The Isen Mulang Cultural Festival (FBIM) in Central Kalimantan in 2023 has succeeded in attracting the attention of both local and foreign photographers. With a wide range of activities, including cultural carnivals, coastal dances, inland dances, decorative boats, footballs, and the MURI Record of the Wadian Dadas Bawo Dance, this festival provides interesting sights and moments for photographers to capture the beauty of a unique culture.

David Metcalf together with the Central Borneo Guide provided facilities and experiences for photography and cultural tours for tourists as well as foreign photographers who came specifically for FBIM 2023 in Central Kalimantan for 1 week.

What makes it different from previous years and one of the main highlights in the Opening of the 2023 Isen Mulang Cultural Festival is the effort to achieve the MURI Record for the Wadian Dadas Bawo Dance. 700 dancers who combine traditional movements with the beauty of traditional costumes appear in large formations that create stunning views. This moment is a historic moment worthy of being captured by photographers to capture this extraordinary cultural achievement.

The 2023 Isen Mulang Festival also presents a dazzling cultural carnival. Inside, various community groups and festival participants dress up in eye-catching traditional costumes and display extraordinary creations. Local and foreign photographers have the opportunity to capture the cultural diversity that radiates through the unique and creative costumes and cheerful expressions of the participants.

The beauty of Central Kalimantan’s coastal and inland dances is the main attraction at the Isen Mulang Festival. With graceful movements and distinctive rhythms, coastal dance presents the natural charm of the coast that captivates the heart. Meanwhile, inland dance depicts the human relationship with nature and has an enchanting mystical nuance. Photographers can capture the magical moments and emotional expressions of the dancers, creating memorable images.

One activity that steals the attention is the decorative boats. Traditional boats decorated with beautiful ornaments glide over the Kahayan River, creating a stunning view. Photographers can capture the beauty of these boats, both up close and from a different perspective, creating stunning images against the backdrop of the captivating nature of Central Kalimantan.

There is also the attraction of sawut or fireball, which is one of the customs of the Dayak people which was previously used as a ritual for death. This tradition is intended to ward off evil spirits by using a fireball as a tool to scare away evil spirits. The game is full of exciting action and movement, offering exciting moments that photographers can capture. By focusing on the teamwork and expertise of the participants, photographers can capture critical moments that reflect the competitive and togetherness spirit.

The Central Kalimantan Isen Mulang Cultural Festival 2023 presents a series of cultural activities that captivate and attract the attention of local and foreign photographers and allow photographers to capture the cultural beauty of Central Kalimantan. Through their work, the richness and uniqueness of this culture can be recognized and appreciated by the wider world.

Author: Quratul Ain

Photo Credits: Threelooks, Quratul Ain, Caspar & Yun Pratiwi

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