.

 Because this iron is so famous , until now the area along the Samba river is called District Sanaman Mantikei.

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