Enggang Dayak Motif: Symbol of Kindness and Tree of Life

Enggang Dayak

Motif Name

Enggang Dayak

Founded by Tribe

comes from the Dayak tribe

Associated Event

No specific association with an event


All parts of the hornbill's body symbolize the greatness and majesty of this tribe, while the bird itself symbolizes peace and unity: Its strong wings symbolize a leader who always protects his people, while its long tail is considered a sign of prosperity for the Dayak tribe

Common Origin State(s)

one of the areas in Kalimantan


The Enggang bird batik motif, deeply embedded in the culture of the Dayak tribes, carries profound symbolism representing kindness and the "tree of life" in their belief system. This motif encapsulates the spiritual connection between humans and their faith, as well as the interconnectedness between humans and all living creatures on Earth. In this article, we'll delve into the historical and cultural roots, symbolism, and the spiritual significance conveyed by the Enggang Dayak motif.


Historical and Cultural Roots of Enggang Dayak Motif

The Enggang Dayak motif finds its origins in the Dayak tribes, indigenous to the Borneo island of Indonesia. The motif has been an integral part of their culture for generations, embodying their beliefs, values, and worldview.


Symbolism of Kindness

The Enggang bird motif is a symbol of kindness, representing one of the most valued virtues within the Dayak culture. It embodies the importance of being compassionate, considerate, and caring towards one another, fostering a harmonious and peaceful society.


Representation of the Tree of Life

In the Dayak belief system, the Enggang bird motif is often associated with the Batang Garing or the 'tree of life.' This tree symbolizes the vertical relationship between humans and the deity they believe in, signifying a spiritual connection and the continuous pursuit of higher purpose and meaning in life.


Vertical and Horizontal Relationships

The Enggang Dayak motif beautifully illustrates two fundamental relationships in the Dayak belief system. Firstly, the vertical relationship signifies the connection between humans and the divine, emphasizing spiritual growth, devotion, and the transcendent bond with a higher power. Secondly, the horizontal relationship portrays the interconnectedness and harmony between humans and all other creatures on Earth, underlining the importance of respecting and coexisting with nature.


Cultural Significance and Rituals

The Enggang Dayak motif holds immense cultural significance within the Dayak community. It is often incorporated into traditional attire, artifacts, and rituals, symbolizing the values of kindness, unity, and spiritual growth. During ceremonies and important events, the presence of this motif highlights the shared cultural beliefs and unity of the community.


Preservation and Promotion

Preserving the Enggang Dayak motif is essential for conserving the rich cultural identity and heritage of the Dayak people. Efforts are made within the community and by cultural organizations to promote and educate people about the symbolic significance of this motif. Workshops, exhibitions, and educational programs are organized to ensure that this vital motif is passed down through generations.



The Enggang Dayak motif, with its symbolism of the Enggang bird and the tree of life, is a powerful representation of kindness, spirituality, and interconnectedness. It encapsulates the essence of living a life of compassion and respect, not only towards fellow humans but also towards the entire ecosystem. As this remarkable motif continues to be celebrated and preserved, it remains a testament to the Dayak people's rich cultural heritage and enduring values.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to recieve news, promotions, and annoucements.