Ethnic and Communal Conflicts in West Kalimantan: A Sociological Analysis

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Mukesh Kumar Khatwani


The four province of West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan are situated on the island of Borneo. The island boosts what has been one of the largest rainforest in the world. Indigenous Dayaks constituted around forty per cent population of Kalimantan and settlers from the island of Madura under five per cent while remainders are constituted by Javanese, Burgis and other settlers . Kalimantan makes up some 30.37 per cent of the country s total land area accounts for only 5.49 per cent of the country s total population or with an average of 20 heads per sq km. In West Kalimantan, the Dayaks are an indigenous people. The term Dayak is a collective and often confusing term for hundreds of groups on the island of Borneo related to one another by language or culture. It is the term that these groups and government use to define their ethnicity, so they are Dayaks as opposed, for example, to Malay, Javanese or Chinese.

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