Kalimantan is a well-known term pinned to the world’s third largest island. Located in the north of Java Island, Indonesia, right at the geography center of Southeast Asia’s Maritime. Currently, the island is divided into three countries, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Approximately 73% of the island’s territory into the territory of Indonesia. While the territory of Malaysia, namely Sabah and Sarawak which is located in the north of this island covers 26%. Then the territory of Brunei Darussalam which is also located on the north coast only controlled 1%.
The island’s total reaches 743,330 square kilometers with the highest point located at the peak of Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m), Sabah, Malaysia. The island also has a Kapuas river in West Kalimantan with a length of 1,143 kilometers (the longest in Indonesia). The other main river is Mahakam in East Kalimantan with a length of 980 kilometers, Barito in South Kalimantan with a length of 880 kilometers and Rajang in Sarawak with a length of 563 kilometers.
The island’s territory is dominated by tropical rainforests of about 130 million years old, making it the world’s oldest rainforest. Habitat for approximately 15 thousand plant species, 221 species of terrestrial mammals, and 420 bird species, 440 species of freshwater fish. It makes it a center for the evolution of endemic species of plants and animals. Some known endemic animals include Orang Utan and Bekantan,
The Origin of Borneo and Borneo Terms
In addition to the name Borneo, famous also the term ‘Borneo’ as another name of the island with the predicate ‘Lung-Worlds’ it. However, do you know the origin and meaning of the term Borneo? And since when is the term used? Sinar Borneo will help you trace the origin and meaning of the Borneo term from various sources.
Is a European popularization of the word ‘Borneo’ because of the discovery of many trees Borneol (Dryobalanops Camphora) . The tree contains terpetin , the basic ingredients to make antiseptic and perfume and camphor or known as Kamper Wood. So since the 15th century, or the beginning of the arrival of the Europeans to the archipelago, the term Borneol then ‘worldwide’ for being one of the natural resources that became their target.
The name of this island is synonymous with the name of Brunei Kingdom at that time (Especially by Arab traders, Europeans and Chinese) because the Kingdom of Brunei at that time was the largest kingdom on this island, so traders from all over the world who will visit this island first anchored in the Kingdom of Brunei located in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Entering the British and Dutch colonial period in the archipelago in the early 16th century, the kingdom is increasingly recognized by the Europeans. However, because of the difficulty of the Europeans, Brunei said, they used to sound it with “Borneo”.
In terms of etymology, the term Kalimantan derives from the name kelamantan, a kind of sago fruit consumed by some residents, especially those who reside in the north of this island. According to C. Hose in his record entitled Natural Man, a Record from Borneo (1926), Klemantan is a new name used by the Malay people. Meanwhile, according to Slamet Mulyana, Klemantan said is not derived from the original Malay, but from Sanskrit, Kalamanthana is an island whose air is very hot or burning ( kal [a] : season, time and manthan [a] : burn). Therefore vocals on stage and Hin hard to pronounce people living at that time, then Kalamanthana diucap Kalmantan then called the indigenous Klemantan or Quallamontan until finally became Kalimantan. Residents of the eastern island called Pulu K’lemantan, the Italians knew him Calemantan . If judging from the Java language, the name Kalimantan can mean “River Diamond”.
Throughout history, Borneo is also known by different names. Singasari Kingdom for example, call it “Bakulapura” which is located in the southwest of Borneo. Bakula in Sanskrit means tanjung tree ( mismusops alengi ) so that Bakulapura gets the name of Malay to “Tanjungpura” which means land / island of cape tree. While the Majapahit Empire in the Negarakertagama manuscript written in 1356 calls it “Tanjungnagara” whose territory includes the Philippines such as Saludung (Manila) and the Sulu Islands.
Hikayat Banjar an ancient chronicle from South Kalimantan whose last chapter was written in 1663 called Borneo Island with the name Malay the island of “Hujung Tanah”. This name appears based on the geomorphological form of the area of South Kalimantan in ancient times which is similar to a peninsula and formed from a row of Meratus Mountains that jutted into the Java sea. The condition is identical with the shape of the tip of the Malacca Peninsula, namely Johor State which is often called “Ujung Tanah” in Ancient Malay texts. Hujung Peninsula This land is in contradiction with the Majapahit region in East Java so that later got the name Tanjungnagara, namely the island is a form of headland / peninsula.
In addition, the term “Nusa Kencana” is the name of the island of Borneo in ancient Javanese manuscripts such as about Prabu Jayabaya prediction in the final period of Majapahit regarding Java will be controlled by the Japanese who came from the direction of Nusa Kencana designation for the area which is now a province of South Kalimantan , because it was proven before crossing to Java, the Japanese army first controlled the capital of Borneo at that time that is Banjarmasin. Nusa Kencana is often also described as Tanah Sabrang as the embodiment of the primitive Alengka Land where the giants reside across the Java Land. In Tanah Sabrang there is a Dayak Land mentioned in Serat Maha Parwa.
Other names include: “Banjar Island”, Raden Paku, a member of Walisanga reported to have spread Islam to Banjar Island, as well as by Gowa, Selaparang (Lombok), Sumbawa and Bima because these kingdoms have bilateral relations with The Sultanate of Banjar; “Great Java” from Marcopolo explorers from Italy or in Arabic; and “Jaba Daje” meaning “Java in the North (from the island of Madura) the Maduranese term for the new Borneo island in the 20th century.
The island of Borneo is in the midst of Southeast Asia because it is the island gets much cultural and political influence from the surrounding islands. Around the year 400 AD the island of Borneo has entered historical times with Yupa inscriptions found relics of the Kingdom of Kutai but the development of civilization progress is relatively slower than other islands due to geographical and population constraints are few.