The Tidung People from Indonesia and Malaysia

The Tidung (Tidong) are a native group originating from northeastern part of Borneo and surrounding small islands. They live on both sides of the border of Malaysia and Indonesia.

The name Tidung is taken from the word "tiding" or "tideng" which means mountain or hill. However, most of the Tidung people live in coastal areas.

The rise of the Muslim Tidung Sultanate molded the ethnogenesis character of the Tidung people. They collectively known as a Malayalised Dayak (Dayak-Melayu) people of Kalimantan similar to other native Muslim coastal Borneo groups, such as the Bulungan, Kutainese, Banjarese and Paserese people. Most Tidungese people perceived themselves as Malay due to the stronger self-affiliation with the Malay-Muslim identity.

Tidungnese wedding costumes from North Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Indozone

On formal occasions such as weddings or other celebrations, the Tidung people like to wear yellow dominated clothes. This color symbolizes glory or greatness.  

A Tidungnese couple from Tawau, Sabah - Malaysia. Photo : Festival Kebudayaan Antarabangsa Tawau / Facebook

He is Izzam Athaya from Tarakan, North Kalimantan - Indonesia.  His face appeared on a special edition of Indonesian currency. Photo: Kumparan

A Tidungnese girl from Tawau, Sabah - Malaysia. Photo: @mytawau - Facebook

Tidungnese girls from Nunukan, North Kalimantan - Indonesia. Photo: Detik

Tidungnese girl from Beluran, Sabah - Malaysia. Photo: Menarik di Beluran / Facebook

Traditional Tidungnese houses at Tarakan, North Kalimantan - Indonesia. Photo: Norhamidah Sabran

Padau Tuju Dulung Ceremony.   Photo: Kompasiana

Although most Tidungese people perceived themselves as Malay , some groups of them still perform Dayak like traditions. Padaw Tuju Dulung (literally means Boat of Seven Directions) is a ceremony of Tidung people from Tarakan to express their gratitude.