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If Bali has a tradition of leveling teeth called metatah, in Borneo there is bepapar custom. While traveling late last year, I witnessed the process of Kikir gigi ceremony in Silit village of West Borneo. According to local custom chiefs, the ceremony of Kikir gigi has been around since ancestral times. Borneo cultural actors are women of the Dayak ethnic groups who grow adults. They begin the ritual with prayers, offerings and traditional festivals.
How to Go to Silit Village?
Silit village is located in District Sepauk, precisely in the interior of West Borneo. To reach the location I rented a car from Sintang District. According to Driver, the trip to Silit village is only 3 hours if the road is in good condition. The road to the village of Silit is quite difficult to pass. Trajectory from Sintang to T-junction Simpang Kayu is coated with asphalt. While the road after Simpang Kayu to Silit village is still a yellow land and rocks. Luckily this car type 4 x 4 so it can cross different types of roads; including the muddy ones.
Silit Village was once a village headed by remang (tribal chief). After the head of the tribe died – in 1982 – the village turned into the village of Nanga Pari. Then the village is divided into three villages – one of them Silit village. Nature of the village Silit is dominated by forests and hills. Large trees thrive in the area. The rivers are clear, clean and flow well throughout the village. Not only that, forest ecosystem in Silit village also become habitat for endemic animal.
Such natural conditions seem to bring good luck to the Dayak tribe in the village of Silit. They are easy to get animals and farming places. Even so, farming activities began to decrease because there is a ban from the government. Farming is considered an activity that can damage nature. Silit Village is also famous for various wicker crafts that began to grow. Started only for everyday purposes, woven crafts eventually become souvenirs typical Borneo who have different ornaments.
Kikir Gigi, More Than Just a Symbol of Beauty
On the way I had time to ask the driver about the purpose of custom Kikir Gigi. He said that in the present time many people who do dentition to beautify themselves. Whereas for the Dayak tribe, that’s not the real meaning. Women who have passed the ritual means to be considered an adult. She has the right to decide the direction of her life.
In addition to the meaning of ceremonial Kikir Gigi, the driver also explained about the process of Kikir Gigi. From the story I came to know; there is a special stone that is used to flatten the teeth. They use two areca nuts or handkerchiefs to keep the molars and lips during the ritual.
A Meaningful Ceremony
Exactly three hours past twenty minutes, I arrived at Silit village. Incidentally when it arrived there customary heads and residents have gathered to prepare for the ceremony Kikir gigi. Soon the ritual begins with the request of the woman’s parents begins.
That is the series of Kikir gigi ceremonies that I witnessed during the holidays to the village of Silit. The unique culture of Borneo is one of the main attractions for tourists. Are you curious about the tradition? Come, visit Borneo!