Gawai means festival in local Dayak language and this year will be the 33rd year in which this event will be held.
This year for the first time ever, there will be three Lakota dancers from South Dakota dancing on the main stage, including Kevin Locke a cultural Native American Ambassador for 30 years who is also a storyteller, flute player and hoop dancer.
Also a Maori group from New Zealand will bring their culture, energy and power to the event.
David Metcalf (AKA Dayak Dave) has been working on bringing these three cultures together for the past few years and now the West Kalimantan Government has generously offered support and made this a reality.
You will witness authentic traditional rituals and ceremonies, a colourful parade around the city, plus traditional games and competitions including blow pipe shooting, traditional top spinning, tattoo carving, shield painting, beading, and weaving. One of the highlights is pig catching! The pigs are actually smeared in oil.
This is a Cultural Tour, however you have the benefit of a professional photographer leading the tour, which means a selection of professional images of the tour highlights at the end of the tour will be gifted to you.
The festival also features traditional handicraft on display, many beautiful Dayak costumes, a fashion competition and a beauty pageant.
There will be more than 150 Dayak tribes from West Kalimantan represented, as well as Dayak dance groups from Sarawak, Sabah (Malaysia) and Brunei.
Every night traditional dancing is held on the main stage. This is a dazzling display of colour, and features many different kinds of spectacular dance and visionary performances. This is a rare opportunity to see so many Dayak tribes together in one place.
The men will be adorned in peacock and hornbill (sacred bird of the Dayak) feathers, monkey skulls, pig horns, shields and swords and other ornaments, many passed down from their ancestors.
Dayak woman have a reputation as the most beautiful in all of Indonesia and are very talented dancers.
We will be traveling as a group in an air-conditioned van, with two local guides who have extensive knowledge of the Dayak culture and history of the area. Accommodation is in a comfortable 4-star hotel. The local food is a mix of Chinese and Dayak fare, and I am sure you will be more than happy with the delicious menu choices.
Direct flights are available from Jakarta (1 hour) and Singapore, and other major cities in Indonesia.
This amazing cultural tour begins in Pontianak on May 19 and finishes May 24.
Ten percent of your tour fees will be donated to projects in Kalimantan supported by David Metcalf
Ransel Buku – A community education and conservation village project in Katimpun Village – website: http://ranselbuku.org
These programs support the preservation of Dayak culture, education programs in poor villages, story telling programs and documentary filmmaking.
David has been leading tours to Kalimantan for five years now and has a close relationship with the Dayak people and is affectionately known as Dayak Dave.
David collaborated with Director, Erick Est to produce the documentary drama “Long Saan”, released in 2017.
This unique experience costs
David Metcalf is a resident of Bali and has been travelling, writing and photographing throughout Indonesia for the past decade. David has held several exhibitions in Jakarta and Bali since 2002. He opened Taksu Photo Gallery in Ubud, Bali, in 2015 and uses the power of photography to educate and encourage positive social change.
David leads photography tours to Bali and Java, the USA, Myanmar, India and other destinations. He is involved in many projects in Kalimantan supporting Dayak culture and the environment.
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