In 1999, the East Kalimantan Dayak Association convened a watershed conference in Samarinda, Indonesia, that was attended by indigenous people from across the province. The conference, which was intended to nurture an emerging indigenous solidarity that aimed to transcend narrower loyalties, included sessions on organizational reform. This article examines the ongoing process of organizational rationalization within the association and investigates how that process comports with the evolving vision of indigenous solidarity that its leaders promote. It addresses challenges to that vision offered by constituents and others. The article also explores the role of symbols drawn from the social and natural worlds in fostering the development of an ethnic identity. The article reveals a paradox in the way that ethnicity is framed within the organization—one that invites comparison with the methods and goals of other indigenous and pan-indigenous movements.

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