The origin of Kalimantan

The Pawan River flows through the Kingdom of Ulu. The story of Sungai Pawan, intertwined with Majapahit influence,

If you ever find yourself on a business trip or traveling to Kalimantan, make sure to visit Ketapang. 

Ketapang is one of the two major administrative capitals in West Kalimantan, alongside Sintang. However, what makes a visit to Ketapang a must is its historical significance. 

The origin of Kalimantan

According to scholarly studies conducted by researchers (Lontaan, 1975: 71), the river that flows through Ketapang to the Matan area is mentioned as the origin of the name "Kalimantan." 

The term "Kalimantan" is derived from "kali" in Javanese (due to the influence of Majapahit in the 15th century in Sukadana or Ketapang, which had a Hindu-Javanese background). 

In Javanese, "kali" means river, hence the river flowing from the headwaters through Ketapang and the kingdom of Matan came to be known as "Kalimantan."

Kalimantan, etymologically linked to its multitude of large rivers, reflects significant natural wealth in Kalimantan's history and culture. 

The story of Sungai Pawan, intertwined with Majapahit influence, underscores the vital role of rivers as ancient pathways crucial to civilization and trade. 

The name Kali Matan 

The name Kali Matan for the major river at the headwaters of Sungai Pawan, now known as Ketapang, connects history with geography, highlighting the interplay between names and territories in the context of Nusantara history.

However, contemporary challenges such as mining and deforestation pose serious threats to the ecological sustainability of rivers like Sungai Pawan. Water pollution and environmental damage stemming from human activities raise concerns about the viability of river ecosystems and the life they support.

In this context, preserving Kalimantan's rivers is not only crucial for environmental conservation but also for safeguarding the cultural and historical heritage embedded within their currents. This underscores the importance of sustainable and resilient approaches in managing natural resources in this region, ensuring a better future for generations to come.

The Pawan River flows through the Kingdom of Ulu, with the conclusion that the Pawan River Basin was significantly influenced by ethnic groups connected to the Majapahit Kingdom, characterized by a strong Indian cultural influence in the 15th century or earlier. 

Pawan river spans approximately 197 kilometers (122 miles) in length. Its tributaries include the Keriau River.

-- Tha But Perjanjian

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