Menggenggam Dunia: Mengukur dan Mengira dalam Kalangan Masyarakat Aoheng Borneo

Grasping the World: Measuring and Counting among the Aoheng of Borneo

  • Bernard Sellato
Keywords: Aoheng, bekas, mengira, Kalimantan, metrologi, pengiraan masa, containers, counting, metrology, time reckoning


This contribution focuses primarily on traditional units of measure functioning within the local Aoheng community and, to a lesser extent, in the wider regional ethnocultural sphere, before the introduction of more or less precise standard units by outside traders, the colonial administration and, in the last three decades, the influence of world culture. It does not concern itself with numerology- social, ritual, or symbolic roles or values ascribed to numbers-nor with the currencies used in trade with outsiders to the region. This set of traditional units covers three main fields: the estimation of linear measures (length, width, thickness, height, distance); the estimation of volumes (substituting for weight); and time computation. A brief review of the main classifiers is included, as is also some insight into arithmetic practices, and a few lines are devoted to the evaluation of social, ritual, and legal features. The data presented in this contribution is plain, raw field data, with very little input from the literature on Borneo, and it focuses exclusively on the Aoheng.  No attempt has been made at cross-cultural comparison, or even at an integration of data at a wider geographic scale. Although the theoretical literature on the subject has been examined, this essentially descriptive contribution does not refer to it. Attention is paid, however, to the terminological sets, their etymologies and semantic associations, and to philology for historical


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How to Cite
Sellato, B. (2021). Menggenggam Dunia: Mengukur dan Mengira dalam Kalangan Masyarakat Aoheng Borneo. Journal of Borneo-Kalimantan, 7(2), 1-27. Retrieved from