2.1. Kampung, Road And Hierarchy Formation at Kalehien Village, Central Kalimantan

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Budi Setiyono (ISI Surakarta)


This study is intended present  an ethnographic   description about the shifting-cultivation at  Dayak Dusun  community in   South Barito distric, Central Kalimantan. It is viewed   as a form of organization of living community which  has undergone some changes as the effect of the presence of the new road passed their residential area. Shifting cultivation is often only viewed  as a system of  livelihood and a technique of land clearing which is usually practiced by the Dayak community in Kalimantan. The system of dry-field cultivation is also a way of organizing the attitude of the community members in relation to the utilization and management of natural resources to fulfill common necessities of life so that the sociality of “kampong” becomes a reality.

For Dayak Dusun community, kampong is not only a settlement but also a sociality as well. A kampong settlement comes into existence as the result of the activities of the inhabitants doing dry-field cultivation. The activities of the inhabitants in cultivating the existing dry-field or in clearing forest land are done in a place far away from the main settlement, and they need a temporary residence. Some small huts are built not far from a river which is thought as an infrastructure of the main transportation by the inhabitants of Kalimantan in the past. The huts which were at first only a settlement at the time of cultivating the land, later become permanent settlements called kampong.

Kampong is also a kind of sociality coming into existence from the discourse and activities of cultivating land. The forest land which has the character of open access, types of soil with limited level of fertility, the imbalance of the number of the inhabitants and the available land area, the level of technology mastered by the local inhabitants, and the absence of the State control over land possession, make shifting cultivation as the reasonable and adaptive system of cultivating land. In order that this system can work needs a complicated regulation including how a member of the community can take possession of a land, transfer ownership of it, get laborers to cultivate the land, control the exploitation and other ways of cultivating. The regulations are brought about in a variety of cultural forms such as long houses and kampong as types of settlement, patterns of cooperating in finishing  phases of works, local customary law, Kaharingan systems of beliefs and rituals applied based on those beliefs.

In short, in this case dry-field cultivation is a type of regulation existing in relation to the activities of taking advantages, cultivating and organizing interactively  the natural resources having the characteristic of open access. The traditional regulations of dry-field cultivation create kampong sociality of which the members are the people who know one another, are equivalent economically, and think collectivity as the main sanctuary. The practices of Kaharingan ritual, custom and beliefs become parts of the discourse functioning to take care of sociality and to control the exploitation of natural resources.

The highway built by the provincial government of Central Kalimantan  passes through the community settlement of Dayak Dusun in the regency of South Barito and not only does it give the economical opportunity but it also intervenes the organization of the community.  And the movements of people and goods through the highway give the opportunity for the members of the community to do economic activities outside cultivating. This condition motivates the members of the community to shift their orientation of settlement from a river and of the centre of economic activities in cultivation into the highway.

The existence of the highway initiated the regulation of land ownership to be based on national laws and this influences the process of ownership, and later influences the conception on property rights, types of relation of the members of the community to one another and the characteristic of open access of the land. The interrelation amongst ownership law, economic opportunity and the traffic rules and behaviour  urge individualism, social ranks and other responses which sometimes look strange.

This study is based on the field research done in kampong Kalehien, kecamatan Dusun Selatan, Kabupaten Barito Selatan, Central Kalimantan. A part of this field research was done between 2010-2012, but the additional data required are hoped to be taken on the second half of 2016

Keywords: Kampung, Shifting-cultivation, open access,  state, individualism, hierarchy formation.