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Dayak Stories of Change by Cameron Campbell

Dayak Stories of Change by Cameron Campbell

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Published by: Cameron Martin Campbell on Jun 09, 2011
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06/09/2011

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DAYAK STORIES OF CHANGE:An Analysis of the Narratives of The Institute of Dayakology and its Network By Cameron Campbell
 
INTRODUCTION
In February 2005, I had the great opportunity to spend time in West Kalimantan,Borneo, Indonesia with the Institute of Dayakology, (Institut Dayakologi), or ID. ID is part of a network of institutions created and run by the Dayak, the indigenous people of the island of Borneo. The network consists of several independent yet connectedorganizations that respond to various issues facing the Dayak people, and other 
masyarakat adat 
groups in Indonesia.
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The networks are unified under the name Pancur Kasih, meaning Fountains of Giving, or Fountains of Care. Pancur Kasih is part of amovement that has attempted to educate and empower the Dayak through a (re)framing,(re)definition, and (re)construction of Dayak identity, using various narratives, projectsand programs. I was fortunate to be able to spend some time in several urban and ruralDayak environments in West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan to observe how this process plays out.I was given a room in the office of SEGARAK, Serikat Garakan PemberdayaanMasyarakat Adat Dayak (The Union of the Movement For the Empowerment of Dayak People), right next to the main office of the Institute of Dayakology and placed under thetutelage of Stephanus Djuweng. One of the tasks I was given was to help edit an Englishversion of a grant proposal for the Danish Government, which requested further funds for the Pancur Dangeri Rubber Cooperative, one of the major programs started by ID and itsnetwork. I spent long hours at a desk engaging with the rhetoric, meaning and purpose of Dayak narratives and stories, and the Dayak social movement as a whole. As the Dayak  
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Masyarakat Adat 
translates as customary communities. It is often used to refer to the indigenous people of Indonesia.
 
story unfolded in front of me, I became increasingly intrigued by its complexity and its power.It was this experience, coupled with Djuweng’s sporadic commentary on theDayak situation that sparked my interest in the narratives of the Institute of Dayakologyand its network. Having learned that a central feature of the education and empowermentof the Dayak is ID’s publication of the Kalimantan Review, and various other narratives,I began to realize just how integral narratives were to the movement. They were essentialtools of identity creation, community formation, and agents of social, political andecological legitimacy, education and empowerment.It was not however until I took a trip to India that I decided to focus on narrativeas a method of analyzing social movements. During my brief study of the Chipkoenvironmental movement in India I found a book by Haripriya Rangan called
Of Mythsand Movements: Rewriting Chipko into Himalayan History.
The book argued that thevarious narratives describing the Chipko movement had removed the movement from itshistorical grounding and created a myth out of it. The book highlighted the importance of narrative analysis as a means of picking apart very complex social movements. After reading several other books on narratives and social movements, I realized that myfieldwork experience with the Dayak social movement provided me with a goodfoundation with which to pursue an analysis of the narratives of ID and its network. I feltthat narrative analysis would help unpack the complexity of the movement anddeconstruct the various stories and narratives that collectively define the Dayak people.This paper is divided into two major sections. The first section seeks tounderstand the use of narratives and their analyses as a tool for understanding social

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