Rian Tubu: A Historical Site of the Punan People

 In Front of the Ancestral Graves of the Punan in Rian Tubu

The Punan are one of the 405 sub-tribes of the Dayak. Many stereotypes still exist about this tribe. One of the most common misconceptions is that the Punan still wander the forests of Kalimantan. While this view holds some truth, it is essential to note that it pertains to the past. 

Today, the Punan people have progressed significantly. Just like you, they live in houses with metal roofs, with modern sanitation and household appliances.

For those of you who have never visited the historic site of the Punan people, or who are hearing about it for the first time: Where exactly is Rian Tubu? Rian Tubu is a village in the Sungai Tubu district, Malinau Regency, North Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Don’t underestimate the Punan!

In fact, in Tarakan, many Punan pursue higher education. What’s astonishing is that the majority of Punan students major in Science and Mathematics.

What does this imply? Besides natural intelligence, the Punan also possess spatial and mathematical intelligence! Don’t underestimate them!

For the Punan community, Rian Tubu is a must-visit destination. Why? Because it is a historical site that narrates the story of their civilization.

When I visited Rian Tubu, my father's hometown, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and emotion.

After a long journey, I finally arrived at a place so close to my heart, where the roots of my family have grown and thrived.

Upon arrival, I immediately gathered with family who warmly welcomed us.

Rian Tubu: Ancestral Graves

One of our main objectives was to visit our ancestral graves, a sacred place that holds the history of our family.

As I walked towards the graves, I felt a deep sense of peace. There, under the shade of lush trees, lay my grandmother's grave.

It turned out that not just one, but many of my grandmothers were buried there.

Their names were beautifully inscribed on tombstones that are hundreds of years old:

  1. Laub
  2. Abong Laub
  3. Tangga Laub
  4. Lawing Laub
  5. Lahee Cipi

These graves, estimated to be 200 to 300 years old, stand as silent witnesses to the long journey of our family.

Seeing the names of my ancestors, I felt an immense pride in being their descendant.

Rian Tubu: ancestral graves.

The author of this narrative is the eighth generation of this strong and historically rich lineage.

Standing there among the graves of my ancestors, I reflected on the lives and legacies they left behind. They were people who persevered and laid the foundations for future generations.

Visiting these graves was not just a pilgrimage, but a reflection on who I am and where I come from. It was a spiritual journey that reminded me of the importance of honoring and preserving the family legacy.

Returning to the family home

We continued sharing stories and memories of our ancestors. Moments like these bind us closer together, reminding us that behind every name and tombstone, there are stories and sacrifices that have made us who we are today.

With a heart full of gratitude, I silently vowed to carry on this legacy. To always uphold the family's good name and to honor our ancestors who paved the way for our future.


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