Huma Betang, a Trully Home of Diversity – Dayak tribe, who doesn’t know it? Native tribes that inhabit Kalimantan Island, Indonesia. A tribe that highly upholds its culture amid a wave of strong modernization. Dayak tribes have a unique culture, many Dayak tribes who still live in the interior of the Kalimantan forest and not a few also socialize and mingle with immigrants in big cities and are highly educated.

Dayak tribe culture that likes to move around to find fertile agricultural land makes them not only centered in one place and makes them scattered in various places that are difficult to reach. They have the same soul and similar ways of thinking, like hardworking, friendly souls, souls shoulder to shoulder in a very awake togetherness.

Their culture is reflected in the building of their house called Rumah Betang (Huma Betang) or Rumah Panjang, where togetherness and kinship are still very much felt. All Dayak tribes, with the exception of the Punan Dayaks who live wandering, live together in the Huma Betang.

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The Dayak Tribe House is not only built as a mere residence. But more than that the Dayak Betang Houses have high traditional functions and values. Betang houses are found in Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan. Among them in Central Kalimantan, namely the Dayak Tribe Original Betang House, which was built in 1870, is located in Buntoi Village, Kahayan Hilir District, Pulang Pisau District, Central Kalimantan. This house faces directly towards the Kahayan River. And in West Kalimantan that is on Jalan Letjen Sutoyo, Pontianak City, West Kalimantan, Kampung Sahapm Kec. Pahauman, Landak Regency, West Kalimantan, Sungai Antu Hulu, Belitang Hulu District, Sekadau District, West Kalimantan.


The origin of the Betang Huma

In a story, formerly all Dayaks lived separately from each other, it was very difficult to relate to and monitor each other’s circumstances. So, the Elders of the Dayak community felt the need to pay attention to their relatives and bring together all family members who lived separately. The idea was realized by building a house to make it easier for relations between fellow members who had previously been far away.

The house was made lengthwise to accommodate the number of families which over time increased, that’s when the naming of the Rumah Panjang or Betang House was created. Over time, they realized the importance of building a relationship between fellow human beings, in accordance with the principles of their ancestors’ life, which is to help each other to become an understated humanity. They began to create rules about good manners of social life, that was the beginning of the creation of customary law. Until now, the principle of kinship is still inherent in the lives of families who now inhabit the Betang house.

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Broadly speaking, all residents of the Betang house are a large family from the same blood lineage. This large family has an indigenous hierarchy arranged into the structure of the Dayak traditional institution, there are traditional elders who know all things related to the culture of the Betang house, there are also those in charge of the Betang house, the village head, the village secretary, all of whom also gather together in the house Betang.

Huma Betang Building

Huma Betang has a physical form in the form of stilts and elongated houses. The length can reach 30-150 meters and the width can reach around 10-30 meters, and has a pole about 3-5 meters high. Built using high quality of ironwood. The inside of the Betang is divided into several rooms that can be inhabited by each family. There is a ladder at the entrance called Hejot. Betang houses built high from the ground surface are intended to avoid things that disturb the residents of Betang, such as avoiding enemies that can come suddenly, wild animals, or floods that sometimes come to hit.

On the front yard of Betang there is usually a hall as a place to receive guests as well as a traditional meeting place. On the front yard of the Betang, there is also a hall that can be found next to the hall. Sapundu is a statue or totem which is generally in the form of a human who has distinctive carvings. Sapundu has a function as a place to bind animals that will be sacrificed for traditional ceremonies. Sometimes there is also a boat in the Betang yard that serves as a house of worship.

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On the back of Betang can be found a small hall called tukau which is used as a warehouse to store agricultural equipment, such as lisung or halu. In betang there is also a place that is used as a place to store weapons, the place is usually called Bawong.

At the front or back of the Betang there is usually also a stumbling block. Sandung is a place to store the bones of families who have died and have passed the Tiwah ceremony process.


In general, the Dayak Tribe Betang House is made upstream facing east and downstream facing west. This is a symbol for the Dayak community. Upstream facing east or sunrise has a philosophy of hard work that is working as early as possible. While downstream facing west or sunset has a philosophy, it will not go home or stop working before sunset.


Huma Betang can accommodate up to approximately 150 people or 5-30 families or more. This allows them to remain on one roof, so that they can easily communicate and protect and help each other in anything such as the economy, work and so on.

Uniquely over time, the residents of this Betang house have very diverse beliefs. Some still adhere to the old beliefs in Central Kalimantan “Kaharingan” and some have moved to other beliefs. They are used to living in harmony and peace. When there are religious celebrations, all citizens also celebrate.

They love peace in a harmonious community so they try hard to maintain the tradition of a Betang house. This hope is supported by the awareness of each individual to align each of his interests with common interests. This awareness is based on a religio-magical mind, which considers that every citizen has the same value and position and the right to live in the community.

Huma Betang Tourism

The Dayak tribal house can be visited in Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan. Betang houses are indeed very difficult to find in places that are easily accessible. Especially because of the life of the Dayak people who prefer to live on the banks of the river. Even so, we can still see some of the original Dayak Tribe Betang Houses and the Dayak Tribe Betang House deliberately built as a picture of the true culture of the Dayak Tribe House.

To visit Central Kalimantan, you can take flights from Jakarta to Tjilik Riwut airport, and flights to Supadio airports in West Kalimantan. After that for land transportation is already adequate, it takes approximately 3 hours to get to the Betang house.


For hotel and restaurant accommodation, it is very complete. There are several star hotels and restaurants that provide authentic and international menus. So there is no need to worry about visiting.

Huma Betang is home to diversity. Living together in peace, simplicity, but very rich in meaning and values of life. True tolerance is here. Adil ka talino, bacuramin ka saruga, basengat ka jubata which means Fair to fellow Humans, reflecting goodness, and relying on God.

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