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The Unique Tradition Of Long Dayak Ears

The Unique Tradition Of Long Dayak Ears
The tradition of extending ear lobes is one of the unique cultures in Borneo. Although not all tribes actually do it, but this culture has already been attached to the Dayak community in general. but unfortunately from time to time, this tradition is increasingly disappearing, and at present there are only a few Dayaks who still have long ear lobes, that is generally the older generation.

One of them in Bena Baru Village, which is inhabited by around 700 inhabitants. Bena Baru village is one of the inland villages of the Dayak Kenyah tribe located on the Kelay River, Sambaliung District. The life of the people in this place still runs side by side with local traditions and culture, complete with traditional ceremonies and typical dances. some of the work equipment and household products are hand-made. But that does not mean that the inhabitants of this village feel alien to technological developments such as television, cellular phones, and other electronic devices. This new village opened in the 1980s has around 20 grandmothers who have long lobe ears.

Long lobe ears are not only for women, but also for men. The process of elongating the ear lobe starts from infancy. this is generally associated with one's social level in the Dayak community. For the Kayan Dayak tribe, for example, long lobe ears indicate that the person is from a noble circle. while for women, the long ear lobe shows whether he is a noble or a slave because he lost the war or is unable to pay the debt.

in the Kayan Dayak community, the elongation of the lobe lobe usually uses ballast in the form of a circular metal bracelet or a small top shape. With this ball the ears will continue to extend up to a few centimeters.The Unique Tradition Of Long Dayak Ears
in villages located in the upper reaches of the Mahakam River, long lobe ears are used as identities that indicate a person's age. Once the baby is born, the tips of the ears are given beads which are quite heavy. The number of beads attached to his ear will increase by one for each year.

but there is also the assumption that the purpose of making long ears is not to show nobility, but rather to exercise patience. If it is used every day, patience and the ability to endure suffering are getting stronger.

while for the Dayak Kenyah tribe, between men and women have a long rule of different ear lobes. Men should not extend their ear lobes to exceed their shoulders, while women may extend them to the chest. the process of lengthening the ear lobe begins with piercing the earlobe since it was only one year old. Every year, one silver earrings or eardrops are hung on their ears. the style of silver earrings or eardrops used is different, which will show differences in status and sex. The style of noble earrings should not be worn by ordinary people.