Dayak long boat

Jakarta Maritime Museum

This alut pasa, which means ‘long boat’ in Indonesian, is made from a single ironwood tree trunk and originates from the eastern part of Kalimantan. The boat has three pairs of oars which are made of the same dark-brown wood. The boat measures 773 cm long by 60 cm wide and 28 cm high and can accommodate a maximum of 20 people.

More than a means of transport

The boat design comes from the Dayak people and was used as a means of transportation along the many large rivers of Kalimantan. It is decorated with red, yellow, white and green motifs which represent tree branches and have symbolic meaning relating to kinship between communities. In Dayak culture, the canoe is not just a means of transportation, but has wider cultural significance and is used in a number of traditional ceremonies and rituals, including to welcome guests. 

The shape of the alut pasa boat is like traditional canoes from Australia but is generally larger in size. The boat is designed for calm waters such as rivers, and not for sailing on the oceans with strong currents and waves.

Curators from the Jakarta Maritime Museum share the significance of the Dayak Long Boat held in their collection