Saturday, May 16, 2009

More About South Kalimantan

Kalimantan Selatan - KalSel - is the smallest of the four provinces in Kalimantan. This was different in the past. Until far in the 1950's the nowadays Kalimantan Tengah - Central Kalimantan - belonged to KalSel. With small guerrilla-like actions and support from Jakarta the Dayak managed to break off their own territory from the mostly islamic KalSel.

In geographical way, KalSel is dominated by the Meratus Mountain Range, a long and wide chain which stretches from north to south over the biggest part of the province. The highest peak is Puncak Besar (1892 meter). Outside the highway between Banjarmasin and Balikpapan, the Barito River and is biggest downstream sideriver , the Martapura, are still very important for trade and communication with the hinterlands. Along the coast the landscape is formed by tidal swamps, which has turned into ricefields by some farmers.

With over 2,5 milion inhabitants on 37.660, KalSel is the most densely populated province. The population, for the biggest part Banjarese, is from different origin. Among the ancestors are four Dayak populations - the Ma'anyan, Lawangan, Bukit and Ngaju - and furthermore the Malay from Sumatera, Jawanese, Sundanese, Arabs, Chineze and Buginese. The Banjarese dialect is closely related to Malay.

The hindu-principalty Negara Dipa

The Banjarese think that their roots are to be found in a legendaric old hindu-principalty. The wife of the first 
raja should have been emerged from a huge cloud of white foam - just like the Greek goddess Aprhodite. Her birth was seen by a stunned public, among them the ruler Lambung Mangkurat. The ruler survived three generations, while he helped building the new principalty of Negara Dipa. The main street in Banjarmasin and the museum in KalSel are named after him. The story goed that the ruines od Candi Agung, a hinduist structure in the hinterlands, are the fundaments of the history of KalSel. But there is very little proove of this. There is a second old hinduist temple in the district of Tupin, Candi Laras. Both temples are not worth while visiting.

At the end of the 13th century, the real history of KalSel started. Ampoedjatamaka, son of a trader from India, founded a settlement which would later grow into the city opf Banjarmasin. Three generationa later, the daughter married with the ruler of the Majapahit-prince of Jawa. This made Negara Dipa a supported state of the mighty Majapahit principalty. The name Negara Dipa was changed into Banjar (the later sultanate Banjarmasin) for undisclosed reasons.
The influence of Majapahit could be seen everywhere. Local laws were replaced and Jawanese workers built new palaces. In cultural means the 
wayang-puppets, gamelan-orchestras, topeng-masks, art- and dance-styles and metal decorations remember of this period. They are still being practiced however Banjar - just like the rest of Indonesia - came under islamic influence not long after.

In 1620 a local battle for power was decided by military support from the Jawanese principalty Demak. In trade the Banjarese converted to islam. De religion had a big influence on every day life and the art. Due to the widespread islamic trade network, contacts emerged between Jawa and the coastal area of Gujarat in India. To be able to compete with the spice trade, Banjar planted peper bushes. The population spread it's influence over the surrounding areas, wich were forced to pay taxes, or came under political control. In wich is called the Golden Century of Banjar, the people settled rule in the small sultanated along the southern coast, and next in big parts of Kalimantan: Sukadana, Sambas and Ganggau in the west and Pasir, Kutai and Berau in the east. The Banjarese sultanate was brought down by the Dutch. Weakened by internal problems, the Banjarese had to see that the whites placed a puppet on the throne. In 1860, the Dutch declared the sultanate banned, and Banjarmasin (in special the city of Martapura) became the kolonial headquarters of Dutch Borneo. Between 1860 and 1864 the Banjarese revolted under Pangeran Antasari (the Banjarmasin War), which lasted until the end of the 19th century in the form of scattered revolts.

A lively capital

With it's many attractions, the capital Banjarmasin is the most interestin urbanized area of Kalimantan. The nearby islands in the Barito River are inhabited by hurds of monkeys. In the hinterlands, buffalo's pull carts over a paved road to the diamond-fields of Cempaka, and to Martapura, where the gemstones are processed. Banjarmasin has many hotels and good restaurants. Travel agencies offer trips to the Dayak in the Loksa region (especially interesting because of the trip) and the Tanjung Puting Reserve and orang hutan centre. You can rent free-lance guides, they speak a little English as well.
A paved road connects Banjarmasin with Balikpapan. Over water there are connections with Palangkaraya, capital of Kalteng and with cities along the Barito, from where the hinterlands can be explored. There are also good connections available through the air.

Skilled farmers

Historically, Banjarmasin is known for it's production of black pepper. Nowadays the region lived from the big surplusses of rice and other products wich are grown on the alluvial soils. But besides the fertile soil, the region has not always been used for agriculture. Banjarese farmers have done a lot of work by drying up the tidal swamps, which were changed into ricefields in a skilled way.

This technology is very handy, becayse Indonesia consists of 25 per cent (43 milion hectares) of mangrove or tidal-swamps (Papua, with the worlds biggest swamp is left out). Almost 50 per cent is located in Kalimantan, and about 20 per cent can in fact be used for agriculture. But as of now, only a very small part is used. In KalSel, just only over 100,000 hectares of swamps were turned into agricultural area, more than in the other - bigger - provinces of Kalimantan. In 1939, the first subsidised settlement was built in Purwosari. It was meant for transmigrants which wanted to work as a farmer in the fresh agricultural areas.

Most Banjarese are rice farmers, however they also grow grains. Improved spiecies of cattle, developed because of special programs, have improved the financial situation of the farmers. The government helped with the development of different kinds of rice, which have a high yield in the swamps. Due to irrigation programs, there can be two or three harvests every year. The production has been increased more because of the introduction of two new kinds of rice, which are planted directly in the swamps. Because the waterlevel can sometimes reach two meters, boats are used for the harvest.
With the help of modern methods, new kinds of rice and the irrigation of about 500,000 hectares of soil, the rice production has dramatically increased in the last decade of the 20th century. The surplus is being exported, especially to Central and East-Kalimantan.

A range of export products

As well as elsewhere in Kalimantan, wood is the main export product. In 1987, plywood and lumber wood worth US$332 was exported, especially to the US and Japan. Besides 13 plywood factories there are 43 wood-processing factories, where most of the workers are Jawanese. The Banjarese mainly choose for agriculture and trade over the hard work in the factory. After wood, rubber is the most important export product (1987: exports worth US$41 milion, mainly to Singapore). It's the most common trade crop in the villages. Furthermore about US$30 milion in ratten is exported to Japan, and for US$10 milion of frozen river shrimps to Japan and Singapore. Ratten from Central Kalimantan is being processed in KalSel. Amuntai is the ratten-centre, but the big factories, where mostly women and girls work, are located in Banjarmasin. Other export products are frog-legs, snake- and lizard-skins, treebark for the production of incense and insect repellent, roots for 
jamu and other traditional medications, and gaharu.

Lumberwood, dried fish and also coal from the region Batu Licin are exported to other parts of Indonesia. Unprocessed oil is pumped from the region Tanjung to the refinery in Balikpapan.
The open waters of KalSel create a job for about 160,000 fishermen, more than elsewhere in Kalimantan. In contrary there are only 5000 seafishermen, a handfull compared with KalBar (15,000), KalTeng (48,000) and KalTim (19,000). Taiwanese experts have developped commercial fishing ponds in the 1990's.

The pepper harvest, no more than 500 tonnes a year, is not important anymore. Expensife trade crops like cacao are increasingly important and take more soil. Coconuts, grown on small regional plantations, are mainly for local consumption.
Big deposits of iron ore, porcelain soil and limestone are ready to be mined in the Meratus Mountain Range. The diamond fields of Cempaka give labour to a few hundred people, and a few more are looking for gold in the small streams.
Read more ...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

South Kalimantan: Martapura Traditional Diamond Mining

Martapura is the capital of the Banjar regency, 36 kilometers southeast of Banjarmasin.Martapura, particularly the Cempaka district, is a well known producer of diamonds.Several mining villages exist, such as Lukaas and Sungai Tiung, lying five kilometers from Martapura.

People can be seen panning for diamonds at villages in the Cempaka district, eight kilometers from Martapura. Panners usually work in groups. Each group consists of the 16 to 18 people. The oldest person is usually named the head of the group. Before starting to work, they ask for guidance from "the expert one" the spirit of the village - so they will be led to the richest mining grounds.

First, the panners have to come to an agreement with the owner of the land, who has the right to 10 percent of the diamonds found. Then, several people are chosen to dig a hole, while others remove the soil or remove any water from the hole with buckets or with a pump. The holes are usually six to 10 meters deep. The sides are propped up with logs to prevent them from collapsing. As long as no diamonds are found, the digging continues in a horizontal direction so that tunnels are formed.

They work without schedule. It can start in the morning and continue until midnight, under the light of lanterns. Deposits are usually found at depths of 10 to 15 meters, in rocky earth layers. The dirt is taken out and washed. If diamonds are found, the head of the group must immediately be notified. The right to offer the diamond for sale belongs the group leader only.

In the past, it was strictly prohibited to talk to the person washing the gored. According to the local belief the diamonds become frightened and hide among the grains of sand. Women are strictly forbidden to step over the pits. The rough diamonds are referred to as "virgins".

South Kalimantan diamonds are classified into four types: petrous diamonds (yellow and of low quality), black diamonds (black and believed to posses mystical powers), white diamonds and pink diamonds (the best sparkling with the colors of a rainbow).
The Trisakti diamond was the most expensive diamond ever found in this region. It weighed 160 carats and belonged to the pink diamond category.
Diamonds are cut and polished in the Diamond Market of Martapura. Such places are always better known than the sites where the diamonds are found. That is why Martapura is also known as Diamond Town. There are several well known experts in diamond processing in Martapura.

Main Interest & Things to do :
Martapura Cempaka traditional Diamond Digging and Market
recommended visit time is 1 day
Traditional digging is done in the area of Cempaka and Martapura including a local markt of stones and diamonds, as one of the famoest in Indonesia.
Rainforest and traditional farming with Coconut, Pepper and rubber plantations can be found along the way
Sight seeing city tour at Banjarmasin
Jungle Trek can be done between villages
Read more ...

South Kalimantan: Muara Kuin Floating Market

A. Brief Information

Muara Kuin Floating Market is one kind of trading interaction patterns of people who live above the water. The sellers and buyers conduct the trade on boats called Jukung (Banjar Language). The trade activities start after morning prayer and usually end when the sun has moved up about 9 a.m. (Middle Indonesia Time). Late that that, the market is deserted by the traders who go along the river, selling their stuff to the inhabitants living along the river.

This floating market has existed since more than 400 years ago and this is the proof about the trading activities of people who live above the water. Like markets in the land, on this floating market, trading commodities, such as vegetables, fruits, fishes, and other household needs are also sold. The first buyer is called dukuh while the second buyer who buys from the first hand to be sold again is called panyambangan. In this market, visitors can watch the trading transaction which is done traditionally by bartering amongst boating traders. In Banjar Language, it is called bapanduk.

Unfortunately, the attractive condition of trading activities on boat gradually loses its fame, not only because of the decreasing amount of the local traders, but also because of traders‘ attitude which is not friendly anymore and the lack of support from the government of Banjarmasin City. The government policy to build market in the land nearby Muara Kuin floating market and hundreds of low bridges which block the river traffic access directly or indirectly, is one the causes make the trading activities disappear in this floating market.

B. Distinctive Features

Visiting Muara Kuin floating market will give unforgettable memories about how the people who live above the water complete their daily needs. Besides, visitors will also know the trading transaction pattern which have existed since more than 400 years. Because this market has become a witness of economic activity journey of South Kalimantan society, a familiar saying appears that “if you have not yet visited Muara Kuin floating market, you have not gone to Banjarmasin”.

The jostling situation between big boats in this floating market is pretty unique and special. The jukung drivers with his skill of chasing the buyers or the sellers who hang around and oaring their boat which often shakes because of Barito River wave. Tourists who come from big cities will feel different sensation when seeing woman traders with their wide hat riding in a boat to sell garden products or food made by themselves.

Floating market does not have organization as market in land, so it is not recorded how many traders and visitors, the traders division based on commodity, and places to sell which always move.

Visitors who only want to relax can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and food/cookies from Banjar, while enjoying the shaking wave which spring upon the klotok (motorboat) that is ridden. Visitors can also see floating houses (Lanting House) which are located along the river side.

C. Location

Muara Kuin floating market is located in the current of Barito River, exactly in the estuary of Kuin River, North Banjarmasin Sub-district, Banjarmasin City, South Kalimantan Province.

D. Access

If leaving from the center of Banjarmasin by using motorboat or usually called klotok, it needs about 45 minutes to reach the market which is located in the current of Barito River.

If you want to reach it earlier, visitors can use land transportation by taking Banjarmasin City – Alalak Village route. From Alalak Village to the location of floating market which is not really far, visitors can charter klotok which costs 70.000,00 IDR (based on charters‘ ability to bargain). By renting klotok, visitors are not only able watch the activity in the floating market, but also invited to picnic to Kembang Island.

E. Ticket Price

There is no entrance cost.

F. Accommodation and Other Facilities

This place provides renting place for klotok boat, restaurants, stall which sell food and soft drinks. Besides, in this market, visitors can spend the night in Lanting House which stands in a line in the river side.
Read more ...

South Kalimantan: The Museum of Lambung Mangkurat

A. Brief Information

The Museum of Lambung Mangkurat was officially opened in 1979. It is traditional house of Banjar architecture, Rumah Bubungan Tinggi (High Ridge House), which is polished in modern style. The collections of the museum are the archaeological remains of The Sultanate of Banjar, Agung Temple, and Laras, stone alliances, Ulin woodcarvings, farming tools and household appliances, and traditional music instruments.

The Museum of Lambung Mangkurat, is a two-storey building. The first floor has three display rooms; an open exhibition room and two close exhibition rooms. In the open exhibition room, visitors can find three river transportations mean of Banjar people: jukung sudur, perahu pandan liris, and jukung tambangan. Beside those three kinds of boat, visitors will also find kinds of sea fauna fossil, such as whale (Rhineodon Typus Cotaceae) skeleton. While in the close exhibition rooms, visitors will be brought to the age far before we were born. In one of the rooms, visitors can see the displays of devices used in the pre-history age, such as pickaxe, shoulder axe, pahat kapak lonjong, and bronze axe mould. In the other one, visitors can find kinds of archaeological remains of Banjar kingdom.

In the second floor, visitors can observe some ethnical photos painting and the map of the dissemination of Indonesia tribes in South Kalimantan. In this place, visitors will find some types of traditional Banjar house such as Bubungan Tinggi and Gajah Manyusu. Moreover, visitors can also find the life cycle diagram of Banjar people, from birth- children- adults- getting married- giving birth- phase, until death. Those phases are described in some Islamic ceremonies such as Baayun Anak, Basunat, Baantar Jujuran, Batamat Al Quran, and Bakawinan.

B. Distinctive Features

Entering the Museum of Lambung Mangkurat, visitors are brought to experience the era when South Kalimantan had not became a province yet. This Museum give a better understanding to the visitors about the development of Banjar people from the stone age, when all devices were made of stones, until the age of the influential kingdoms that existed in South Kalimantan. Seeing Genta Kencana (a place where the king rested), for example, the visitors will know the civilization of Banjar people at the time.

C. Location

The Museum of Lambung Mangkurat is located in Banjarbaru, Banjarmasin city, South Kalimantan province.

D. Access

The Museum of Lambung Mangkurat is located in Banjarbaru, 35 km from Banjarmasin. The strategic location on A.Yani Street, makes it easy to reach by any public transportation or private transportations. From Syamsudin Noor Airport Landasan Ulin Banjarbaru, it takes about 20 minutes.
Read more ...
Others Post... PacSafe Bags

About This Blog

Welcome! This blog provides information and guidance for traveller who want to visit some of interested places on Kalimantan Island - Indonesia. Many traveller from all over the world are interested in visiting this island since they can enjoy beautiful places, beaches, lakes,foods, cultures and etc. Hope this blog could be your free guidance for visiting Kalimantan Island. Please enjoy....

Find Kalimantan Hotel


Rigth to Copy @ Visiting Kalimantan

  © Blogger templates 'Sunshine' by 2008

Back to TOP