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Borneo Facts - Kalimantan

* The province of Central Kalimantan was created on 23 May 1957 after a combination of small scale guerrilla actions and intervention by Jakarta. Commodore Tjilik Riwut was the first governor and the capital city at that time was then called Pahandut, a small village on the bank of Kahayan river.  Its name was later changed to the present Palangkaraya, which means great and holy place.

* Central Kalimantan was still controlled from the Banjarmasin ruler even after Indonesia proclaimed its independence on 17 August 1945.   The Central Kalimantan Province then came under the automomy of the Dayak of Central Kalimantan in the 1950s.

* Central Kalimantan for several centuries was under the control of Banjarmasin and the conversion of an Islamic province began at the begining of the 17th century with the banjar Sultanate tradition of life.  The 1830s saw the arrival of the first Protestant missionaries and colonial administration which introduced the Protestant religion to the Dayaks.

* West Kalimantan is the third largest province in Indonesia after West Papua and East Kalimantan.  It is the only Indoneisan province that shared an International land boundary with Malaysia (i.e., Sarawak).  Its capital is Pontianak, which in some local dialects means vampire or 'Dracula'.

* The migration of Malay people who intermarried with the indigenous Dayak people in South Kalimantan around the sixth century, is believed to be the beginning of the Banjar tribe.  Dayak people of the Banjar tribe are the mixture of the Maanyan, Bukit Lawangan, and Ngaju tribes, were influenced by the Malay and Javanese cultures, which then become the most dominant culture in the region.

* Kalimantan is known of its exotic wildlife and flora. The world's largest flower, the Rafflesia is from here and Orangutans are only found here and in Sumatra. Kalimantan is probably best known as the home of the Dayak. The Dayak consist of various tribes with much diversity of art styles, customs and life-styles. Although now banned by government authority, the Dayak previously were skilled headhunters and are known for their massive longhouses and unique culture and traditions.

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