Kedayan women. Note the light-sleeved jackets with rows of buttons.
|Est. 240,000 in Borneo|
|Regions with significant populations|
Sarawak (Lawas, Limbang, Miri)
Sabah (Sipitang, Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Papar)
United States: 700
|Malay, Bruneian, English, Brunei English|
|Shafi'i Sunni Muslim|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Bruneian Malays, Other Malays and Javanese|
The Kedayan (also known as Kadayan, Kadaian or Kadyan) are an ethnic group residing in Brunei, Labuan, Sabah, and parts of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The Kedayan language (ISO 639-3: kxd) is the de facto national language of Brunei and has a similarities with the Brunei Malay, which spoken by more than 130,000 people in Brunei, 46,500 in Sabah and 37,000 in Sarawak. In Sabah, the Kedayan are mainly live in Sipitang, Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Papar. While in Sarawak, the Kedayans are mostly reside in Lawas, Limbang, Miri and Sibuti area. The Kedayan people are also regarded as a sub-ethnic of the Klemantan Dayak people.
The origins of Kedayans are somewhat uncertain, with some of them belief that their people originated from Java, in which they came during the reign of Bolkiah. Due to the famed of the Sultan as a sea captain and voyager, he became known to the peoples of Java, Sumatra and the Philippines. It is believed when the Sultan anchored in the island of Java, he became interested with the agricultural techniques adopted there. So, the Sultan brought some of this Javanese farmers back to his country to adopted the techniques in which later they interact and inter-married with the local Bruneian Malay peoples and produce the Kedayan ethnic. Now, most of the Kedayans are Muslim and has accepting Islam since the Islamic era of the Sultanate of Brunei and adopted the Malay culture into their lives. The Kedayan are recognised as one of the indigenous people of Borneo, and were professionals in making of traditional medicines which also has a reputation for knowledge in medicinal plants, in which they grow to treat a wide range of ailments or to make tonics.
An indigenous people in Kutai, Kalimantan were also said having more than 90% similarity with Kedayan language even though they did not called themselves as Kedayan. Both the Kedayan and Banjarese is sometimes been related in the term of language.
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