The three hour and a half journey was long with a path that was almost impossible for an ordinary car without an experienced driver, once it rained, the dirt road would become as smooth as soap. Only double garden cars are recommended to go through this road, apart from travel and residents who pass here every day, of course.
Finally we arrive at a village called Tumbang Malahoi, here is where a large heritage house of the Dayak people is still standing, Rumah Betang (longhouse), as it is called.
In the middle of the house, you can see a saber along with things like water, rice, mandau, stones and others. A welcoming ceremony has been prepared for us, the Tapung Tawar ceremony. This ceremony is intended to clean up all evil things that we carry from outside, to be strengthened while there, and to be considered like one’s own family while at Betang House.
This Betang house in Tumbang Malahoi Village was founded by Toyoi Panji, so it is called Betang Toyoi. There is no definite record of when this house was founded because no one could write about the past. However, according to research, the ironwood that supports the 39 meter long building is about 150 years old.
The Betang Toyoi house has undergone several renovations, but its authenticity is still preserved, except that the walls which were previously only made of bark have now been added with ironwood on the inside. Although on the outside it still uses bark.
What is most amazing is how the ancients cut and shaped exactly the same number of poles into round squares with simple tools. Likewise, to glue one part to another, you don’t use nails, only pins that are also made of ironwood, or some call it iron wood.
In the RumahBetang section, stand firmly a Sandung (small house to place family bones) and a broom pole that is used to tie the sacrificial animals during Tiwah events. Across the street, Tiang Pantar, which is believed to be the way back to heaven made of ironwood, looks towering.
Usually there are 5 families living in this long house, but now only 3 women are in the house because the other families are in the fields. During our time here, we were considered a family of our own.
The next day, we go to the forest to learn how the people there make a living and live in the forest. How do they tap rubber, find plants that can be eaten and used as vegetables, and see ironwood trees that are increasingly rare.
Because it was also fruit season, we also headed to the family fruit garden which is about 3 kilometers from the village. It turns out that even though the season is almost over, we can still find lots of fruit.
Gandi and Bonni, who accompanied us, climbed the tree quickly so that in less than an hour about 4 sacks of fruit had been collected and we had to finish. Typical Kalimantan forest fruits such as Tangkuhing / cat’s eye, Pampaken (like durian but yellow), tamarind, Langsat / duku and Puak / Kapul. For the people of Borneo, the names of these fruits may sound strange. And because we picked too many fruits, some of the most durable ones ended up having to be wrapped in cardboard boxes to take home.
The last night at Betang Toyoi was filled with music and dances from the local people, we as guests who were considered as our own family also joined the dance, even being taught how to step by step to dance Manasai. One of the collective dances for the Ngaju Dayak tribe, where everyone dances together around the room in a circle, all drifting into intimacy.
Facilities for guests who come, such as toilets and showers, are also available behind the Betang House. To get to the village of Tumbang Malahoi, it takes about 3-4 hours from Palangkaraya by using land roads, most of which are not yet on asphalt.
Betang Toyoi is located in the upper reaches of the Rungan River, in one of its tributaries called the Baringei River. Tumbang Malahoi Village itself is included in the administration of Rungan District, Gunung Mas Regency, Central Kalimantan.