Who are Dayak?


The Indigenous people of the Heart of Borneo are commonly known as Dayak. The term was coined by Europeans referring to the non-Malay inhabitants of Borneo. There are seven main ethnic divisions of Dayak according to their respective native language which are the Ngaju, Apo Kayan, Iban (Sea Dayak), Klemantan (Land Dayak), Murut, Punan and Ot Danum groups (See the map below). Under the main classification, there are dozens of ethnics and hundreds of sub-ethnics dwelling in the Borneo island. There are over 50 ethnic Dayak groups speaking different languages. This cultural and linguistic diversity parallels the high biodiversity and related traditional knowledge of Borneo.

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