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Central Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia, one of four in
Kalimantan – the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its provincial
capital is Palangkaraya.
The province has a population of 1.9 million (As of 2007[update]
census). The population grew 2.7% annually between 1990 and 2000, one of
the highest provincial growth rates in Indonesia during that time. Far
more than other province in the region, Central Kalimantan is dominated
by the Dayaks, the indigenous inhabitants of Borneo.
Since the eighteenth century, the central region of Kalimantan and its
Dayak inhabitants were ruled by the Muslim Sultanate of Banjar.
Following Indonesian independence after World War II, Dayak tribes
demanded a province separate from South Kalimantan province.
In 1957, South Kalimantan was thus divided to provide the Dayak
population greater autonomy from the Muslim population in that province.
It was approved by the Indonesian Government on 23 May 1957 under
Presidential Law No. 10 Year 1957, which declared Central Kalimantan the
seventeenth province of Indonesia. President Sukarno appointed the
Dayak-born national hero Tjilik Riwut as the first Governor and Palangka
Raya the provincial capital.
The three major Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan are the Ngaju, Ot
Danum and Dusun Ma’anyan Ot Siang. The three major tribes extended into
several branches of prominent Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan such as
Lawangan, Taboyan, Dusun Siang, Boyan, Bantian, Dohoi and Kodorin.
In addition to the indigenous Dayak tribes, the province also groups
from other areas of Indonesia, including Javanese, Maduranese, Batak,
Toraja, Ambonese, Bugis, Palembang, Minang, Banjarese, Makassar, Papuan,
Balinese, Acehnese and also Chinese.
Central Kalimantan is the 3rd largest Indonesian province by area with a
size of 153,800 km2, about 1.5 times the size of the island of Java. It
is bordered by West and East Kalimantan provinces to the north, by the
Java Sea to the south, by South and East Kalimantan provinces to the
east, and by West Kalimantan province to west.
The Schwaner Mountains stretch from the north-east of the province to
the south-west, 80% of which is covered in dense forest, peatland
swamps, mangroves, rivers, and traditional agriculture land. Highland
areas in the north-east are remote and not easily accessible.
Non-volcanic mounts are scattered in this area including Kengkabang,
Samiajang, Liang Pahang and Ulu Gedang.
The centre of the province is covered with tropical forest, which
produces rattan, resin and valuable timber such as Ulin and Meranti. The
southern lowlands are dominated by peatland swamps that intersect with
many rivers. Sabangau National Park is a protected peatland area
internationally acknowledged as sanctuary for the endangered Orangutan.
Recently the peat swamp forests have been damaged by the Mega Rice
Project, which unsuccessfully sought to turn large areas into rice
The province’s climate is wet weather equatorial zone with an
eight-month rainy season, and 4 months of dry season. Rainfall or
precipitation is 2,776 – 3,393 mm per year with an average of 145 rainy