Early Iban Migration – Part 4

Early Iban Migration – PART 4

ADVENTURES OVERSEAS BEGINNING OF IBAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

From ancient times the Iban have valued old jars, such as kuna, irun, belanay, jabir, panding, alas, rangkang, mandoh, jumat and gemiang, But the most valuable are jars of the following type:

Type of jars = Value in $
Salang-alang = 150.00
Rusa Salang-alang = 200.00
Begeri = 200.00
Rusa Begeri = 200.00
Rusa Randok = 250.00
Betanda Begeri = 200.00
Betanda Bendar = 280.00
Menaga = 300.00 – 350.00
Ningka Menaga = 320.00 – 370.00
Ningka Bendar = 400.00
Ningka Betanda = 320.00
Sergiu = 600.00 – 900.00
Guchi = 700.00 – 1,000.00

The reason these jars were valued by the Iban was that in ancient times, if anyone was guilty of murder, adultery, theft, or owed a debt, he would become a slave of the person he had wronged, or was indebted to, if he could not repay his debt or the fine imposed on him. Before money was widely used, fines were paid in jars (cf. Sandin 1980a: 3-4). Later, after the abolition of slavery by Rajah Charles Brooke in the 1880s, when money was still very difficult to earn, all fines Imposed by the government could be settled by the surrender of a jar to the court to avoid imprisonment of which the Iban were much afraid.

In addition to this, no chief was recognized as influential or powerful who did not possess valuable jars. In the eyes of the Iban one enemy killed in war was equivalent in value to two captives or two rusa type jars. If a chief or a warrior of good family was able to obtain a head, one or more captives and one or more jars, he would be recognized as raja berani, meaning “rich and brave”. It was because of this that thousands of Iban lost their lives in foreign lands from 1868 to 1908, seeking to acquire jars. From 1909 to the 1920s the Iban stopped hunting for jars in foreign lands, but they continue to buy them, if any were brought by traders to their longhouses.

Trouble with the Mualang Dayak.

Shortly after the Sadok war was over, the young warriors of the Saribas turned their attention from warfare to trade, as the Tuan Muda had advised them to do. Saribas leader named Kedit of the Paku went to work wild rubber at Sadong. He was accompanied by Kalanang, Usin, Tumbing, Manggi and Sagoh apai Basok of the Paku. This took place in about 1868. From Simunjan, they went up the Kraang tributary, but were unable to find enough wild rubber there to be worth working. The types of wild rubber they were looking for were nyatu puteh, nyatu rian, beringin, sebang, semalam, kubal tusu, gubi, kerik and perapat. Finding few of these trees in the Kraang, they traveled towards the upper Bayan, in Kalimantan. The Bayan is a tributary of the Ketungau River and is occupied by Mualang Dayak. At Ulu Bayan they built a temporary hut where they could stay while working the forests. After they had settled in the hut, one morning Usin, Tumbing, Manggi and Sagoh went into the forest to look for wild rubber, while Kedit and Kalanang went along a different route. Chupong stayed behind to look after the hut. While Chupong was alone in the hut, several Mualang Dayak came and attacked him with spears. He was wounded slightly on the knee, but was able to run away and hide safely in the forest.

Usin and all those who had gone with him to look for wild rubber were murdered by the Mualangs while they ate lunch in a Mualang longhouse, some miles from their hut.

In the evening when Kedit and Kalanang arrived back at the hut, they called for Chupong. But he had hidden himself and did not reply. However, as they were looking for him they noticed small drops of blood on dead leaves near the hut. They became worried and looked for him further from the hut. As they did this Chupong emerged, and told them that they had been attacked by a number of hostile Mualang and wounded by a spear in his knee. Because of this trouble, they thought they should leave the place as soon as they could, but because of their friends’ absence, Kedit decided to wait that night to see if they would return to the hut. Next morning, finding that Usin and his friends had not returned, Kedit and Kalanang took the wounded Chupong back to their boat at the upper Kraang in order to return to the Saribas. Kedit thought it unlikely that he would find his lost friends, and decided they would have to prepare to fight the Mualang.

On their arrival home they immediately reported what had occurred to chiefs Linggir “Mali Lebu” and Luwi of the upper Paku. On receiving the news of the death of his people, Luwi called upon Linggir and his warriors to take revenge on the Mualang for the death of Usin, Manggi, Tumbing and Sagoh. Linggir promptly agreed to lead his fighters against the Mualang. While the force was at its langkau burong hut, awaiting favorable omens for the war, a message was received from Simanggang, which forbade them to continue with their proposed war expedition. This message displeased Linggir and his warriors. So Linggir led a delegation from the Paku to meet Minggat at the Awik in order to ask him to help them apply to the Rajah in Kuching for approval for a war against the Mualang. On their way to the Awik, they happened to meet Minggat shopping in Saratok. After he had learned that Linggir and other leaders of the Paku were on the way to visit his house, Minggat told them to stay the night at Saratok, as he was completely unprepared to receive such an important group of influential men at his house. So Linggir and his followers stayed that night in Saratok. Next morning with the tide Linggir and his friends went up to Awik. On arrival at Minggat’s longhouse landing place, they bathed and dressed, and then Munan, the eldest son of Minggat, came down to invite them up to the house. When the Pakus reached it, they found that the longhouse was already full of guests from the Sabelak, Sebetan, Melupa, Krian and the Awik itself.

That night after dinner, Minggat called all the people to his ruai to discuss with the Pakus the reason for this visit by nearly all their important leaders. Linggir told Minggat that he had come for a very important reason, and a sorrowful one, He said that four of his people (anak biak) under Kedit had recently been cruelly killed by the Mualang Dayaks, while exploring for wild rubber in that people’s country at the upper Bay an, a tributary of the Ketungau. He said that Kedit had reported the matter to him, and that he and others had decided that the murders must be promptly revenged. But when they prepared for war, a message was received from Simanggang forbidding their proposed expedition. Disturbed by this intervention, Linggir said that he and all the leaders of the Paku were very dis¬appointed as they felt it was senseless not to take revenge upon the enemy, who had willfully killed their people without any prior quarrel.

“For this reason,” said Linggir, “we have come to you so that you may help us to apply for approval from the Rajah to attack the Mualang.”

In his reply, Minggat said that he personally very much regretted the incident. He assured Linggir that it meant as much to him as if his own people of the Awik had been the victims.

“But this problem is difficult,” he continued. “If our people had been killed by the Mualang inside our own territory, then it would be easier for us to ask permission from the Rajah to attack them. But as they were killed inside Kalimantan, the Mualang could say that they had been attacked by our people and so were forced to defend themselves,” said Minggat.

He then concluded that he would agree to go to Kuching with Linggir, if he would ask the Rajah to bring the matter to a court of law, rather than by fighting to avenge the death of these men. Linggir said that he could not agree with Minggat. He insisted that blood had to be repaid in blood. Hearing this Minggat told his Paku friends that the Rajah would certainly not approve of a war against the Mualang. Early next morning, the Pakus left the Awik. When they came to the mouth of the Kalaka, they paddled directly to the Sarawak River to meet the Rajah in Kuching.

When Linggir met the Rajah, he was told that he must not take the law into his own hands. The Rajah said that he would settle the matter by negotiation with the Dutch government so that the Dutch would persuade the murderers of Linggir’s men to pay the pati nyawa compensation to the heirs of the deceased. Shortly after this, Linggir died of old age in the Paku in 1874. Some years after his death, the compensation paid by the Mualang for the death of his people was officially given to their heirs at Simanggang in the presence of various government chiefs, including Penghulu Garran who had succeeded his uncle Linggir as chief of the Paku Iban.

The Iban acquire jars in foreign land.

In about 1867 a man named Jamit apai Madu of the Paku was serving as a crew member onboard a Malay sailing ship. During one of his voyages he came to Makassar in the Celebes. From there he went to Java and later to Singapore where he met Insol, a son of OKP Nanang of the Padeh, who was then visiting Singapore.

After Kedit and his followers had successfully returned with a number of jars from Sabah, another young Paku leader named Jungan of Matop, went with his followers by sailing boat to Sabah for the same purpose. There Jugan’s followers bought a number of jars while Jungan and his cousins Ancheh and Busu bought a sergiu jar each. On their arrival home, other young men were surprised to hear of the sergiu jars which Jungan and his cousins had purchased.

Encouraged by Jungan’s successful voyage, another three young warriors proposed to accompany him on another trip to Sabah. They were Budin “Grasi”, Kandau, Ngindang “Kumpang Pali”, and with them went two young Malay chiefs, Abang Tek, a son of Laksamana Amir of Spaoh, and Abang Chek a son of Laksamana Omar of the Rimbas. Before they sailed to Sabah they went to the Kapuas to purchase a valuable guchi jar from the Dayaks of the upper Melawi River. This they purchased at Sintang in the Kapuas, and took it to Sabah to trade. At this time the Brooke Raj extended only as far northwest as the Mukah River in what is today the Third Division of Sarawak, when they arrived at a port called Putatan in Sabah territory they were kindly permitted by Menteri Babu, a Dusun trader, to stay at his house. He owned a lot of old jars which he exchanged for the trader’s guchi jarlet. After each of the crew members had obtained two jars, they returned home happily. The story of their arrival with these jars encouraged more Iban to engage in the same sort of trade in foreign countries.

Shortly after this, Penghulu Minggat of Awik bought a sailing boat from a Malay man and went to Sabah to purchase jars. On this voyage he was accompanied by Sauh apai Ingging, Dampa apai Daong, Gundi, Manang Nyara, Nyanggau anak Mail and many others. At Putatan Minggat sold the guchi jarlet which he had bought from a Melawi Malay trader to Menteri Babu. With money from the sale Minggat bought six valuable jars, while Sauh bought four; the rest also bought a number of jars, according to their individual means. Minggat’s successful trading venture to Sabah greatly interested the Kalaka and Saribas Iban. At this time all young men of the region were fond of talking about Sabah as a place for trading ventures.

Iban voyage to Banjermasin.

In about 1875, Penghulu Kedit, a son of Embit of the Paku, with Penghulu Mula, the son of Renggi, led a group of Iban rubber tappers on a voyage from the Saribas to many places in southeast Borneo, as far as Banjermasin. They went in two sailing boats which belonged to Penghulu Kedit and Penghulu Mula. When they called at Singkawang and Mentrado, the Chinese of these towns were scared of them due to the fact that these regions had been harassed several decades earlier by the Saribas chief, Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang”. From Mentrado they sailed to Pontianak, then to Sukadana and then to the town of Kayung. From Kayung they proceeded to Sampit and then sailed to Kota Warringin. From Kota Warringin they sailed for Banjermasin. On their arrival at this Sultanate, Penghulu Kedit and Penghulu Mula met Sultan Tengku Abdullah Yaksa and asked his permission to tap wild rubber in his country. The Sultan said that he could not permit them to stay long in his country. He ordered them to leave the following day in order that they would not frighten his subjects. At this time many people in Borneo were afraid of the Sarawak Iban because of their constant raids in the past.

As a result of this order by the Sultan, Kedit and Mula with their followers returned homeward. When they came to Sukadana town they asked for approval to work the wild rubber in that region from the local Rajah. The latter said he would approve their application provided they would agree to pay one tenth of the proceeds of the sale of their rubber to his government. Kedit and Mula to pay this tax and ordered their men to disembark. They stayed in a big hut (bansal) on the bank near their boats. A few days later when they had hired canoes from the local people they transported their luggage and working equipment to the forests upriver. They worked there for five months. After they had obtained a lot of rubber, they sold it to a towkay, who paid them forty dollars per pikul for it. This time they did not spend their money on jars, as they wished to take silver dollars back to their families at home.

After the “Lang Ngindang” trouble had been settled, a warrior named Linggi and his two sons Anji and Radin from Seruai, Saribas, went to Brunei. Linggi was the father-in-law of Aji who was killed during the fighting at Sungai Langit in 1858. Before they left Sarawak Linggi had openly declared that due to the death of Aji, he felt it was impossible for him to live in any part of the Brooke Raj, though he had, since the surrender at Sadok in 1861, been converted to Christianity by the European priests of the Anglican Mission. Some years after Linggi and his sons had settled in Brunei, Anji was commissioned by the Sultan to quell rebels in the upper Belait and Tutong rivers. This he did gladly, and due to his easy victory over the enemy he was given the rank of Penglima by the Sultan.

Some years later, Linggi and his family left Brunei for Sabah. After they had settled there Radin was commissioned by the Chartered Company Government to fight against rebels who lived around Kota Kinabalu (Jesselton) and along the Kinabatangan River. He fought these rebels with the help of Sarawak Iban who continually came to Sabah to look for old jars, which they acquired by working wild rubber and rattan. With, the support of his warlike Iban friends, Radin fought successfully against the rebels, so that the government of Sabah gave him the rank of Penglima. While Linggi and his family were in Sabah they abandoned Christianity and became Muslims. After they had been converted, Senabong and Timban, the sons of Aji, joined them. While there, Senabong and Timban told the Iban that they had come to Sabah in order to look for war charms which would make them invulnerable. After they had obtained them, they said that they would start a new rebellion in the Layar to revenge the death of their much lamented father, who had died while fighting against Brooke rule in 1858. As tradition has it, both these young men did indeed find charms and became invulnerable. But, unfortunately, one of them was caught and killed by a crocodile while swimming across the Sugut River at Lubok Sapi, chasing after a mouse deer; while the other died from “stomach ache”. It was said that it was due to Senabong and Timban’s deaths that the people of the upper Layar River failed in the late 1880s to renew their war against the Brooke Raj. On the other hand, Timban’s uncle, OKP Nanang apai Insol, was not rebellious. He succeeded his brother Aji as chief of the Padeh and middle Layar and was publicly praised by Sir Charles Brooke in the presence of the chiefs of the Second Division at Fort Alice, Simanggang, and promoted to the rank of Orang Kaya Pemancha in 1884. Ringkai, the successor of his cousin Bakir of Betong fort, was raised at the same time to the rank of Pengarah.

While Penglima Radin and the Iban in Sabah were busy fighting against native rebels for the Chartered Company’s government, the Rajah of Sarawak with the help of Orang Kaya Pemancha Nanang of Saribas, Penghulu Minggat of Awik and Jabu apai Umping of Bangat, Skrang, attacked Penghulu Ngumbang and his Ulu Ai followers in the Kedang range. After their defeat a considerable number of Ulu Ai Iban fled to the Emperan in Indonesian Borneo. Shortly after the Kedang war, in 1887, Penghulu Chulo “Tarang” of Ulu Krian died after a short illness.

In about 1888 Kalanang of the Paku built a sailing boat and took his followers to Sabah to buy jars. With him went Kalom, Rekan, Ibi, Chuwi, Gadin, Tangai, Mancha and Mandau. In Sabah all of them bought jars according to their means. But Kelanang and Mandau each bought a sergiu jar. When they landed at Brunei on their way home, they bought several pieces of brassware including a number of cannons. Later when they had reached Spaoh in the Paku, they fired these guns time after time, till they landed at their own house at Matop. The sound of these guns surprised everyone, who immediately came to Matop to see the jars and brassware they had bought in Sabah and Brunei. On the night of his arrival home with his sergiu jar, Mandau went to visit his girlfriend Sudau, daughter of a well-known warrior named Ambing “Merinsa” of Bangkit. When he told Sudau and her father that he had proved himself a man of some standing by buying a valuable jar, Sudau eloped with him inspite of his inferior status in Iban society.

Before Nakoda Kalanang and his followers had successfully returned from Sabah and Brunei, a well-known man named Lumpoh of Penom, with Entering and some others, decided to trade in Sabah. At this time Lumpoh had recently divorced his wife Chenggit, a daughter of Penghulu Minggat of Awik. In the course of the quarrel about the divorce, Minggat sent Lumpoh a lungga baut knife and a roll of raru creeper which meant that, if Lumpoh were really brave and adventurous, he should kill an enemy in battle or buy a valuable jar during a long voyage. Irritated by this insult, Lumpoh decide to leave, and accompanied by his friends, sailed to Sabah. When they came to Pulau Gaya near Jesselton, Lumpoh bought a sergiu jar, while his comrade, Entering bought two other valuable jars. After ail their friends had bought jars according to their respective means, Lumpoh decided to go home. On their way back to the Saribas, they discussed the celebration of a feast (gawai tajau) in honour of their jars. Lumpoh was very keen to ask a female bard named Indai Engkai of Igan to sing the chants at his feast so that the story of it would be heard by his former father-in-law, Penghulu Minggat. He did not want to invite any of the bards in Saribas and Kalaka to sing at this feast.

When they arrived home Lumpoh held a feast to honour these jars at Penghulu Mula’s house, at Nanga Nyalong, in the upper Paku. Shortly after Lumpoh’s Gawai Tajau festival was over, Penghulu Saang “Rumpang” of the lower Paku and Kadam of Teru, Rimbas, with their followers also sailed to Sabah for the same purpose of acquiring jars. On their arrival In Sabah, Rumpang helped all his followers first to purchase jars. After his crewmen had bought jars, there were no more for sale in that place. So they returned to Lawas near Brunei, as it was rumoured that here there were jars available for sale. When they came to Lawas, two jars were found, one of the menaga type and the other a rusa. Rumpang bought the former, but had not enough money to purchase the second. He was very disappointed and decided to auction his baku sireh (brass betel box), kuran (small brass container) and kachit (betel nut scissors) in order to buy the rusa jar. After he had bought both jars, he and his companions returned to the Saribas highly pleased.

After Rumpang and his crew had returned from Sabah, Insol, a son of Orang Kaya Pemancha Nanang of Padeh, with a number of young men from the Padeh and middle Layar, also went to Sabah. While there, they bought eighteen jars of various types. In the Layar no one other than Budin “Grasi” and Penghulu Insol took their people to buy jars in Sabah. The reason for this was that all the sons of chiefs in and around Betong at that time were fully employed as fortmen, which gave them the opportunity to buy a lot of jars from the Malay traders with the money they were paid.

After Insol had returned successfully from Sabah, Jungan of Matop in the Paku, again went to Sabah to buy jars. On this voyage he was accompanied by Ketit, Blaki, Ibi, Makop, Entri and Jugah. Jugah died in Sabah on this voyage. Because of this, Jungan and his companions returned to Sarawak and bought a number of betanda jars from the local Malay trader.

The Iban massacre at Trusan.

While Jungan and his followers were on their way home in 1884 they met a lot of Paku Iban under Utik and Gajong in two sailing boats headed north. Those who were in Utik’s boat were Gajong, Antau, Kalom, Ujan, Melebar, Maji and Kelali. At this time few families in Paku had saved more money than Utik’s family. Because of this, he and his brothers Nyanggau, Munan and Nuing were able to bring with them on this voyage the sum of nine hundred silver dollars. When they came to the Trusan River, they went up it and eventually tied up their boats at a Murut village landing stage. From there they went to the Murut house in order to buy jars. The Muruts appeared to be friendly and promised to help Utik and Gajong’s people get jars from their own people who lived further inland. Due to this good atmosphere, Utik and his friends were very happy; they waited for jars to be brought to them at the landing place.

It happened that one afternoon, Maji went out to look for jars in a neighboring Murut village. After talking with his hosts, he stayed the night in one of their homes. While Maji was staying in the Murut’s house that night, Ukit and Gajong and their respective followers who were in the boats asked the bard, Kelali, to sing renong samain (love songs) in order to make themselves happy. They did not sleep until early in the morning. At about 6 a.m. Kelali, who slept at the front part of the boat, woke up to wash his face. While he was doing this, he was suddenly shot by the Muruts. The unwary Kelali was killed and fell into the river. After this, the Muruts shot at the boats time and again. Seeing the danger, Ngadan jumped into the river to swim to the opposite bank. While swimming he was also shot and died in the water. Timbang also jumped into the river. He was shot in the buttocks. But he continued to swim slowly down river, and while he was swimming he received another wound on his leg from an enemy’s spear. While Timbang swam, he heard the repeated sounds of gun shots fired at the boats. At this moment Gajong, who was quick enough to equip himself with a knife, jumped to the bank to fight the enemy. He fought them very hard, and a number of the enemy were wounded and probably killed by his knife. But the enemy’s strength overpowered him, and he was caught, fastened with a rope and finally slain. Gajong was very strong and nearly invulnerable, which made it hard for the enemy to kill him quickly either with fists or knives. Utik left his boat later than the rest and fled into the jungle. The enemy struck at him as he passed them, but he parried their blows and managed to escape and save himself.

After some time Timbang, who had swam downriver, landed and slowly crept up the bank. He reached a mass of thick raka creepers which covered the huge trunk of a durian tree, and climbed up it. Later, as he sat hidden inside these thick creepers, he heard the shouts of Gajong and his opponents who were still fighting. According to Timbang’s story it took several hours for the enemy to slay Gajong. After Gajong had died, the enemy looked for Timbang downriver. While they were doing this, Timbang saw a huge hawk flying slowly above the tree top where he was sitting. He said that before then he had never seen such a huge bird.

Timbang who was suffering painfully from his wound, sat hidden quietly on the tree branch inside the thick creepers. While he sat there, he heard the enemy looking for him. They claimed they had found his trail of blood, but could not find the man who made it. After a while the enemy stopped their search and went away. That night Timbang left his hiding place quietly and went towards the enemy’s landing place, where he looked for a canoe he might use to go downriver. He found one, but without oars. So he paddled with his hands, till he reached a landing place belonging to the Tidong people. The Tidong are a race of indigenous people who had been recently converted to Islam. A Tidong family took pity on him and fed him and carefully tended his wounds. The next morning the Tidong transported him to the island of Labuan. On his arrival there, after he had reported the matter promptly to the British government, the surgeon operated and removed the bullets from his buttock. He was later treated by the government.

It happened that only a few days after Timbang had come to Labuan, Utik who had fled through the forest finally arrived at the Island. He too reported the massacre of his companions in the Trusan River to the government. After Timbang and Utik had been in Labuan for some days, H.H. the Rajah arrived there by yacht from Kuching. When he was told about the treacherous murder of his subjects by the Muruts at Trusan, he took Utik and Timbang back with him to Kuching. During the voyage, the Rajah told them that the Brunei Muruts of Trusan, under chiefs Ukong and Dayong, must be taught a lesson as soon as possible by means of a punitive expedition. The Rajah also accused the Brunei government of being unable to control its subjects who continually attacked small bands of Sarawak jungle-produce workers and traders.

Arriving in the Saribas, Timbang and Utik informed their chief, Penghulu Garran, of the incident. He promptly gathered all his best warriors to accompany him to ask for the Rajah’s permission to take revenge on the Trusan Muruts. But in his audience with the Rajah, the latter told Garran not to take the law into his own hands. The Rajah told him that he would consult the Brunei government officially about the matter. “If the Sultan does not take immediate action”, he said, “I will personally lead a punitive expedition from Sarawak to punish the Muruts and take over their country.” The Rajah asked Garran and his followers to return to the Paku. He also said that if he made war on the Muruts he would tell Pengarah Ringkai of Rantau Anak to ask them to join his force. From then until the expedition against the Trusan Muruts, negotiations with the Brunei government continued. When the Sultan and his officers would not condemn the murderers of the Saribas Iban, the Rajah annexed Trusan in 1885 without paying any money to the Sultanate of Brunei. Eventually, in May of 1900, the punitive expedition against the Muruts under Ukong and Dayong took place, and a considerable number of the enemies were killed. It was during this war that Penghulu Garran’s warrior Malina “Bujang Brani” changed his praise-name to “Balai Nyabong Nanga Trusan” due to his success in killing the enemy. He was attached to Pengarah Ringkai’s war boat. Penghulu Garran of Paku died in July, 1900, two months after this expedition.

Iban trading ventures to Malaya, Sumatra and Java.

While the Sarawak Government discussed the Iban massacre at Trusan with the Brunei Government in 1890, Penghulu Minggat of the Awik led many people to Singapore on the way to trade in Sumatra. At this time Minggat was already very old. He had been an extremely prosperous farmer in the Awik to which he had migrated, and he had become very rich in valuable jars and brassware, the type of property which was accumulated by rich Iban families in the 19th century. Besides being rich, Minggat was at this time one of the most senior Iban chiefs and war leaders in the Second Division.

When he met the Rajah in Kuching, the latter tried to persuade Minggat not to go so far a field because of his advanced age. But the old chief insisted that he must go in order to obtain a most valuable guchi jarlet as big as an egg plant, something no Iban had ever possessed. The Rajah asked him to change his mind, and said that if Minggat did not go, the Rajah would give him a diamond or a jar of the sort that he and his race valued so much. But Minggat told the Rajah again that he must lead his followers overseas. And as he had planned Minggat and his followers left Sarawak for Singapore by the S.S. Normanby in 1890. From Singapore the party sailed to Sumatra and landed at Panai. On his arrival Minggat paid a courtesy call on the ruler of the country, to whom he handed an official letter of introduction from the Rajah of Sarawak. For this meeting Minggat specially wore the official uniform given to him by the Rajah before he left.

At Panai Minggat and his followers bought jars of various types, including a considerable number of Bangka jars. While they were still trading Minggat fell ill and subsequently died of stomach ache. His name is remembered in song to this day:

Minggat apai Runai parai di Panai,
Seberai tiban Nanga Saan.

“Minggat the father of Runai died at Panai,
Opposite the mouth of the Saan” (River).

Nyanggau anak Mail of Awik, Kalaka.

After the death of his father, Munan suggested that the party proceed to the nearby town of Jambi. But his brother-in-law Nyanggau did not agree with this. He urged them all to return to Singapore quickly, to catch a steamer to Sabah. But Munan would not go, as he knew that their companions had not enough money for the voyage. This was why Munan suggested they work first at Jambi. Nyanggau could not be persuaded to stay any longer in Sumatra, so he returned alone to Singapore where he caught a steamer about to sail for Sabah.

When he arrived at Sandakan, Nyanggau met a number of Iban who had come from Paku and Rimbas to work there. He joined their company to go up the Kinabatangan River and tap gutta percha along the Kuamut tributary. Here, Baai anak Kadam and his friends from the Paku joined the group. After they had worked for some months in the Kuamut they sold their rubber in Sandakan where they received $200 each. After their rubber had been sold, Nyanggau suggested that they should cease working in the jungle. He thought that it would be more profitable to work for the European Tobacco Company than to tap wild rubber in the forest. All his friends agreed with this, so they asked him to meet the tobacco estate manager to ask for jobs. The manager agreed to engage the Iban at 35 cents a day. So they began to work on the estate with Nyanggau as mandor, or overseer.

At this time Nyanggau’s brother Ambu arrived in Sandakan. Shortly after his arrival he worked in another estate, where he earned $150 for one year’s work. After they had worked for the estate for over a year, Nyanggau and his friends including Ambu, Ngadan apai Simbah of Rapong, Gayong apai Gurang of Babu and Asan “Lang Rimba” of Nanga Gayau of the Rimbas went to Mindanao to purchase old jars. They sailed there in a boat which they had purchased for $150 from the Bajau. The voyage was very dangerous. They saw many Bajau and Illanun pirates hiding among the small islands on the way, waiting to rob trading vessels. On their arrival at Mindanao, the people were afraid when they told them that they were Sea Dayaks from Sarawak. So Nyanggau asked the police to escort him to meet the ruler of the country. At this meeting, Nyanggau told him that he and his friends had come from Sarawak hoping to purchase valuable jars. Hearing this, the ruler gave Nyanggau a permit to trade freely in his country. In addition to this, the ruler ordered Nyanggau to berth his sailing boat at his own wharf.

Eventually, after they had visited many places, Nyanggau bought eleven jars for himself. His brother Ambu and others such as Gayong of Babu, Ngadan of Rapong and Asan “Lang Rimba” of Nanga Gayau only bought one or two jars each. After he bought the jars, Nyanggau told his friends that he was running short of money, and urged them to return with him as soon as possible to Sabah. However, when his friends learned of his decision, a sharp argument arose, for they did not want to go back until they had bought jars with the money already in their hands. But Nyanggau insisted. After a long argument, Ambu, Ngadan and Gayong told Nyanggau to return to Sabah alone. They refused to let him use their sailing boat, so Nyanggau returned with his property to Sandakan in someone else’s boat. After Nyanggau had gone, Gayong apai Gurang bought six jars, Ngadan six, Asan “Lang Rimba” six and Ambu two. After they had bought these jars, they sailed back to Sabah and there met Nyanggau who was working in Sandakan. He had sold one of his jars to an Iban, as he was in need of money for expenses. He joined them again and they returned to Sarawak. Their arrival home with so many jars pleased their relatives and friends in the Awik and Sebetan rivers.

Shortly after he had returned successfully from Mindanao, Nyanggau again sold two jars to get money for a trip to Kotei in southeast Kalimantan. When he came to Kotei he and his friends tapped wild robber. At the sale of his rubber Nyanggau received $1500, which he kept to purchase jars. While he was thinking about buying jars a Malay friend of his chanced to meet him and told him that he would like to help him buy jars, if Nyanggau would trust him. They were close friends, so Nyanggau handed over all his money to this man without hesitation. The Malay went off and Nyanggau never saw him again. After being swindled by his friend, Nyanggau could not bring himself to start to tap rubber again in that country. So he returned to Sarawak, but in his shame he did not come home to his wife and children in the Sebetan. Instead he settled at the mouth of the Rejang, where he married a local woman from the region. While he was living in his new wife’s house, he planted padi with the members of her family. With the proceeds from farming, Nyanggau started to trade bubok (shrimps) and blachan (shrimp paste) with the Iban who lived in the lower Rejang. After he had earned a consider¬able amount of money from selling shrimps and shrimp paste, Nyanggau started to trade gongs and modem jars manufactured in Sarawak with the upriver Iban of the Rejang. He made a lot of profit from this trade. In 1902 he joined the “Cholera Expedition” against Bantin and died at Nanga Delok in the epidemic which killed several thousand people.

Iban trade to Kota Warringin and Mindanao.

Late in the 1890s a man named Passa traveled from Sekundong in the Paku to Kota Warringin near Sampit in the Sultanate of Banjermasin in Indonesian Borneo. His reason for going was to work wild rubber from the proceeds of which he intended to purchase a jar. After Passa had served Pengiran Ratu for several years, the latter knew him for a very trustworthy man. So he grew to like him very much. Eventually, in his fondness for Passa, the Pengiran presented to him five old jars in appreciation of his diligence, obedience and sincerity. Passa was very pleased to have been given these jars which were highly valued by the people of his race. Soon afterwards he told Pengiran Ratu that he wanted to take his jars back to his own country, but that he would come back again after he had blessed them with a gawai tajau festival according to Iban custom. So Passa left Kota Warringin for Sarawak. When he reached home, his relatives and friends were very pleased to see the number of jars that he had brought back with him. In their joy, when Passa told them and Malina apai Kampong, the headman, of his wish to celebrate a gawai tajau in honour of his jars, they promptly agreed. So the feast was held and people from many longhouses were invited to attend.

Shortly after the feast was over, Passa went to Kota Warringin again, keeping his promise to Pengiran Ratu. This time he was accompanied by a man named Libu “Badilang” from the same longhouse. When they came to Kota Warringin, they looked very hard for jars. But they could find no others apart from one which Libu bought. After he had bought this jar, he and Passa returned to Sarawak. About a year after he had returned from his second trip to Kota Warringin, Passa went there once more. On this trip he was accompanied by Maling apai Sawat, Rambuyan, Salau, Sujang, Begali, Encharang apai Libau, Ansa apai Jaang, Ulau “Gurang” apai Jabo, Junau and Muyu, all from Paku. On the way to Kota Warringin and while they were there, these Iban worked wild rubber. They all earned money, but only Muyu was fortunate enough to be able to buy two jars, while Salau bought one. Due to their failure to find jars Ulau left the party and returned to Sarawak. From Kuching he sailed in a schooner to Lawas near Brunei, seeking jars. His friends Sujang and Begali also returned and from Kuching they sailed to Sabah. From there they traveled northward until they came to Mindanao in the Philippines. Since then they were never seen in Sarawak again.

Libu “Badilang” of Sekundong, Paku.

After Passa and Libu had returned from Kota Warringin, Libu led his followers from the lower Paku to Singapore. From Singapore Libu and his followers went to Pahang where they worked as casual laborers for the Government. At Pahang Libu met Geraman, the brother of Penghulu Saang “Rumpang” of Sungai Pelandok, Paku, who was a Museum Collector there. Libu joined Geraman who often went with Ulok, a famous collector for the Museum, to shoot birds and monkeys for specimens in the forests of Pahang near Kuala Temerling. After Geraman and Libu had worked for four and two years respectively under Ulok, they returned to Sarawak. Geraman brought home with him even more money than Libu, who had saved one hundred Straits dollars.

Shortly after his return from Malaya Libu joined Rentap of Beduru and Demong, the son of Ambing “Merinsa” of Bangkit, and the three left to tap wild rubber in Limbang. But when they came to Limbang the Sarawak Government asked them to join a punitive expedition against the Kayans of the Upper Limbang. They did so, and during the fighting Libu and Demong each killed an enemy. Due to their success, Libu was given the praise name of “Badilang” and Demong that of “Matahari”. When “Badilang” later became headman of the Sekundong longhouse, the people prospered. Due to his diplomacy and justice in dealing with his people’s affairs, “Badilang” became one of the best-known Paku headmen of his time. During the government expedition against Bantin of the Ulu Ai, he was appointed one of the leading warriors under Penghulu Saang “Rumpang” of the lower Paku.

Iban trade to Malaya, Sumatra and Sabah.

While Passa and his associates were trading at and around Kota Warringin, seventy-four people from the Paku, Rimbas, Krian, Sabelak, Layar and Undup under Nyaru anak Munji of Paku, sailed to Singapore, and thence to Jambi in Sumatra, in order to work wild rubber. When they arrived at Jambi, they found very little rubber to work. So they crossed the Straits of Malacca to the Malay Peninsula to work rubber around Kuala Lumpur, then the capital city of the State of Selangor. But when they got to Kuala Lumpur, they discovered that the Selangor Government had forbidden the tapping of forest trees in the State.

Before they could find work to do, the Federal Government invited them to join the government forces being sent against the rebels in Pahang. After the rebels had been defeated, the Iban divided themselves into three groups. One group went to work wild rubber at Bidor, Sungkai, Ipoh and Tanjong Malim. The second group went with Nyaru and Entingi apai Brenai to look for rubber in Trengganu, and the third group followed Malina “Ensoh” to work in Perak. Out of all these, the group under Malina “Ensoh” earned the most money. After these people had arrived home, Legam anak Lemada of Jukun in the Paku led his followers to Sabah to work wild semalam rubber near Sandakan. When they sold this rubber they received a fair amount of money which they brought home with them.

After Legam and his party had returned from Sabah, Mujah anak Mambang of Nanga Buong in the Paku and his followers left home to go to Perak in Malaya. But when they were about to set sail for Singapore from Kuching, they were stopped by the government, as the authorities at that time only permitted Iban to work in the State of Sarawak. Not discouraged by this, Mujah led his followers to the north, where they intercepted the steamship which plied between Singapore and Labuan. After they had stayed two days in Singapore they paddled a boat across the Johore Straits to Malaya. On their arrival, they found the government had forbidden the tapping of wild rubber because this was destroying the forest trees. So they returned to Singapore where they met many Iban who had come from Sarawak under Penghulu Saang “Rumpang” and Nyaru anak Munji.

From Singapore Mujah’s party joined a party of Iban under Kok, following another party of Iban who had gone to Langkat in Sumatra under Geraman, the younger brother of Penghulu Saang of Paku. After they met Geraman and his followers at Langkat, Geraman suggested that they sail to Temiang with him in a boat he had made himself. They did so, and then went up the river till they reached its first tributary. At this time Acheh was at the height of its rebellion against the Dutch. The Iban knew this, but they were anxious to work rubber and therefore ignored the danger. Later, when the followers of Penghulu Saang, Nyaru and Geraman joined with those who had gone to Temiang with Mujah and Kok, there were seventy-six people from the Second Division in their group.

After they had been working for five months in the Temiang three of them were murdered and one wounded by Acheh rebels. Those who were killed were Asut of Undup, Apai Sumping and Atar both of Sabelak. Unjil from Undai in the Rimbas was seriously wounded. When Penghulu Saang and the other leaders saw this, they ordered their men to make wooden shields for war. When they had finished their preparations for revenge against the Achehs, Saang called for a final discussion. It became clear that the minority of the leaders thought it was very risky for seventy-two of them to attack hundreds of thousands of the enemy. So these leaders ordered all of them to return at once to Singapore, living much of their rubber at many places along the banks of the Temiang River. Those who refused to return home were Sana, Pasai, Entipan, Merupi, Sunggom, Antin and Lidom. They were all from Danggat’s longhouse at Getah on the Anyut, a tributary of the Paku River. They never came home, except for Entipan shortly before the Second World War, but moved to Kelantan in Malaya in 1941. It was because of these people’s failure to return home, that Danggat’s large longhouse in the Anyut eventually ceased to exist. Its inhabitants moved to join the people of other longhouses.

In Singapore, Penghulu Saang and his party met a Paku man named Manang Bakak who was with his friends on their way to look for work in Malaya. After he had been told of the trouble in the Temiang in Sumatra, and also of the many tons of rubber left by the Iban in the jungle there, Bakak and two of his men decided to go there to collect the rubber and sell it for themselves.

When Saang and his party left Singapore for Sarawak, Bakak and his companions departed for Temiang in Sumatra. As they went by canoe up the Temiang River, they passed many hostile groups of armed men gathered on the gravel river beds. Finally, Bakak and his friends reached the place where rubber had been left by Saang and his followers. There Bakak and his friends loaded as much rubber as their boat would hold. After this, Bakak decided that one of his friends was to sit in the bow and the other in the stem of the boat. But in view of the danger which they might encounter on their way down the river, the two men would not obey Bakak’s instruction. They were not very brave and neither one dared sit in the bow or the stern of the boat.

Seeing his friends’ lack of courage Bakak became worried so he asked them to give him a towel. When they did, he recited into it a spell called ilmu bangkai, which can cause the enemy to fall into a very deep sleep. Later he put this towel beneath a stone under water in the river. This done, Bakak ordered his friends to paddle their boat quietly down the river with himself paddling at the centre. They passed several groups of the enemy sitting on the huge dry gravel beds of the river, but the enemy drew back and did not harm them. After passing all danger, Bakak and his companions shouted loudly as if to tell the enemy that they had escaped from their ambush. Hearing this, the enemy fired at them with shot guns but no bullet hit them, Bakak and his companions managed, to reach the town next morning where they sold their rubber.

Mat Salleh’s Rebellion in Sabah.

While many Iban went to work wild rubber and jungle produce in. Malaya, South Borneo and Sumatra, many others went to Sabah for the same purpose, hoping to acquire valuable jars. In Sabah, after Penglima Anji and his brother Penglima Radin had grown old, a certain influential half-Bajau, half-Suluk chief named Mat Sslleh led many of the Sabahans in a rebellion against the government. At the start of this rebellion, Nakoda Usang of Sabelak sailed to Sabah and opened a trading business at Papar. He was shortly afterwards followed by Nakoda Bali also from the Sabelak, Kalaka.

When Nakoda Usang was running his business at Papar, he was commissioned by the Chartered Company Government to attack Mat Salleh and his followers who had fortified themselves at Sayap-Sayap. This fortress was built on a high, steep hill difficult to attack from the low ground. There was no high ground near it from which this fort could be attacked with guns or cannons. When they were constructing the fort, Mat Salleh and his followers built its walls of huge boulders and logs of wood, to make it impenetrable even to cannon balls. In addition they gathered a lot of wood with which to crush the enemy if they ventured to climb the steep hill to attack the stockade.

During the preparations for the expedition, Usang had summoned the Iban who had come to Sabah from the Batang Lupar and the Rejang to join him. And with these people he and Nakoda Bali of the Sabelak, attacked Mat Salleh at Sayap-Sayap several times, but could not harm him, nor could they approach his stockade on the fortified summit of the hill.

The arrival of Nakoda Tinggi at Sandakan.

While Nakoda Usang was fighting against Mat Salleh and his followers at Sayap-Sayap, Nakoda Tinggi of Paku arrived at Sandakan from Singapore with three of his friends. On their arrival they joined the North Borneo Constabulary and were given a contract of three years. After two years of serving in the Constabulary Tinggi was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal which he retained till his resignation a year later. At the expiration of his contract, the Commissioner of the British North Borneo Constabulary urged Tinggi to renew his service. But Tinggi explained to him that he preferred to collect rattan and wild rubber in the jungle for trade than to continue working for the Government. Hearing this, the Commissioner told Tinggi that, if he would continue working for the Government, he would promote him to the rank of Sergeant. Tinggi did not accept this offer and resigned from the service, leaving his friends Luta, Ganggang and Berayun to work behind as Police.

To start his business, Tinggi borrowed two hundred dollars from Ganggang, and added this to the money he had accumulated while he worked as a Constable. After he had completed his preparations for jungle work, Tinggi left Sandakan by boat and traveled upriver for seven days till he reached the Mengadau tributary. This area was inhabited by the Bisayas, Tidong, Dusun and a mixture of other native tribes. On his arrival at Nanga Mengadau he hired people to collect rattans for him from the Perangan Cape forest, which was a huge area of uninhabited virgin forest. But rattan vines were scarce in this area, and so his business was a failure. Just above this point, the river was not navigable because of a number of very dangerous rapids. Only after one day’s traveling by boat to Nanga Meridi was the river deep and smooth again. From Nanga Mengadau, after he failed to collect rattans, Tinggi went up to the Ulu Labuk. He was liked by the people there due to his honesty in dealing with the people who worked for him. In fact he became a man most trusted by the people of the Ulu Sugut, Ulu Pugalan and Ulu Mumus who presented him with many cattle and water buffalo. Besides giving him these, they voluntarily helped him trade these animals in the Sandakan market.

One day while Tinggi was doing his business at Ulu Labuk, he was officially summoned by the Government to come down to Sandakan. There he was asked to become a joint leader with Usang in an attack on Mat Salleh in his stockade at Sayap-Sayap. Tinggi promptly agreed to help the Government, but was a bit unhappy because of Usang’s attitude towards him as they did this work together.

Having agreed to help the Government attack Mat Salleh with Usang, Tinggi called for all the Saribas Iban who were already in Sabah to join him. When they had finished making their preparations for war, warriors under both Usang and Tinggi proceeded to the enemy’s fort at Sayap-Sayap. But when they got near the foot of the hill they unfortunately heard the voice of the embuas (Banded Kingfisher) omen bird. On hearing it, Usang declared that the omen was excellent, because the warriors whom he had led in the past were now being led by a mightier war leader. These words of Usang were an insult to Tinggi who had never before led anyone to war. Usang knew that this omen was bad, and indeed foretold particular danger to the most senior of the warriors in the force. But Tinggi was silent. He did not take Usang’s insult to heart, as he knew that Usang was afraid of being dominated by him in their joint leadership. Tinggi also knew that this omen was dangerous mainly to Usang himself, who was an experienced war leader who had fought Mat Salleh several times before. As for himself, he was a young leader, and he knew that this omen would be harmless to him.

The voice of the embuas omen bird can have two meanings. It is a burong gaga (happy omen) if it is heard when one begins to travel and it is a burong sinu (sad omen), especially for a leader if it is heard at the end of one’s travels. Now since it was Usang who was the senior leader of the expedition, this omen was for Nakoda Usang himself and not for his junior partner Nakoda Tinggi.

Eventually, when the troops were ready to attack Mat Salleh’s fort, Tinggi suggested to Usang that their warriors should be divided into two groups, in order that it be easier for them to besiege the hill; but Usang did not answer him at all. He appeared to be very unhappy with Tinggi’s presence in the force. Seeing that Usang was in a bad mood, Tinggi started to move towards Mat Salleh’s fort. He was instantly followed by Guroh, Luta, Ugol, Jantin, Kubut, Berayun, Uju, Ulau “Gurang”, Jaiya, Tunggay, Randi*, Enteri*, Ganggang, Datu, Belaki and Asan “Lang Rimba”. They were all from the Saribas and mostly from the Paku. Some men of the Krian also followed Tinggi: Bawin, Meling, Medan, Dawil and Tajak. When he saw that Tinggi and his fighters had gone, Usang rose up and quickly ran ahead of them. But in spite of Usang’s unpleasant behavior towards him, Tinggi controlled his temper. He did not speak a single word in anger. At last they looked up towards the enemy’s fort on the top of the hill. Suddenly the enemy flung down a huge stone, which by chance landed on Usang’s head and killed him instantly. Because of this, Tinggi ordered the force to retreat in order to carry Usang’s body back home for burial.

After the body of Nakoda Usang had been buried, Tinggi returned to his house at Ulu Labuk, where he managed his affairs as before. But shortly after he settled down, he was called again by the Government to Sandakan. On this trip, he was accompanied by his brother Nyanggau, Guroh and Dawil, who wanted to sell their rubber in the town. While he was in the capital, Tinggi met his Excellency Mr. Creagh, then the Governor of Sabah. At this meeting the Governor asked Tinggi what he was doing at Ulu Labuk and Ulu Sugut. Tinggi told him that he was tapping wild rubber and collecting rattan in the forests. He also told the Governor that he was living in a very strong fortified house, because of the many enemies wandering about near the place. Hearing this, Mr. Creagh asked where these enemies came from. Tinggi said that Mat Salleh’s followers were living in scattered groups in Ranau, Tambunan, Keningau and Ulu Papar, around Mt. Kinabalu and up to the Ulu Mumus. Tinggi explained that they did not dare to live at Ulu Labuk and Ulu Sugut for fear of the Sarawak Iban who traded and had settled there.

After the Governor learned of all the places where the enemies were living, he requested Tinggi to stop trading. Instead, he proposed to pay him fifty dollars per month, and in addition to that, he agreed that one tenth of the yearly poll-tax collected by Tinggi in the Ulu areas of Labuk, Sugut and Ranau should be paid to him too. Tinggi told the Governor that it was unnecessary for him to look after the affairs of the people at Labuk, Ranau and Sugut for Mat Salleh had sworn that he would not raid the people of these regions, where a lot of Sarawak Iban were living peacefully. Hearing this, Mr. Creagh agreed that Tinggi could continue to trade at Labuk, but he requested him to take care of the affairs of the natives there, so that they should not join Mat Salleh and other rebels. He modified their agreement, confirming that the Sabah Government would pay Tinggi twenty-five dollars per month plus one tenth of the yearly poll-tax he would collect. Tinggi agreed to this and told the Governor that he would do the work entrusted to him so that peace could be preserved in the Ulu Labuk, Ranau and Sugut rivers.

Before Tinggi and his friends returned home, the Governor loaned them one shot gun each, and assured them that if Mat Salleh and his followers attacked Labuk, Ranau and Sugut, the Government would certainly reinforce them with Iban Constables. Tinggi was very satisfied with the Government’s assurances and was glad to return to Labuk next day, accompanied by Berayun, Uju, Jaiya and Ganggang who had recently resigned from Constabulary service, in addition to Guroh, Nyanggau and Dawil who had left the force some years before.

When they reached a public landing place at Nanga Meridi, they employed the Bisayas to carry their boat up along the various dangerous rapids between there and another landing place in the upper river, while they themselves walked along the road which Tinggi had built with Government funds. After their boat had arrived, they unloaded their luggage. And shortly after they had finished, Mat Salleh and his friends suddenly appeared on their way from the Ulu Mumus. On seeing them Mat Salleh stared and then called to Nyanggau, whom he instantly recognized.

Nyanggau answered him and Mat Salleh said, “Lama betol kita tiadak berjumpa, Nyanggau” (“It’s quite a while since we last met”).

“Ya, betol lama, Mat Salleh”, (“Yes, it certainly is,” replied Nyanggau).

After they had talked for sometime, Mat Salleh led his friends back to the Ulu Mumus. They did not ambush the people of Ulu Sugut as they were afraid of Tinggi and his followers, who were armed with shot-guns.

From there Tinggi and his friends went to Pensiangan. A day after their arrival in that place, a Dusun chief named Bangkut came and reported to them that Mat Salleh had built a stockade at Ranau in addition to the one at Sayap-Sayap. The location of this stockade was at the border between Ulu Labuk and Ulu Pugalan, tributaries of the Padas River. Tinggi reported this to the Government at Sandakan and appealed to the Government for the assistance of the Iban Constables. In compliance with his request, the Government dispatched Sergeant Luta, Sergeant Ngenang, Sergeant Jerenang, Sergeant Nion, Sergeant Ringgit and Sergeant Balang leading a force of troops to reinforce him. When they came to Tinggi’s house, he told them all about the position of Mat Salleh’s fort, and about the two thousand families of Dusuns in the area who favored Mat Salleh. Tinggi said that before the erection of the fort all the Dusuns had been living peacefully under his control. He also told them that Mat Salleh himself was living at Tambunan, from where he led his fighting men to attack small towns and villages in many areas. However he always avoided the Labuk and Sugut regions for fear of the Iban who worked in the forests there.

After the war expedition was fully prepared, Tinggi led his men, including the constables from Sandakan, to attack Mat Salleh’s fort at Ranau. They fought very hard and eventually defeated the enemy. After the fighting was over, Tinggi conferred praise-names according to Iban custom on all his warriors who had successfully slaughtered enemies, such as “Tedong Ngelantar” to Sergeant Luta and “Badilang Besi” to Kubut. Many others received ensumbar (praise-names) at this time, but their praise-names are not remembered. After Mat Salleh’s fort at Ranau had been stormed, Tinggi attacked him again and again, and small battles were fought in many places. He was assisted by Guroh, Dawil, Jantin, Berayun and about ten others from the Sabelak and the Rejang in Sarawak.

On one of these expeditions they left Pensiangan and stayed a night at Ranau. Next day they left for Ranagong and stayed the night in the Police Station. At about 4 a.m., since the night was cool, Jantin lit a fire outside the building to warm himself. In its light he was seen by the enemy who were reconnoitering and he was shot in the stomach. After this the enemy continued to shoot at the Police Station building from the darkness. The Police returned the fire, but it was impossible to harm the enemy who hid themselves under cover of darkness. Early that morning Tinggi and his fighters went out after the enemy, leaving Jantin in a critical condition. After some hours of unsuccessfully tracking the enemy, Tinggi brought all his followers back to the Police Station to look for Jantin. But when they reached it, Jantin had already died. All his friends and relatives who had joined the expedition were stunned by this death of their well-beloved friend-in-arms. They took his body back and he was eventually buried in a cemetery at Nanga Mengadau below Pensiangan.

After the death of Jantin, Mat Salleh rebuilt his stockade at Ranau. He armed it with dozens of cannons captured from the many towns he had attacked. When he knew this, Tinggi went to report the matter to the Government at Sandakan. On his arrival at the capital, he requested the Government to support him by sending Iban Constables. The Government promptly agreed to help him, and directed Mr. Jones to command the Constabulary troops that were to leave for Ulu Sugut the following day. When they arrived at Tinggi’s house, a council of war was held in which it was agreed that all the Constables were to be under the direct command of Mr. Jones, while all the Iban from Sugut, Ranau and Labuk were to be under Tinggi.

While they prepared for the expedition, Tinggi informed Mr. Jones that all Mat Salleh’s warriors were already gathered in the fort. Tinggi also said that while he was away meeting the Government officials at Sandakan, Mat Salleh had completed a huge circular ditch round the fort. He explained that because of this it would be impossible for their advancing force to get near the fort. After Mr. Jones heard this, he suggested that their combined forces leave early next day to attack Mat Salleh’s fort. He felt sure that they could easily capture the fort after an exchange of cannon fire had taken place.

After the conference was over, Tinggi asked all his Iban warriors to prepare for the next day’s march against the enemy’s stockade. Hearing this Guroh and his brother Ugol said that if the attack was not for the purpose of taking revenge on the enemy for the death of their cousin Jantin, they would not even be prepared to bring themselves to gaze upon the Ranau region. But they said that as it was a man of Mat Salleh who had killed Jantin, they would join the force and kill the enemies with their swords. Another warrior Berayun also stated and wept as he did so, that he too would join the force to avenge the death of his lamented cousin Jantin. Having heard the speeches of his friends and relatives, Tinggi said that this expedition was for revenge upon the enemy for the death of Jantin, whom, Mat Salleh’s man had killed.

“So tomorrow, when we advance towards the stockade, we must be subtle and brave, so that we can kill many of them”, Tinggi said.

Early next morning the force under Mr. Jones and Tinggi set off towards Ranau. Tinggi was followed by Sergeant Luta “Tedong Ngelantar,” Guroh, Nyanggau, Ugol, Berayun, Uju, Kubut “Badilang Besi”, Bedindang, Randi, Enteri, Sergeant Jerenang, Sergeant Balang, Dawil, Bawin, Jaiya, Ganggang “Pipit Manchal”, Meling and Medan. Of these, he directed Luta, Kubut and Bawin to take the lead (ngambu dulu). All the young Iban constables went with Mr. Jones as agreed in the conference.

They stayed the night at Ulu Labuk after a day’s march up the Sugut River. A temporary camp was made for them by friendly Dusuns, under chief Bangkut. When the Dusuns built the shelter, Tinggi and his warriors moved on ahead to spy upon the enemy. Mr. Jones wanted to join them, but Tinggi thought it was not necessary for him to do so. After the meal that night, Tinggi proposed to Mr. Jones that they hold a final meeting to discuss the path to be used while they advanced towards the enemy’s stockade. Mr. Jones agreed, so the conference was held. In it both leaders agreed not to march in any exposed places, such as the spine of a hill, so that they would not reveal themselves to the enemy.

Early next morning the forces under Tinggi and Mr. Jones separated, each using a separate route through the thick undergrowth below the main path towards the enemy’s stockade on top of the hill. Tinggi marched first, closely followed by Luta, Guroh, Ugol and Nyanggau. They went quietly along the low ground near the side of the road. When they were near enough, they fired a bedil (cannon) hitting the wall of Mat Salleh’s fort several times and killing some of the enemy. During the exchange of fire many of Mat Salleh’s warriors hid themselves in the ditch. After a long time, Tinggi’s cannon balls managed to break down the stockade. But when they entered the fort they found it deserted. Mat Salleh and his followers had fled away down the other side of the hill.

The force under Mr. Jones had ill luck. As they proceeded towards the fort, before Tinggi fired the cannon, Datu of the Rimbas, who was first in the advance through the bush, happened to show himself in an open place. As he did this, he was struck down by the enemy’s cannon shot. Seeing him dying, Mr. Jones went to rescue him and was killed by an enemy shot in the same place. After the defeat of Mat Salleh’s forces, Tinggi commanded his troops to return home in order to bury Mr. Jones and Datu at the Nanga Mengadau cemetery.

Shortly after the expedition, Tinggi and his friends began to fortify their own houses with stones and huge blocks of wood. After they had finished, Tinggi went down to Sandakan by boat with his brother Nyanggau, Guroh and his brother Ugol, Berayun and Dawil to sell rattans, and also to return to the Government the shot¬guns loaned to them for the attack on Mat Salleh’s fort at Ranau. Having done this they returned home. On their arrival they learnt that Mat Salleh and his followers had left Ranau and had begun to build yet another stronghold in the centre of the huge Tambunan plain. This plain is roughly fifteen miles square. Here Mat Salleh was joined by the native chiefs Ramantai, Kenyawan and Sabayai and by two Iban convicts, Salang and Impin, who had recently escaped from prison. Besides these, a great number of Bajaus, Suluks and Segamas also joined him. They were the people who built the fort for Mat Salleh.

At its completion, Mat Salleh brought to the fort his three wives and their children. But he forbade his followers’ wives and families to come and crowd the fort, hindering the fighting men. So the families of his followers were left in their respective houses. After he had fully settled into this stronghold, Mat Salleh and his followers raided the town of Keningau. They did not slaughter those who did not resist them, but only killed those who favored the Chartered Company Government. Mat Salleh and his warriors next attacked the towns of Papar, Tuaran and the Embawan. The former rebels from these towns had been loyal to the Government ever since their defeat by Nakoda Radin of Saribas and Nakoda Bali of Sabelak, Kalaka, who lived in Keningau.

While Mat Salleh was busy raiding the smaller towns and villages of Sabah, the British and her Colonial Territories all over the world celebrated Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897. In honour of this, the Government of the North Borneo Chartered Company sent a detachment of Dayaks of the British North Borneo Constabulary to England. Those who were selected to go were Sergeant Balang of the Rimbas, Sergeant Luta “Tedong Ngelantar” of the Paku, Sergeant Jerenang of Batang Lupar and Sergeant Ngenang of Penunus, Rimbas, in Saribas.

At the death of ex-Penghulu Luta “Tedong Ngelantar” in 1939, the District Officer of Saribas wrote:

The death is reported of ex-Penghulu Luta of the Paku. He had served in the British North Borneo Constabulary and attended the Jubilee of Queen Victoria when a detachment of that force was sent to England.

He used to talk of his experience in the Knights-Bridge barracks, where the detachment was billeted. He always maintained that the B.N.B. Constabulary were just as smart as the Scots Guards, who apparently were in the same barracks. Apart from the Jubilee itself Paddington Station seems to have attracted Luta the most.

When they were in London the Iban performed their traditional dances such as ngajat, bepencha and bekuntau for the concerts. They understood the Queen’s speech through Malay interpreters. During their stay of six months in Britain they visited other cities in England, Wales and Scotland.

After they had returned from Britain, they found that Mat Salleh was still very active. He had just raided the towns of Putatan, Jesselton and Kimanis. Due to this, the Government ordered Tinggi and his Iban force to attack him at Tambunan. Tinggi proceeded to attack Mat Salleh’s followers in accordance with Iban customs of war in which, if a settlement is defeated, all of its inhabitants are killed, including the women and children. Due to his defeat at Tambunan by Tinggi and his warriors, Mat Salleh no longer dared to venture again into the Sugut and Labuk regions.

Shortly after he had been defeated at Tambunan, Mat Salleh attacked Jesselton once again. During this raid, his warriors looted the Chinese shop houses and destroyed Government property including several buildings. Before he attacked Jesselton he first raided Embawan, Papar and Putatan. After these towns were defeated, he raided the town of Pasir China which was strongly defended by European and native soldiers. After the surrender of this town, Mat Salleh and his warriors went by boat to attack Pulau Gaya which they defeated easily. During this expedition Mat Salleh left his household under the care of chiefs Kenyawan, Ramantai and Sabayai, who were very much afraid of Tinggi’s troops in Sugut and Labuk. After they had captured the Government officer in charge of the Treasury, shotguns and ammunition, Mat Salleh’s men ransacked and burnt the Government buildings. They did not kill the Chinese as none of them seemed to be hostile. On their way back to Tambunan, Mat Salleh’s men were again attacked by the Iban of Saribas and Kalaka. During the fighting along the road, Manang Jabu and Sadai of Kalaka and Gurang and Dana of Paku killed a number of the enemy. After a long battle, Mr. W.R. Flint ordered the Iban to retreat. Gurang and Jampi of Paku protested strongly, for they wanted to kill more of Mat Salleh’s men. But after they were called back by military order they returned to join the force.

When he returned to Tambunan, Mat Salleh rebuilt the fort which had been destroyed by Tinggi. He placed the captured Government treasurer in a cell under his own close watch. In his leisure time Mat Salleh invited this important prisoner to supervise the placing of cannons around the wall of the fort. Behind this wall, the gunners could hide themselves in trenches when they fought. At this time Mat Salleh’s power was at its zenith. He felt very secure and did not think that the Government would send a punitive expedition against him from Sandakan. The only people he expected to attack him were Nakoda Tinggi and his Iban warriors from the Labuk and Sugut rivers.

But the Government forces started to take back the towns and villages which had fallen into the hands of Mat Salleh. After they had recaptured all of them, the Government began to attack Mat Salleh at his Tambunan stronghold. The intended raid was extremely difficult to undertake, as it took seven full days to transport the fighting equipment from Nanga Putatan to the edge of the Tambunan plain. When the force had done this, the cannons were mounted in position on the slope of a low hill, about eight miles away from Mat Salleh’s fort. It was impossible to fire at Mat Salleh’s fort from there, for from this distance the cannon balls could not reach it.

After they had prepared several days, Tinggi suggested that the ditch which supplied Mat Salleh’s people with drinking water should be blocked to cut off the enemy’s water supply. This suggestion was promptly accepted by the other war leaders, and the ditch was blocked immediately. The next day, Mat Salleh’s people became very troubled at the shortage of water for drinking, washing and bathing. The only other source of water was about seven miles away from the fort. Due to this distance, Mat Salleh’s followers were only able to draw water once each night, for fear of the enemy who were constantly watching their movements.

When they were all ready for the attack against the stronghold, the Government force began to shoot at it with mortar fire. The first shot only quieted the enemy who hid themselves inside the long circular trench within the fort and were not hit by the shells. But when the second shot was fired it hit Mat Salleh. Mat Salleh was hit in the head and killed instantly with some of his warriors. Seeing that he was dead, the native chiefs Ramantai, Kenyawan and Sabayai immediately led the survivors out of the fort. As they came out of the building they waved white flags up and down, to inform the Government in the distance that they would fight no more. After all of Mat Salleh’s followers had left the fort, the Government treasurer captured by Mat Salleh at Pulau Gaya came out of his cell and escaped to safety.

After they had abandoned the stronghold, Ramantai and his friends went to report the death of Mat Salleh to Mr. Everett, the Officer-in-Charge of the Government force. Hearing this Mr. Everett, Tinggi and the other leaders went to the fort and saw his body for themselves. After they were satisfied that Mat Salleh had been killed, they conducted his three wives and their children to Sandakan. Some months later, one of them married an Iban named Impin, a convict who had in the past joined Mat Salleh in the defense of his stronghold at Tambunan. After the war one of Mat Salleh’s favorite gongs (satawak) was presented by the Government to Tinggi in appreciation for his aid in attacking Mat Salleh’s strongholds in many places. When she saw this, Mat Salleh’s first widow wanted to buy it for two hundred dollars from Tinggi but he would not sell it, as he wanted to keep it as a memorial of his many encounters with the famous Sabah rebel leader. Tinggi had fought against Mat Salleh at Tuaran, Timbau Batu, Mumus, Sugut and together with Nakoda Bali of Sabelak, Kalaka.

After the rebellion was over, Tinggi continued to trade at Ulu Sugut, where he bought rattan, wild rubber, cattle and water buffalo from the natives and sold them to the Chinese traders at Sandakan. In addition to the profit he made in these tran¬sactions, he also received $750 each year as 10% of the taxes he collected. But Tinggi did not long enjoy the prosperity brought by his business. He suffered from an incurable boil on his back and died of this while only in his late forties. In honour of his meritorious service to the State, the Chartered Company Government mourned his death with one day’s holiday, and flags flew at half-mast throughout the State.

After the death of Tinggi, his business fell into the hands of his illiterate brother Nyanggau, who had in Tinggi’s honour been appointed the Iban chief of Ulu Sugut. But Nyanggau was ignorant of trade and his business was soon bankrupt.

On hearing of the death of Tinggi in Sarawak, his cousin Luta “Tedong Ngelantar” of Samu in the Paku, accompanied by Mujah anak Mambang, went to Sabah to settle the deceased’s affairs. When they came to Sugut they found only six water buffaloes, twenty cows, four cannons (bedil), six chanang gongs, six other gongs, one set of engkerumong gongs and one rusa type jar still to be sold. Other than these, the following goods were kept by Mr. Applin at Labuan: one satawak gong, two bedil and two chanang gongs. After they had gathered all these goods, Luta and Mujah brought them back to Sarawak and surrendered them to Tinggi’s sister Mengu, of Samu.

When Nyanggau was chief at Sugut, there were still minor clashes between the ex-rebels and the peaceful people of the area so he and Nakoda Bali were frequently ordered by the government to lead punitive expeditions to dislodge these dissidents.

The arrival of Nakoda Kassim in Sabah.

After Nyanggau’s death he was succeeded as chief of Ulu Sugut by Guroh of Semambu, Paku. This chief had assisted the late Nakoda Tinggi in dealing with native affairs in the Sugut, Labuk and Ranau regions. When Guroh was chief he was aided by his brother Ugol and Nakoda Kassim and his brother Muling of the Awik, Kalaka. The two brothers Kassim and Muling came to Sabah when Tinggi was chief at Labuk, Sugut and Ranau. On their arrival in the State, they tapped wild rubber in the forests near Labuk like other Iban. They joined the expeditions against Mat Salleh under Tinggi and Bali, and in these wars Kassim killed several enemies.

Nakoda Kassim was an educated and honest man. Because of his fairness in dealing with native affairs at Labuk, Guroh, the chief, recommended that he be made chief at Labuk. This recommendation was approved by the North Borneo Government and Kassim became chief of Labuk. At this time Muling died of old age in Sandakan. Eventually Kassim was able to join the Government service as a clerk. Later he was promoted to Deputy Assistant District Officer at Ranau, with the power of magistrate, a post which he held for many years with the rank of Orang Kaya Kaya. He married the daughter of a Dusun chief. When he retired on pension he took his family back to the Kalaka. At home he associated himself closely with the Anglican Mission and became the staunchest financier and supporter of the advance of the Church and of mission education in the Kalaka and Saribas Districts till his death in 1929.

After Nakoda Tinggi and others had gone to Sabah, Uyut, the eldest son of Penghulu Garran of the Paku, together with Ipa and Chentu went to tap wild rubber near Bintulu. While he was there Uyut met a man named Gima of the Ulu Krian who was doing the same work in the district. After they worked together Uyut joined Gima, leaving Ipa and Chentu, and went to Singapore. From there the two went to Trengganu to tap wild rubber with other Iban who had arrived there before them.

After they had been working for some months in the Trengganu forests, Uyut met Nyanggau of Nanga Buong, Paku, and together they went to Kuala Lumpur and joined the Police Force. Due to his efficiency in the service, Uyut was soon promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal, taking the name of Enche Ibrahim, due to his conversion to Islam. After his promotion, the Government commanded Uyut to join a punitive expedition under Sergeant Tampang of the Awik to fight the rebels at Bentong. They were joined by Kelumpu of Krian and some other Iban. During the fighting Uyut was reported to be very brave. It was said that he fired at the enemy who were hiding in the bush and killed a lot of them; while he himself and two friends behind him stood exposed on the top of the fort. He himself was not hit. They said this was due to the effect of Uyut’s empelias charm, which has the power of protecting its owner from being touched by any kind of war weapon.

After the fighting had ended, Uyut led the Iban out after their enemies to the jungle where he and his comrades Katang, Kelumpu, Embol and Nyanggau slew a great number of the rebels. Uyut himself killed nine enemies and took many captives, whom he conducted in two perahu to the Police Station in town. Due to his gallant service on this expedition, Tampang gave Uyut the name of “Muntegrai”. This was done according to Iban war custom in which an ensumber (praise-name) is given to a man who has killed enemies. After this, both Sergeant Matsirong and Lance Corporal Ibrahim always led expeditions together against the rebels at Bentong and in the State of Pahang.

Advancement of the downriver Iban.

While the upriver Iban were rebelling against the Sarawak Government, those who lived downriver enjoyed peace, which enabled them to trade in foreign countries, It was because of the new developments they saw during their adventures that a man like Penghulu Kedit of the Paku first started to plant coffee trees and pepper vines in 1885. In relation to these innovations of his, the Sarawak Gazette, dated 12th November, 1892, published as follows:

Kedit, Ulu Paku chief visited Simanggang. He sold the produce of his pepper garden; his coffee trees have not yet produced. Kedit mentioned he should like to go in for cattle, I told him to arrange with his people and let me know how many he wished to keep. I advised him to purchase from the Government Kabong herd and cross with Abang Sut (of Spaoh).

But for some reason Penghulu Kedit never reared cattle. His ambition was finally fulfilled when his nephew Legam, in company with Nyaru and Nyanggau of Kerangan Pinggai, found a suitable piece of grazing land for the purpose in 1926. Cattle rearing are still going on to the present day on this pasture. After Kedit had planted his coffee trees, many agriculture-conscious Iban followed his example. From the profit of these plantations the Iban were able to purchase a great number of brass cannons, brass areca-nut boxes and gongs of various kinds and types. These antiques are still kept by the Iban of the Paku as heirlooms in memory of their forefathers’ adventures before the turn of the century. The pepper and coffee plantations soon declined due to the advent of rubber planting which was started by Budin “Grasi” and his son Lumpoh in the late 1880s. The first rubber seeds planted in the Saribas were bought by Lumpoh while he was trading in Singapore. In all these ventures the Iban profited much more from rubber than from any other cash crop. Coffee trees grow very well in the country, but as there was no proper market to buy the beans, planting was abandoned due to the loss which the planters suffered when the product was sold. After the First World War ended In 1919, the Iban of the lower rivers started to plant more Brazilian Para rubber (imported by the government from Singapore), particularly in Sabu along the Undup near Simanggang, in the Saribas and Kalaka districts and around the towns of Sarikei, Binatang and Sibu in the Rejang river, up to the lower Kanowit and Julau rivers. With the money earned from the sale of rubber, the Iban of Saribas and Kalaka improved their standard of living and took to serving modern food and drink at their various festivals. Besides this they used the money they earned from rubber to finance their children’s education in the Mission Schools at Simanggang, Betong, Saratok and Sibu up to the eve of the Second World War.

At this time, although the Iban rebellion in the Gaat had just been quelled, the upriver Iban of the Batang Lupar and the Rejang and Baleh were still not very loyal to the Sarawak Government. In 1929 their younger warriors joined the revolt led by Asun “Bah Tunggal” of Entabai, Kanowit, which lasted until 1933.

Modern Iban longhouse and dress.

From 1908 to 1924, there were a number of Iban from the Saribas and Kalaka and a few from Banting on the Lingga River working as temporary collectors under Ulok anak Sadai of Ulu Krian at the Selangor Museum in Kuala Lumpur. At this time whenever the Director and his senior staff were on expedition, they took these Iban to many Indonesian Islands including New Guinea. On these trips the Iban were able to see much of the development taking place in the Dutch Empire.

Influenced by the design of houses they had seen in foreign countries, particularly in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, the Iban of Sengiam, Paku, first modernized the construction of their longhouse in 1914. Penghulu Dalam Munan who had been living near Sibu since 1898 had already built nine shopnouses in the town some years earlier. The longhouse at Sengam was built similar in design to the Chinese shop houses of those years. Furthermore as time went on, many Iban of the lower rivers especially in the Saribas and Kalaka regions modernized the fashion of their houses and enriched them with modem furniture. Besides modernizing the fashion of their longhouse buildings, the lower river Iban also started to wear European dress around 1900. Before this, only very few Iban who had settled near the Malays wore trousers, shirts and hats. They adopted the new dress from the Javanese and Malayans with whom they came into contact when they visited these countries after 1888. The upriver Iban retained their traditional costume till after the Second World War.

The Second World War years.

When war was declared by Japan against the Allied Powers at the end of 1941, it surprised many in Sarawak, including those who lived far in the interior. At the beginning of the war not many people actually believed that British power in the Far East could be so easily and quickly defeated by an enemy in such a short fight. Because of this, very few people in Sarawak had laid in a sufficient stock of clothes for the three and a half years of enemy occupation.

Before the landing of Japanese troops, the Sarawak Government ordered that the oil installations at Miri and Lutong in the Fourth Division were to be completely destroyed by fire. This was promptly done by members of the Sarawak Constabulary under Police Inspector Mr. Juing Insol and others. About a week later the Japanese forces landed at Miri. Before the Japanese battalions landed in Kuching several bombs were dropped at various targets in the town, such as Fort Margherita and the benzine store near the Borneo Company. But these last bombs fell on the Borneo Company building itself. The others destroyed one of the Customs godowns in front of the Main Bazaar. Before the bombing of Pearl Harbour, one Japanese vessel had already arrived and was anchored below Kampung Penglima Seman near the present Tanah Puteh Wharf. Its cargo was coal, but hidden beneath the coal were soldiers who were waiting for the order to land. From the day of her arrival this vessel whistled day and night, which caused people to think it had struck the rocks.

When they landed in the First Division, the Japanese came in along the Santubong delta and the Luba Kilong near Pulau Kra to land at Semariang. From this place the troops marched towards Bukit Siol and then down the Astana Road to attack Kuching. When they reached the town proper they met no resistance at all. So the Military Police (Kempetai) went straight to Fort Margherita, the Central Police Station and the various Government Offices. In the Secretariat and other Offices they arrested the European civil servants including the Officer administering the Government, Mr. C.C. Le Gros Clarke; the Chief Secretary, Mr. J.B. Archer and Mr. Selous, the Secretary for Chinese Affairs. After these officers had been detained, the European doctors in the General Hospital and the priests of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Missions, including Rt. Rev. F.S. Hollis, the Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak were also arrested and detained with their colleagues in the Government Rest House on Rock Road (now Tun Abang Haji Openg Road).

The Japanese troops who came by ship from the Santubong delta to Kuching were attacked by the Punjabi regiment at Bintawa Lama. Due to the strength of the Japanese forces, the Punjabi retreated but reformed to attack the enemy again at the 7th Mile, Batu Kawa, Batu Kitang and at the Satok suspension bridge with members of the Sarawak Field Force and Coast Guard.

After Sarawak had officially surrendered to the enemy, the Military Police sent the local high-ranking Police Officers to capture the other European Officers in the Outstations. As a result, Mr. J.C.H. Barcroft was captured at Ban, Mr, A.R. Snelus at Simanggang and Mr. AJ.N. Richards at Belong. Many others were also captured but their names and the places of their arrest are not remembered. On their arrival in Kuching, these officers and the others who had been arrested earlier were transferred to the detention camp at Batu Lintang. Today this camp has been renovated and incorporated with the modem buildings of the Brooke College.

From the beginning of the occupation, the Japanese Military Government re¬quested that all the Asian Government servants remain at their jobs. In spite of this request, all the Rajah’s most loyal servants resigned; but those who strongly supported the new Government were promoted to top posts, made Residents, District Officers and heads of various departments. Among the European civil servants, only the Acting Resident of the Second Division, Mr. G.R.H. Arundell, managed to escape Japanese arrest. Instead of surrendering himself to the Military Government he fled to the Ulu Ai where he lived under the care of his Iban friends, Penghulu Ramba and his brothers in the upper Mujan. But the man who really looked after him and his family was an ex-rebel named Mikai, one of Asun’s followers. In 1942, the shocking news was received that Arundell, Sendie anak Bungka, his wife and their young daughter were murdered by the famous convicts Pong, Ijau and Unying. It was said that when the murder took place, Mikai was absent from the house.

When Penghulu Ramba and his brothers Rantai and Ngindang reported the matter to the Government after the war, an investigation was made. During this investigation, Unying, Pong and Ijau accused Mikai of having murdered the Arundell family. Mikai denied this and said that the murder was actually committed by the three convicts who had hated Mr. Arundell. He further alleged that since these convicts had been released by the Japanese from prison, they had become restless, trying to find ways to revenge themselves against Mr. Arundell who had sentenced them to prison due to their involvement in the Asun affair. The arguments continued, until Mikai invited the three to test the facts by a customary selam ai, or diving contest. This challenge was accepted by Pong and his friends. But when the contest was held the three suspects lost it, and therefore they were surrendered to the Government for detention. This case was later settled by the Allied Military Government in 1948 and the murderers were executed according to the Sarawak code of law. The skulls of the Arundelis were reburied at Pudu Cemetery near Betong in the Saribas District in 1943.

During the enemy occupation, civil communication between administrative Divisions in the country was completely non-existent. Due to this, the people were kept in the dark about the others’ affairs. The few people who owned radios were strictly ordered by the Military to surrender them to the occupation Government. Those who owned outboard engines were also ordered to surrender them to the Government. Due to their ignorance about affairs outside their own district, the Iban and other people of all races did nothing other than plant padi. Those who farmed close to the Divisional and District headquarters suffered most, as they were forced by the Japanese to sell their padi to the Government, but as the Japanese officers were afraid to approach the natives in their longhouses, this demand was not so successful. But all those who could sell more than five piculs of padi to the Government were given medals of various grades and flags. Other trade carried out by the people was strictly controlled by the Government.

As the war years went on, the majority of the people, especially those who lived downriver, suffered from the terrible shortage of clothes, while the upriver people suffered from a shortage of salt. It was because of these problems, that the Iban of the upriver started to argue and refused to pay the various annual taxes, or to have anything to do with the Japanese Government. Because of this attitude the Japanese demanded that all shotguns be surrendered to the police stations.

But all these needs resulted in a number of new inventions by the Iban. Dunging anak Gunggu of Nanga Ulai, Rimbas, started to produce shoes, shorts, raincoats and paraffin oil from dry sheets of rubber. Besides this many Iban also revived their ancient art of making fire with a grindstone (batu titik) and tinder (lulut), or by striking a lead piston (guchoh) with a quick punch to produce fire. In general the Iban were not badly short of food during the occupation years. Those who could not get sufficient rice were given a loan by their neighbours or freely supplied by relatives. Things to go with rice, such as fish, meat and vegetables were plentiful. During the war years most Iban farmers planted rubber trees on their farmland. In addition to this they also planted local tobacco for their own consumption and for sale. From illegal trading in rice and tobacco, the Iban earned a lot of Japanese money during the war, which afterwards became valueless.

By 1944, the situation was becoming worse. Rumors were spreading that the Japanese army everywhere was facing defeat due to shortages of food. Due to these stories the upriver Iban started to incite rebellion, becoming more and more hostile to Government servants. It was at this time that late Penghulu Ambun of Balingian was tortured to death by the Kempetai (military police). In 1945 more rumors were spreading secretly in the upper rivers. It was said that British and Australian parachutists had landed in Central Borneo and were forming a native force of Ibans, Kayans, Kelabits, Kenyahs and Muruts to fight the Japanese garrisons. The rumors were true, for Major Tom Harrisson, Major G.C. Carter, Colonel David Leach and Major W.L.P. Sochon had already landed on the Kelabit plateau in the Fourth Division. The landings of these military officers pleased the long-suffering and warlike people, who helped to spread the secret news from one river to another from the Fourth to the Fifth and from the Third to the Second Divisions of Sarawak.

Finally when the time had come for them to attack the Japanese under the super¬vision of these white men, fighting flared up at Pasir Nai, Kapit, Song and Kanowit in the Third Division. In the Second Division raids on the Japanese were undertaken without European leadership. The Iban under Pengarah Jimbun and Penghulu Ngali invaded the Japanese garrisons at Engkilili and Lubok Antu, where the old fort was razed by fire. It was later replaced in 1947 by the Colonial Government with a new modern building called Fort Arundell. When the Iban attacked the Japanese at Kapit, Penghulu Nyanggau anak Penghulu Atan, who was the brother of the Honorable Penghulu Jinggut M.P., bravely followed the Japanese into a hole where they were hiding, and was killed.

In the Fourth Division battles were fought in many centres which dispersed the Japanese soldiers and civilian officers. It was at this time that many starving Japanese stragglers were killed by the natives. In the Saribas a troop under Penghulu Ulin anak Penghulu Unji of Spak failed in an attack on Fort Lili where the Japanese repulsed the Iban invaders with several dozen machine guns and rifles. After this failure, many of Ulin’s warriors joined their Skrang comrades-in-arms to reinforce the Iban troops who invaded Engkilili and Lubok Antu towns. These troops were made up of Iban of Ulu Layar, Ulu Spak, Skrang, Lemanak, Engkari, the Batang Ai, Delok, Mepi and Lubang Baya. During the raids a number of Chinese were slaughtered in and outside towns of the Second and Third Divisions. It was for this reason that the Chinese started riots in many towns in Sarawak including Kuching the capital, after the Japanese had officially surrendered to the Allied Forces. The heads taken during conflicts in the rural areas are still kept in some longhouses in memory of the Second World War.

Additional Notes:

*Randi’s praise name was “Lidi begendang sara letan, angkat karat tekan lebungan” which he obtained on return from the Rajah punitive expedition to Batang Ai. He was the brother of Enteri. They joined Nakhoda Tinggi’s forces during the Mat Salleh’s rebellion in Sabah. He was later converted to islam and settled at Sandakan till his death. His descendent still kept his nyabur sword he used to beheaded Mat Salleh’s daughter -the very long hair of Mat Salleh’s daughter is used to decorate his nyabur.

*Enteri’s praise name was “Bujang berani meling nengeri pulau London, rumput siut tengah laman.” This praise name was obtained as he was the only Iban representative from BNBCC who dare to take a ride on a helicopter encircling the London City. His descendant is still living in Lubok Longhouse in Sarawak. He also went back to Sabah and remarried there where his descendant can still be found. (Enteri x Linah (f) = Leman x Churai (f) = Garit x Jara (f) = Lambong x Talit = Ramuyan x Emellya = Aaron Juan, Jesse Rayes)

Extract from articles originally written by Benedict Sandin & Professor Clifford Sather.
Re-compile for weblog publication by Gregory Nyanggau Mawar.
Published in the Sarawak Museum Journal, Volume XLVI, titled “Source of Iban Traditional History”, Part 1, 2 & 3.

Early Iban Migration – Part 3

Early Iban Migration – PART 3

THE IBAN UNDER BROOKE RULE.

When James Brooke was installed Rajah of Sarawak by Raja Muda Hashim and Pengiran Makota in 1841, the Dayaks of the Saribas and Skrang combined their forces and attacked settlements as far north as Bintulu and to the southeast as far as Pontianak. Due to the trouble caused by these attacks, the Rajah, with the help of a British Royal Navy contingent under Captain Henry Keppel, attacked the Saribas in June 1843, at first taking Padeh, then Paku and finally Rimbas.

For the same reason an expedition made up of the joint services of James Brooke and the Royal Navy under Captain Henry Keppel attacked the Batang Lupar Iban of the Undup and Skrang rivers. In 1844, in the Undup a large number of raiders were killed, including Lieutenant Ward, while in the Skrang a Malay Chief, Datu Patinggi Ali, and Mr. Steward suffered the same fate at Kerangan Peris.

In January 1845, Linggir of Paku led a party of Saribas chiefs for formal submission to the Rajah at Kuching in accordance with the promise they had made at Padeh, Paku and Rimbas in 1843. The Skrangs were represented by chief Linggi.

The sea-fight at Beting Maru and the Saribas Iban and Malays.

In 1849 Linggir and his Saribas warriors raided Igan, Paloh and Matu. On the way home, they decided to attack Sarikei, fifty miles inside the Rajang River. Upon arrival they found that Sarikei was strongly defended, for the refugees who had fled from Igan, Paloh and Matu had sounded the alarm. Consequently the party turned back and attacked Duri near the mouth of the Rejang River. Duri had only a short time before been raided by the Layar Dayaks under OKP Dana “Bayang” of the Padeh and Datu Patinggi Udin of Rantau Anak on the middle Layar.

When Linggir and his warriors reached the mouth of the Kalaka, they saw a huge steamer moored there. They paddled hard towards the mouth of the Saribas River. When they came to the sand bar of Beting Maru, they were met by another steamer with guns and canons. Sensing danger, Linggir ordered all his men to land at the sand bar and make an attempt to escape to the Undai stream whilst his boat and Laksamana Amir’s boat will be used to attack the steamer to avert its attention. Unfortunately, most of the Skrang followers boat choosed to escape across the Saribas River mouth onto the Batang Lupar River. While attempt to do this, they suffer most casualties in the hand of Brooke’s men. Those who managed to escape to the Skrang were the Apai Dendang’s men, Linggir’s staunch allies from lower Skrang. As for Linggir’s men who managed to land at Cape Maru, they left their boat on the sand bar and escaped under cover of darkness by land to the Undai Stream, a tributary of the Rimbas above Pusa settlement. That is why there is no casualty for those who escaped on land, as the Brooke’s men would not dare to risk chasing after the stragglers in the dark. Their boats were later either destroyed or being used by the Brooke’s men in pursuit of Linggir and Abang Apong to their hideout inside Paku River.

With great courage, Linggir and Abang Apong’s warboats attacked the schooner. While attacking the Schooner, Linggir’s brother-in-law named Chabu or Saribas Jack slipped and fell to the sea. Linggir’s men made a brave attempt to climb onboard the schooner, but it was defended very well by its crew. After sometime, Linggir ordered their men to abort the attack and escape up the Saribas River. Out of 17 boats only two managed to escape up the Saribas that night under the guidance of Linggir and Abang Apong. When they had escaped all danger, Linggir’s men beat a gong so that their friends who escaped onland in the darkness that night would know the direction to the Saribas River.

Early next morning a man was seen floating on a nipah palm log which was drifting towards shore with the tide. Seeing him, the Malay crewmen in one of the ships caught him and brought him before the Rajah. On his arrival on board the Rajah’s ship, some of the Malays asked the Rajah if they might kill him. Hearing this, the captive struggled, struck one of his captors on the chest and severely wounded him. The Rajah ordered that the man be detained on board, despite his demand for instant release. The Rajah would not let him go, as a messenger, for he knew that if other Iban met him alone they would kill him. He was kept on board the ship until the return of the expedition to Sarawak (Kuching). When the crewmen asked him his name, he refused to tell them. So the sailors nicknamed him “Saribas Jack”.

Next day, the combined forces under the Rajah and Captain Henry Keppel went on the tide up the Saribas River. At the vacated Malay village of Buling, near the mouth of the Paku River, the forces stopped for the night. All the Malays of this settlement had already fled upriver to live with the Iban at Kerangan Pinggai in the Paku.

Early next morning, on the tide, the forces used the light Saribas warboats they had captured at Beting Maru to go up the Paku River. Just below an Iban settlement called Matop, they encountered several huge impassible tree trunks lying across the river. These ensurai trees had been felled by Linggir’s warriors to hinder their advance. It took a long time for the Rajah’s men to cut through these barriers so that their boats could reach their destination at Nanga Peka that evening.

Hearing that the Rajah’s forces had landed at Nanga Peka, about half a mile below his settlement, Linggir gathered eighteen warriors to prepare for the ambush the next day. He was unable to summon additional fighters to join them in an attack on the Rajah’s advancing flotilla, as his other warriors had not yet managed to find their way home through the forest into which they fled following the Beting Maru battle.

Late in the evening, after the enemy had landed at Nanga Peka, Linggir sent Enchana “Letan” and his young nephew, a warrior named Gerijih, to spy on them. These warriors went as ordered, though they were nervous. When they had hidden themselves in the bushes close to where the enemy had assembled their boats, they heard the Rajah presiding over a council of war. He was heard to command Janting of Lingga and his Balau warriors to lead the Rajah’s bala to attack the Saribas next morning. In reply, Janting said that he and his fighting men would not dare to risk this, since, as he put it, “we are in fear of the two powerful leading enemies colored like the biring sempidan fighting cocks, who will arrogantly scratch the earth on the battle¬ground tomorrow.” This meant that Janting and his people, spiritually seen as fighting cocks, would not be able to defeat two of the leading enemies in the next day’s battle.

After the Balau chief had made this reply, the spies heard Jugah, chief of the Lundu Sebuyaus, telling his leader that he would command his three sons Kalong, Bunsi and Tujang to take the lead.

“We Sebuyaus”, he said, “once born, never return to our mother’s wombs.” By this he meant that, as human beings, we die only once.

After Jugah had assured the Rajah that his warrior sons would lead the attack, Abang Hassan of Kuching was heard prophesying that in accordance with the information from his katika, or ilmu palat (system of divination), these leading warriors must wear yellow headgear, in order to be successful in leading the attack. He also warned that the battle would be won by the warriors who first shouted victory; the warrior who first killed his foe would win the battle. After this, “Letan” and Gerijih hastened back to inform Linggir and the other warriors of what they had seen and heard while spying.

That night Linggir called a council of war. In it he asked the Laksamana Amir to determine their fate in the coming battle. The latter read his katika and said that Linggir, his son Abang Apong, and Abang Gambong his nephew should be the warriors to lead in battle. “You three”, he said, “must wear yellow head-bands, and as you go to fight the enemy, you must first shout the war cry. Then you will defeat them.”

Early next morning Linggir, Abang Apong and Abang Gambong led their warriors to set an ambush at the foot of a low hill overlooking Nanga Peka. While they were waiting for the enemy to advance, they directed three young men, Saang, Muking and Mula, to shake the top of a jackfrait tree on the hill top to draw the enemy’s attention.

When the enemy saw the boys playing and shaking the tree branches, Bunsi and his brothers Tujang and Kalong ran forward to attack them. But when Bunsi passed one of Linggir’s warriors named Kedit “Rindang” who had hidden himself inside a cluster of young bamboo, Kedit instantly struck him with a pedang sword on his neck and killed him on the spot. Seeing this Tujang rushed forward to assist his brother. But when he suddenly met Abang Apong, they both caught each other by the hands and started to wrestle. They did not pause to take up swords because they were both startled at meeting each other.

When he wrestled against Tujang, Abang Apong pushed Tujang to Linggir to help him. And as Linggir came forward Abang Apong pushed Tujang away so that he was struck by Linggir with his nyabor sword on the side of his head, slashing his ear. As Linggir was about to strike him again, Tujang threw himself into the Peka stream where he died. But when Linggir was about to cut off his head the enemy fired a volley of shots at them. One of the bullets wounded Abang Gambong severely on the arm. At this Linggir and Abang Apong left Tujang alone in order to rescue Abang Gambong.

After this lightning swift fight was over, Linggir and his men took away Abang Gambong up the Paku River. He died while they were carrying him by boat up the Anyut stream, and he was buried at Lubok Engkala near Engkarebai.

From Nanga Peka the Rajah’s forces went further up and burnt Majang’s house at Nanga Anyut, so that its inhabitants went to join the people of other houses after the war was over.

After the battle of Paku, the Rajah’s force returned to Buling on their way back to Kuching. There, Jugah’s son-in-law was accidentally killed by the force’s own gun which went off in the boat. His death shocked Jugah who begged for leave from the Rajah in order to return to bury in the Lundu cemetery his three sons killed in one day.

After the departure of the Lundu chief, the Rajah and his followers returned to their ships at Buiing. As they did so a gunner was accidentally killed by another gun-shot. He was buried in the Malay cemetery at Telok Semang near Seruai. About an hour after the burial, his head was cut off and taken away by Ujan “Batu” of Luban of the lower Paku. Some weeks after the return of the expedition the Rajah met Saribas Jack. The latter demanded to be speedily released. He told the Rajah that his five small children must be suffering much during his absence, as there was no one to look after them, after the recent death of their mother. These words moved the Rajah, so he ordered that Saribas Jack was to be escorted to Kabong with a letter to Abang Ali, charging him to send him safely home.

From Kabong, Abang All’s men sent him up the Krian River and let him go by himself from the upper Krian to the Paku watershed. At the source of the Paku, as he walked along the path near the Tampak Panas settlement, he was seen by his sister Angkis who was drawing drinking water from the river. But as all the Paku people were certain that he had died during the Beting Maru battle, she was so astonished that she returned to the house without speaking a word to him. On her arrival, Angkis told her friends that she had seen his brother. But no one believed her, as all were certain that her brother had been killed in the sea fight at Beting Maru.

At this time the people of Linggir’s house at Kerangan Pinggai on the middle river were preparing for the ngerapoh ceremony in which they would bury Chabu’s personal belongings in the cemetery according to custom. Chabu was the true name of “Saribas Jack”. When he came near his own house, his young sons who were collecting firewood for the ngerapoh ceremony saw him walking in the distance towards the house. They ran home and told the people that they had seen their father coming to the house. The old people said that it could not be their father, but all of a sudden he came in and was welcomed by young and old with tears of joy.

About three weeks later Linggir and other leaders from the Paku went to renew their submission to the Rajah at Kuching. On this occasion Saribas Jack found a way to meet the Rajah. He told the ruler that he wished to be forgiven. He admitted that in the past he had joined his people’s expeditions either by land or by sea, but now he promised not to take part in such raids in the future. Finally, he told the Rajah that he was a chief, a rich man, and that his name was Chabu, the brother-in-law of chief Linggir.

In 1850 after the battle of Beting Maru, a fort was built at the junction of the Skrang and the Batang Lupar Rivers to prevent the warriors under Libau “Rentap” from collaborating with those under Linggir and Aji in raiding the peaceful people living along the coast. The establishment of Fort James at Skrang was strongly opposed by Libau “Rentap” and the upper Skrang chiefs. As a matter of fact, Libau “Rentap” and his warriors attacked it in 1850, when Allan Lee was killed by Libau “Rentap” son-in-law named Layang, at Lintang Batang a few miles up the Skrang River.

In 1854 an innocent headmen named Apai Dendang “Gasing Gila” was attacked by the Tuan Besar and his brother the Tuan Muda, James Brooke-Brooke and Charles Brooke, near Tekalong in the Skrang River. Apai Dendang’s house was strongly defended by the bravest Skrang warriors, re-enforced by Aji and Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Saribas.

Because of their commitment to assist Apai Dendang, Linggir and Aji were summoned by James Brooke to Kuching, in order to settle the dispute regarding their involvement in Skrang affairs. During their audience with the Rajah, they were accused of reinforced Apai Dendang who had been found guilty by the Tuan Muda at Skrang of having supplied salt to the rebel Libau “Rentap” at Sungai Lang. Therefore the Rajah fined them eight valuable jars to be deposited with the government.

Linggir and Aji told the Rajah that they could not accept the fine levied on them for their involvement in Apai Dendang’s affairs. They assured him that Apai Dendang was innocent and was a peaceful man. Furthermore they accused the Rajah’s nephews, the Tuan Besar and Tuan Muda, of having made a grave mistake in attacking Apai Dendang’s longhouse at Tekulong. Because of this, they said that they would fine the Rajah’s nephews for leading an unlawful invasion. The dispute ended without result. But the two chiefs again assured the Rajah that they would not attack peaceful people in the future, either by land or by sea.

Saribas and Skrang Iban.

In 1854 the Rajah and his nephew led a punitive expedition against Libau “Rentap” at Sungai Lang in the Skrang. After some fighting, Libau “Rentap” was wounded and was carried away to the top of Sadok Mountain, situated between the headwaters of Penabun, Manjuau, Spak and the Layar Rivers of the Saribas and Skrang regions.

On the summit of the Sadok, Libau “Rentap” and his Skrang followers built a stockade which they defended till their final defeat in 1861.

In 1857 Libau “Rentap” was attacked for the first time at Sadok by ‘the Rajah’s forces under the Tuan Muda. During the fighting Abang Aing, a senior Native Officer of the Skrang fort was wounded, and as a result the government force retreated un¬conditionally.

In April 1857, the Tuan Muda with the Balau Iban from the lower Batang Lupar attacked Aji and OKP Nanang in the Padeh. After a very short fight, both OKP Nanang’s and Aji’s longhouse were burnt by the Balau Dayaks.

While he was at Betong after this expedition, the Tuan Muda called on Bunyau and his brother Maoh at Rantau Anak in order to persuade them to submit to the Brooke regime. After they consulted their people, Bunyau and Maoh asked the Tuan Muda what profit they would get if they submitted themselves to the rule of the white man. They also informed him that they would face much danger if they submitted to the government without first informing Aji and his followers in the Padeh and Linggir “Mali Lebu” and his people in the Paku. The Tuan Muda assured Bunyau and Maoh that if they submitted to the Brooke regime he would build a fort fully equipped with cannons at Betong. This fort was to be under their combined charge. In their hesitation, Bunyau and Maoh told the Tuan Muda that before they finally submitted to him, they must first consult their Malay neighbour, Datu Patinggi Udin of Betong. In their negotialion with the latter, the Datu said that he and his Malays were in the minority and therefore if Bunyau and his followers were to submit to the rule of the Brooke’s, they too would have to follow as they could not resist the Rajah’s power alone.

After their discussion was over, Bunyau and Maoh accom¬panied by Dalu Patinggi Udin went to the Tuan Muda’s boat to assure him that from that day onward they would be loyal to Brooke rule. Hearing this, the Tuan Muda assured Bunyau and Maoh that, if they went to “Sarawak proper” (Kuching) by boat, they need not be afraid anymore, as they were now the friends of the government and had no enemy to harm them as before. The Tuan Muda then commanded Bakir, the son of Bunyau, and Malina “Panggau”, the son of Maoh, to collect enough wood for the building of a fort at Munggu Senggang, Betong. The Tuan Muda directed them to work hard on behalf of their aged fathers, so that they could later become the pro-government chiefs-in-charge of the Betong fort. Having instructed Bakir and Malina in this work, the Tuan Muda also ordered Abang Kadir, the son of Datu Patinggi Udin, to help with the construction of the fort on behalf of his father, and, on behalf of the Sarawak government, the Tuan Muda promised to supply them with nails and carpenters.

Finally, before his departure, the Tuan Muda instructed Bunyau and Maoh to visit Linggir “Mali Lebu” in order to persuade him to submit to the Brooke Raj with them. He asked them to inform Linggir that the Balau and Sebuyau Iban had become loyal to the Brooke government, and therefore he should not be hostile to these people anymore. “If Linggir were to declare war against the Balau and Sebuyau Iban as he did in the past,” said the Tuan Muda, “the government of my uncle will surely aid the latter with guns which he cannot defeat.” At the same time, he instructed Datu Patinggi Udin to visit the Laksamana Amir and his eldest son Abang Apong of the Paku for the same reason.

After the Tuan Muda had gone back to Skrang fort, Bakir and Malina led all the lower Saribas Iban under the control of their family to start collecting belian for the fort at Betong. At the same time Abang Kadir led his father’s people to collect the strong nibong palm trunks to be split for the purlins to be laid across the rafters for the attachment of the roofing material.

At this time Aji, the chief of the upper Saribas, was busy visiting warriors and warleaders including Libau “Rentap” of the Skrang at Sadok. During his visits he incited them to support him and his warriors in a fight against the Sarawak govern¬ment which had extended its power over the people of the lower Saribas River, as it had done over the people of the lower Skrang after Linggir’s defeat at Beting Maru in 1849.

It was in these intervening years that Aji continually raided the people along the coast between Sadong and the mouth of the Saribas River with a small number of warriors. On many of his raids, due to his hatred of Linggir who had submitted to Brooke rule without first consulting him, he shouted falsely to the enemy that the warriors who had raided them belonged to Linggir of the Paku.

In the midst of these troubled days, Aji was assisted by Lintong “Moahari” of the Kanowit in carrying out a raid on the Malay village at Buling under Laksamana Amir and his son Abang Apong of the Paku. On their way down the Layar, they passed Betong fort in the dead of the night in order not to be seen by Mr. Watson and the fortmen under Bakir.

When they reached the Paku at dawn, Aji secretly hid his boat and warriors in the Buling stream to await a good chance to attack the nearby village. But fortunately, early that morning certain Buling Malay went down the Paku River to collect apong leaves for atap thatch. When he passed the mouth of the Buling stream, he noticed a number of warriors and Aji already assembled inside the Buling stream. The man returned quickly to the village to inform Laksamana Amir that Aji and his warriors were going to attack them some time that day. Hearing this, the Laksamana sent his men upriver to tell Linggir so that the latter would be able to intervene as soon as possible.

Hearing that Aji was preparing to attack his Malay friends at Buling, Linggir went down with a friend named Munji to meet Aji. When Linggir came, Aji told him that he had brought a small number of warriors to attack the Malays of Buling. But Linggir disapproved of Aji’s plan to attack his peaceful Malays. “If you attack these Malays,” said Linggir, “your hostility will automatically involve me in the quarrel.”

Due to Linggir’s intervention, Aji and his warriors reluctantly returned overland to the Upper Layar in order not to be seen by Bakir and Malina of the Betong fort. But unfortunately the news soon spread to the fort. Due to this, Bakir went with a well known warrior named Ijau Umbol of Bukit Bungai to report Aji’s hostile act towards the peaceful people of the lower Saribas to the Tuan Muda at Skrang fort.

Hearing this, and with it the ceaseless reports about Linggir’s regular raids on the peaceful coastal people, as falsely spread by Aji, the Tuan Muda sent out his Balau sea scouts to attack any Saribas Iban who appeared in the sea without carrying a letter issued at the Betong fort. These Balau sea scouts were ordered to wait secretly at various spots along the coasts between Maludam beach and the mouth of the Batang Lupar for the Saribas Iban to come out from their own river.

At this time Aji, chief of the Padeh and Layar Iban, and his warriors were in the habit of attacking the Balau Iban with kayau anak (small wars) at the mouth of the Batang Lupar and along the Lingga tributary. While passing the fort at Betong they did not dare to paddle their war-boats openly on the river. Therefore they pulled them from Lubok Bemban upstream at midnight to Nanga Pasa across the land at Tanjong Betong. This badly damaged the Iban and Malay padi fields and young sago palms in that area.

One day during this time of unrest in the Saribas, Orang Kaya Janting of Banting came with a Balau force and landed at Betong fort to meet Bakir and Malina. The latter asked why he, Janting, had come with a force to the Saribas. Janting told them that he was on his way to take revenge on Aji who had killed a number of innocent Balau farmers at and around the Maludam stream, and other people who lived between the Batang Lupar and the Saribas Rivers. He also said that he had gone to the Rajah at Sarawak proper (Kuching) to report to him about Aji’s cruelty to these people. At the same time he had begged for his approval to attack Aji in the Padeh. The Rajah told Janting that he could not stop him from doing what he thought right, as Aji had not yet submitted himself to his rule. Orang Kaya Janting asked Bakir and Malina how far up the Saribas River the Iban were loyal to Brooke rule. They told him only up to a village called Tanu. Above this all were Aji’s hostile followers. They explained that although Aji’s house was at Padeh, all the women and children had been sent to live at Nanga Spak under the care of many of the leading warriors. They said that Aji’s longhouse at Padeh was only guarded by a small number of his brave fighting men. Although he was very disappointed by this story related by Bakir and Malina, Janting said that as he had come, he must attack Aji’s half-vacated longhouse at Padeh. Early next morning Janting left Betong fort for Aji’s house in the Padeh. When he and his warriors came to the Padeh they stopped and stayed below Aji’s landing place.

When he heard that the Balaus had come to attack his house, Aji ordered his warriors to collect as much wood as they could for rafts and also trees with thick leaves. This wood was thrown into the Padeh River that evening, so that it drifted downstream towards the enemy’s boats. At sunset, Aji led his warriors to attack the enemy who had camped below their landing place. During the righting they speared the enemy from the floating logs on which they stood. When the enemy rushed forward, Aji and his fighters hid themselves behind the upright leaves of the trees which made it very difficult for the enemy to aim their spears at them.

The Balau, defending themselves, could not harm the enemy, as they were blocked by the thick mass of trees which drifted down the river to their boats. During the fighting a considerable number of Balaus were killed or wounded, but their heads could not be taken away by the Padeh Iban because of the same difficulty, the obstructing logs.

Early next morning the Balau force went ashore to raid Aji’s house. Seeing them, Aji and his warriors, who had prepared to defend themselves, attacked the enemy from all sides of the road. During the fighting more Balaus were killed which made Orang Kaya Janting retreat, stop the raid and return to Lingga.

Shortly after this trouble was over, a young man named Kedit of the Paku accom¬panied by five friends went to Sarawak proper (Kuching) with Linggir’s approval to visit the Rajah. This was the first visit of this kind to take place following the submission of the Paku Iban to Brooke Rule. Eventually when Kedit and his party came to Sampun near the mouth of Sadong River, they were attacked by Balau sea scouts with shot-guns. A bullet hit Adu, son of Majang, in the chest so that he bled from his mouth. Due to this, Kedit and his friends steered their boat as fast as possible to Kuching, or Sarawak, as it was then known, in order to save themselves. When they reached Kuching, Kedit removed the bullet from Adu’s chest with the tip of his sword. After that Adu’s condition very much improved.

The news came to Majang in the Paku, reporting incorrectly that his two sons together with all their companions had been killed by the Balaus at Sampun. Surprised by the news, Majang went to see Linggir “Mali Lebu” in his house to inform him of the fatal attack on his sons and their friends at Sampun. Majang urged Linggir to send him to Kuching as soon as possible to investigate. Linggir said that as the story was still not clear, it would be better for them to be patient and to wait for further news. Majang insisted that they must go right away. But Linggir said that at that time the people of Paku had no large boat to cross the sea to the Sarawak River.

Hearing this Majang became upset. He believed Linggir was refusing to accom¬pany him to Kuching. So he said that it had been useless for him to have approved the marriage of his eldest son to one of Linggir’s nieces, for Linggir, who was a well known warleader, now refused to help him when he urgently needed his assistance.

So Linggir called for a man named Belawan who lived at Samu to find out whether he would accompany Linggir’s party l(FSarawak as soon as possible. This man had the largest boat in the Paku at that time which could accompany Linggir’s own boat. Belawan said that he would go with his boat and crew, if Linggir himself was also going.

So a few days later they left the Paku for Kuching. Two days afterwards as they reached the Maludam beach at about 7 a.m., Linggir’s boat, a few hundred yards ahead of Belawan’s, was shot at by the Balau sea scouts with a medium-sized cannon. The bullets hit many men including Linggir himself, who sat right at the stern of the boat. Linggir fainted, but was quickly carried to the shore by his brother-in-law, Tindin. They were chased by about eight Balau warriors armed with swords and spears. But Linggir’s brave nephews, Mula and Muking fought hard to defend the life of their unconscious uncle. They managed to weaken and kill a number of the enemy, so that the latter retreated and left them alone. Belawan and his crew, on seing the danger, returned upriver without attempting to help their friends to fight the enemy.

While Mula and Muking were fighting the Balau warriors, Majang and others fought hard against a greater number of the enemy on the beach. Some of their friends had already been killed by cannon-fire as they arrived. However, after a long fight, Majang and twelve others, including the brothers Tur and Angga, were killed, and so were a number of their enemy.

After the enemy had left them, Tindin and his few friends who carried Linggir came to the edge of a forest. Here they heard a very loud noise in the tree tops. They looked up and saw a huge python pulling the branches of a meranti tree together. As they saw this, Linggir, who had regained consciousness, said that all was well as the goddess Indai Abang had come and had cured him. From that time on Linggir was able to walk by himself. The party then made their way to the house of a Malay friend named Kudus, at Tanjong Spinang, who sent them safely back to the Paku in his boat.

Disunity among the Layar and Padeh Iban under Bunyau Apai Bakir and Aji.

When the fort was built at Betong under the joint supervision of Mr. J.B. Craickshank and Bunyau apai Bakir in 1858, Aji, the third son of the late OKP Dana “Bayang”, fought against all who had submitted to Brooke rale in the lower Layar River.

At the completion of the fort, Aji and his warriors from the Padeh and Ulu Layar attacked it with a few exchanges of fire, showing their complete disagreement with the people of the lower Layar under chief Bunyau Apai Bakir. At this time, Linggir “Mali Lebu” and all the people of Paku were completely neutral, as they had relatives in both of the quarelling groups.

Due to Aji’s action, the Tuan Muda led a force from the Skrang fort, composed of the best Skrang and Balau fighters, to punish Aji and his supporters. When the Tuan Muda arrived at Betong he was joined by the Iban and Malays of Betong under Mr. Watson, the Officer-in-Charge, including Bakir, Malina and the other fortmen.

The expedition was very well planned. At the request of Bunyau and Maoh, no other warboats went up the Layar ahead of those owned by the Saribas Iban. This was in order to save the lives of the ordinary people who were living beyond Nanga Padeh. However, when the force reached a big dry gravel bed at the mouth of the Sungai Langit, Aji suddenly appeared and came forward to attack the government force assembled in the river. Seeing him crossing the shallow rapids fully armed, a Malay man from Spaoh named Bruang shot him with his gun.

After Aji, the arch enemy of Brooke rule, had died, the Tuan Muda ordered his forces to stay one night at the mouth of Sungai Langit. Next day the forces divided into two columns. One column was sent to the Julau to punish Mujah “Buah Raya”, while another, led by the Tuan Muda, attacked Libau “Rentap” at Sadok. This later engage¬ment was known as the Second Sadok expedition.

Before the force had left, no Saribas Iban dared to behead Aji for fear of becoming the deadly enemy of his brothers and their followers. So it was decided that the Skrang should do it, as they lived safely near Fort James at the mouth of Skrang River. The latter agreed and so took Aji’s head back with them to the Skrang when the expedition was over. Several years later it was taken back and buried in the Padeh, for Aji kept appearing in his own shape or in the form of a crocodile which killed a number of people in the Skrang River.

In anger over the death of his brother Aji, Luyoh went to Mukah to negotiate with Sharif Masahor who was also planning to rebel against the Brookes. The Sharif assured him that he would supply gunpowders for those who rebels against the government of Sarawak. Having been assured of this, Luyoh and his brother OKP Nanang built a stockade at the mouth of the Spak tributary so that they could avenge their brother’s death against the Brookes and Bunyau apai Bakir. This stockade was attacked by Mr. Watson and Bakir in 1859.

Within a month of his defeat, OKP Nanang rebuilt the stockade, but it was attacked again by Mr. Watson, Bakir, and Abang Aing. Very shortly after its re¬construction, the doomed fortress was completely demolished.

Orang Kaya Nanang & Luyoh joined Libau “Rentap” on Mount Sadok.

After these defeats, OKP Nanang and Luyoh joined Libau “Rentap” at Sadok. They brought to the mountain a gun known as “Bujang Timpang Berang” which their father had captured at Sambas many decades earlier. This famous gun can be seen today at Fort Lily, Betong, Saribas.

From their stockade at Sadok, OKP Nanang and Luyoh and their followers together with Libau “Rentap” fighters supported Sharif Masahor’s rebellion. They openly joined the latter in his defence at Mukah and Igan until his defeat in 1861.

Two months after the deportation of Sharif Masahor to Singapore in 1861, the Tuan Besar, James Brooke-Brooke, and his brother the Tuan Muda, Charles Brooke, led a big expedition against OKP Nanang and Libau “Rentap” at Sadok. On this expedition, taught by past experience, the Tuan Besar took with him a big gun known as “Bujang Sadok”, to storm Libau “Rentap” stronghold. This gun is today exhibited in the Sarawak Museum in Kuching.

The force went up the Layar River to Nanga Tiga. From there, it went up the Tiput, crossed the Spak and went on to the foot of Sadok Mountain. While assembling there, the Tuan Besar and the Tuan Muda informed all the Iban chiefs of the lower Saribas and Skrang that the government had no intention of continuing its quarrel with OKP Nanang and Luyoh, provided that they agreed to surrender themselves as soon as possible. This proclamation pleased the divided Saribas Iban. They agreed to send the most trustworthy messengers to OKP Nanang and his brothers on the mountain to urge them to surrender to the government. All the Iban leaders agreed to send the Bangat chiefs under the leadership of Jabu apai Umpang and his brother Ngadan apai Rembi to meet OKP Nanang and Luyoh in their stronghold.

These chiefs went as arranged. When they told OKP Nanang and his brothers about the Brooke’s offer, they said that they would surrender if this was not just a trick to execute them. After OKP Nanang and all his warriors had given the Brooke’s request very careful consideration, they went with nine of their warriors to meet the Rajah’s nephew to confer on the conditions of their surrender. When they met the Brookes, they were asked to pledge 400 rusa jars valued at about $3,200 as proof of their good behaviour. If they did not cause any trouble within the next three years, their deposit would be refunded to them at the expiration of the agreement. OKP Nanang and Luyoh fully agreed with the imposition of the fine and therefore, on their behalf, their loyal old warrior, Uyu apai Ikum of the Ulu Julau, paid the fine in the presence of all the important persons taking part in the expedition on 25th September, 1861. After the fine had been paid, OKP Nanang and his followers were given two days to move away from the Sadok stronghold to allow for an attack against Libau “Rentap”.

While OKP Nanang and his followers were moving their belongings and their women and children to a place of safety, some of the Skrang and Saribas Iban leaders asked the Brookes whether Libau “Rentap” could also be pardoned and asked to surrender un¬conditionally. The Tuan Besar and his brother said that the government could not grant Libau “Rentap” such a favour as he was guilty of killing Mr. Allan Lee at Skrang several years before. For that reason, Libau “Rentap” sworn never to see or make peace with any white ruler for as long as he lives.

Before OKP Nanang and Luyoh surrendered to the government, there had been a hot quarrel between them and Libau “Rentap”, who had refused to hand back to Aji’s widow, Dimah, the gun powder her husband had asked him to keep safely in his stronghold shortly before Aji died at Sungai Langit. It was partly due to this that Aji’s brothers no longer remained allied with Libau “Rentap” but surrendered themselves to the government without first consulting him.

Knowing that OKP Nanang and his followers had betrayed him, Libau “Rentap” ordered that their stockade be razed. While Libau “Rentap” men were doing this, the flames could be seen for many hours by people who lived far away from the mountain.

After OKP Nanang and his followers had moved away to a safe place, the Tuan Muda ordered about sixty of his people to carry up the mountain the big gun, Bujang Sadok, to crush Libau “Rentap” stronghold. As soon as the preparations had been completed, an exchange of fire began. After several shots, the stockade was completely destroyed and his gunner Rajau was killed. Rajau’s blood soaked the gunpowder and ammunition, so that Libau “Rentap” and his warriors had to flee quickly to the Skrang where they camped safely near Bukit Lanja.

Shortly after Libau “Rentap” and his warriors had fled from Sadok, one of his men named Manang Usay walked forward with sword in hand, “to look for the Rajah,” as he put it. Seeing him looking for the Tuan Muda with such a weapon, those who stood nearby warned the Tuan Muda to be careful, in case Manang Usay should attempt to strike him with the sword. As he approached the Tuan Muda, Manang Usay’s foot caught in the root of an engkajang tree, so he fell down. As he was lying on the ground, the Tuan Muda struck him with his knife, but missed. Then the Tuan Muda drew his sword (pedang saliri) and pierced Manang Usay through the stomach, killing him instantly.

After Libau “Rentap” stronghold had been destroyed the Tuan Muda said:

“I bade farewell to the remains of Rentap’s house, which was now reduced to embers, only a few of which were smoking; fire had soon consumed the seat of this little episode in Sarawak history, We spiked an iron gun with steel, which had belonged to Nanang and was marked with an anchor dated 1515 with some letters on it not legible; they said his father had captured this gun from the Dutch at Sambas many years ago while on a marauding excursion.”

Before the force actually left Sadok, the Tuan Besar told a gathering of chiefs from the lower Layar, Paku and Skrang that the government had overthrown Libau “Rentap” power for the good of the country.

“At the same time”, he said, “The government has halted its quarrel with OKP Nanang to give way to the rule of law and order.”

The Tuan Besar made it known to all the chiefs that OKP Nanang had no enemy unless the Rajah had an enemy, and that OKP Nanang must not go to war unless his services were required by the government. Finally the Tuan Besar encouraged all the people to concentrate more on agriculture than on fighting one another, “If all Ihe people farm conscientiously,” he said, “the people and the government of the country will be able to engage in peaceful trade.”

The Tuan Besar ruled that OKP Nanang was to return to Buloh Antu; Luyoh to Sungai Langit; Unting to Gerinjing, Padeh; Tiong and Landau and their warrior husbands to Stambak; Badong and her husband Belabut to his house at Seruai, and the warriors Angkau, Mara and Saban to Serian below the Betong fort.

The Great Kayan Expedition of 1863.

Early in 1863, the Tuan Muda, who was posted at Skrang, visited Betong fort. On his arrival, he directed the Assistant Resident, Mr. Watson, to call ail the leading chiefs, Bakir, OKP Nanang of the Padeh and Linggir of the Paku to come to meet him at the fort. When they came the Tuan Muda directed them to build warboats for a punitive expedition against the Kayans and Kejamans of the upper Rajang. The latter, had given refuge to Sawing, Tani and Skalai the murderers of the Government Officers Messrs. Fox and Steele at the Kanowit fort. Sibu was to be their point of assembly and the date for all to arrive at Sibu was fixed during this meeting.

From the Saribas, the Tuan Muda went to Kabong, then the headquarters of the Kalaka District, to meet Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang” for the same purpose. These two chiefs had migrated recently to the Awik and the upper Krian from the Rimbas.

Early in May 1863, all the Batartg Lupar, Saribas and Kalaka warboats assembled at Kabong to proceed to Sibu. On arrival at Sibu they found that Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang” boats had already arrived from the Krian and were waiting for the warriors from the Saribas and Skrang led by the Tuan Muda and Mr, Watson.

The Tuan Muda assembled the chiefs together. During the assembly he informed them that the purpose of the expedition was to punish the Kayans and Kejamans for hiding the murderers of Fox and Steele, and for making raids against the Iban of the upper tributaries of the Rajang River. He directed that the Saribas boats under OKP Nanang, Linggir, Bakir and the Krian flotilla under Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang” must not go far from his while going upriver into the enemy’s territory.

The force left Sibu on the next morning and went up the Rajang as far as the Kanowit fort where they stayed one night. At this station they were joined by the Kanowit Iban under Mujah “Buah Raya”, Ubong and Lintong “Moahari”.

Early on the second day, the force left Kanowit and went up as far as the mouth of the Katibas River, where they spent another night. Here a force of Iban led by chiefs Balang, Ringgau, Unggat and Gerinang joined the expedition. At this time no Iban had migrated up the Rajang above the Katibas tributary. In the presence of the Tuan Muda, Balang vowed that he and his warriors would not retreat until they had killed many of the enemy to revenge all those of his people who had been killed by the Kayans.

From the mouth of the Katibas River the force went up the Rajang and spent the third night between the Kapit stream and the Baleh tributary. This force was the greatest that had ever joined in one expedition.

The force broke camp early on the fourth day, but due to difficulty in getting across the Pelagus rapids they only reached Pasir Nai by late afternoon. As the force arrived at Pasir Nai, the enemy under chief Dian Abun began shooting from their stockade at Nanga Sama.

Penghulu Minggat’s boat instantly advanced and landed at the fort. Shortly after landing, Penghulu Minggat’s warrior Luing led a party in an attack upon the fort. The door of the fort was closed, so Luing used a wooden shaft to ram the door open. As the door opened, Luing was speared and killed by a Kayan defender inside the fort. His body was promptly carried back to the boat by his friends. Due to this death, the Tuan Muda ordered that the force not venture beyond the enemy’s stockade that evening.

In the evening the Tuan Muda called a council of war, for upriver from this point lay the Kejaman and Kayan settlements. In the conference, he directed a number of trusted warriors to stand guard against a surprise attack on the government forces. After the warriors who were to guard the troops had been selected and had taken their posts, the Tuan Muda ordered all the Kanowits and the Rajangs to station them¬selves slightly upriver above the Iban aad Malay boats. This arrangement was made because only they could understand the Kejaman and Kayan dialects, if the enemy should came to attack the force.

During the night, the enemy vacated the stockade. In the morning some of the Ibans and Malays said that they had heard the- enemy call the Rajang and the Kanowit peoples in their own dialect which the Iban and the Malay could not understand. Early that morning when the force surrounded the stockade, they found that it had indeed been vacated. Consequently, many native leaders suspected that the enemy had been allowed to escape because they had made a secret arrangement with the Kanowit and the Rajang peoples.

From Pasir Nai, the force proceeded up the Rajang. Aided by their intimate know¬ledge of the country above this place, the Katibas forces under Gerinang, Unggat and Balang raided one big Kejaman longhouse full of women and children, and killed or captured almost all the inhabitants. On their return from the expedition, their boats could hardly carry the enemy heads and the captives. They were helped to transport their loot, captives and heads by Kanowit warriors under Mujah “Buah Raya” and Lintong “Moahari”. The latter also killed a considerable number of enemies, but were not so fortunate as the Katibas group.

Because of their ignorance of the country, the forces of the Saribas and Skrang were not so successful as those of Katibas. The warriors under OKP Nanang of the Padeh killed only a few of the enemy, as did those under Penghulu Minggat, Bakir and Chulo “Tarang”. The warriors under Linggir of Paku had better success, since those who joined Birai’s war boat killed and captured a considerable number of the enemy to add to those killed by the warriors who steered Linggir’s own boats.

Besides killing and capturing the enemy, many Ibans took as loot valuable Kayan jars, knives and mats. Among those still remembered, Linggir of the Paku looted one sergiu jar now kept by his great-grand daughter at Tanjong, Paku.

After the expedition was over a number of Kayan chiefs went down to Kanowit to submit themselves to the Tuan Muda. The Tuan Muda said that their submission could not be accepted unless the criminals Sawing, Skalai and Tani were surrendered to the government. The Kayan chiefs assured the Tuan Muda that they would hand over those criminals as requested, for the sake of peace in the region. Later the Kayans handed over Sawing to the Government and he was executed at Sibu. Skalai and Tani who had escaped were killed by the Kayans in the upper Rajang.

Conference at Fort James, Skrang.

After the Kayan expedition was over, the Tuan Muda assembled all the leading chiefs of the Second Division in 1863 at Fort James in the Skrang. At this meeting he thanked them for their service during the Kayan expedition, The Tuan Muda also stressed that, due to OKP Nanang’s good conduct after his submission at Sadok in 1861 and during the Kayan expedition, the time had come for the government to return to him the security deposit of 400 jars, according to the formal agreement made at Sadok on 25th September, 1861. Furthermore, the Tuan Muda said that for the benefit of the country’s trade among the Iban in particular, they should henceforth:

1. Trade with chupak, gantang and pasu measures and use daching weights and ela measurement.
2. Permit a widow or widower to marry six months after the death of the spouse, if she or he paid the initial fine to the deceased’s relatives in accordance with customary law.
3. Observe only three months of mourning (ulit).
4. Stop placing a mourning marker (tanda ulit) outside the deceased’s long-house compound.

These latter measures where intended to limit the period of mourning and so reduced the hardships that mourning observances imposed on the survivors.

Soon after this historic conference was over, Fort James was moved to a better and hillier place at Simanggang, about seven miles below the Skrang junction. After the arrival of Ranee Margaret in Sarawak in 1870, this fort was officially named Alice after one of her names, and the fort at Betong, which was built in 1858, was given another of her names, Lily.

Iban unrest in the Katibas Rivers.

From Nanga Lubang Raya near the source of the Batang Ai, Naga and his brothers Sumping, Maoh, Api and Murap migrated to the Kanyau in Indonesian Borneo. Before they left the country they invited Temenggong Simpi Pala of Rantau Panjai to come with them. But the Temenggong refused as he was reluctant to leave behind his guardian spirit who lived at Bukit Kaong.

On their arrival in the Kanyau, Naga and his followers lived at Emperan Kawat and subsequently at Kerangan Labu. Here they were raided by lower Batang Ai Iban from Kumpang. Due to this trouble Naga led his followers to the headwaters of the Katibas on the Sarawak side of the border. In this new country they first settled at Jekelan and then later moved to Emperan where they were attacked by joint forces of Kantu’ and Embaloh Dayaks. These enemies came from the Kanyau and Ketunggau tributaries of the Kapuas River. To escape this danger they moved to Batu Gong, and then settled at Tekalit. While Naga was still living in the Katibas he transferred his chieftainship to his sons Unggat and Gerinang.

In 1868 when Mr. J.B. Cruickshank was serving as Resident in the Rejang, Unggat and Gerinang came to see him at Nanga Ngemah. When the Resident asked them of the general affairs of the Katibas, Unggat replied that all was tranquil with the exception of a senior warrior chief named Balang who had returned victoriously from the warpath against a tribe called the Lusum. Unggat told Mr. Craickshank that Balang and Ringgau had come to him and his brother Gerinang twice to invite them to join them to murder the Resident. He told Mr. Craickshank that Balang was to hold a feast next day in honour of his recent victory over the Lusum. Mr. Craickshank, upset by the news, told Unggat and Gerinang that he personally would attend Balang’s festival next day.

Early next day Mr. Cruickshank went to Balang’s longhouse. When he reached the longhouse landing place, he called for Balang to come down to fetch him up to the house. Balang was surprised by the arrival of the Resident whom he had not invited to the feast, but he reluctantly agreed to fetch him to his house. When Balang greeted him at his boat, Mr. Cruickshank ordered that he should be arrested, chained and brought down immediately to Sibu for detention. Later in the month it was said that Balang had been executed at Pulau Selalau near Sibu because of his reported plot to murder the Resident.

In retaliation Balang’s son-in-law, his uncle Enjop and the latter’s son publicly declared that they would fight against the rule of the Rajah of Sarawak in the Katibas River. The reason they gave was Balang’s execution without trial, by a court of justice.

Before the revolt began, the relatives of Balang already knew that Balang’s execution was due to Unggat’s jealously and the false story he had told the Resident about Balang’s intention to murder him. So Enjop and his relatives went to Unggat’s house, to force him and Gerinang to join their rebellion against the Rajah. Hearing this, Unggat said that the reason why Balang was executed was because he had raided the Lusum in the upper Rajang. They replied to Unggat that Balang would not have been sentenced to death for this, for the Lusum were enemies of the Katibas, and had not submitted to Brooke rule. Besides this, they said that the government should not sentence Balang to death without a trial.

Gerinang asked Enjop and his relatives to give him and Unggat time to discuss among themselves whether they agreed to join them in rebelling against the govern¬ment. He said that to fight against the government was dangerous and required very careful consideration. Enjop and Balang’s son-in-law said that they already had asked the people of Kanowit and Julau to support their rebellion.

Later Unggat and Gerinang told Enjop and his relatives that they could not reinforce them since, as they put it, they could not seek victory against the warleaders of the Saribas and Skrang Iban who were their relatives, and were now siding with the government.

Due to the joining of Unggat and Gerinang with Enjop and Balang’s relatives in their enmity against the Rajah, fighting suddenly broke out in the Katibas in 1868.

While Naga and his people lived at Batu Gong they were twice attacked by the Rajah’s force during the first and second Katibas expeditions against Enjop, the brother of Balang, in 1869 and 1870. In his wrath against the government for executing Balang unjustly, Lintong ‘Moahari” of Kanowit attacked the Sibu fort in 1870, the year of the second and third expeditions launched by the Brooke government against the Katibas Iban.

During the first Katibas expedition, Manggi’s bong tekam boat defeated the Rajah’s boat; thereby causing the latter’s troops to retreat unconditionally. But during the second expedition this same boat of Manggi’s was driven back and Manggi and many of his warriors were killed.

Enjop and his followers were reinforced by Iban from Julau, Kanowit and Kanyau in Indonesian Borneo. This trouble continued until 1871 and involved three successive punitive expeditions.

After Manggi’s death, Naga ordered a warrior of his, named Ridun to lead a migra¬tion into the Baleh River. Ridun and his followers settled temporarily at the mouth of the Selidong stream near the mouth of the Baleh. There they met with a lot of trouble. They were attacked by the Logats and Ukit tribes. To avoid this Ridun moved to Resa in the Yong stream, where he died of old age. Around the same time Naga died in the Katibas.

Due to the revolt of the Katibas Iban, the upper Batang Ai Iban under chief Ngumbang, while reinforcing their relatives, were attacked by the Rajah in 1868. These troubles were the first signs of what became continuing unrest in the headwaters of the Batang Ai and the Batang Rajang which was to last until 1919.

Labar succeeded Ridun as leader in the Yong. From Yong, Labar led a migration to the Baleh and lived at the mouth of Kemali stream just above Lepong Kain, While Labar and his people were settled there, they were frequently attacked by the Lugats, who lived along the Gaat tributary. Labar died at the Nanga Kemali settlement, and the Baleh Iban no longer had an influential leader, as Unggat and Gerinang lived far away in the Katibas. Due to this, the Baleh Iban sent for Mujah “Buah Raya” of the Julau and Entabai to lead them against the Lugats at Nanga Gaat. Mujah “Buah Raya”, with two hundred warriors went to attack over one thousand of the enemy. The latter defended themselves bravely, but their wooden shields were broken by the stones thrown by Mujah’s warriors, and they were defeated. After their defeat the Lugat fled to the upper Baleh and lived at the Nanga Laii, Nanga Sengkala and Nanga Singut settlements. From these longhouses they fled once more, escaping further Iban raids, to the Mahakam River in Indonesian Borneo. In this new country they are said to have settled at a place called Bila Baii.

Many years later, after the Iban had defeated the Lugats at Nanga Gaat, a Lugat chief named Oyong Ojat, came to visit an Iban longhouse at Nanga Sembawang. In his conversation with this host, he said that when he was a boy he had been one of the people defeated by the Iban under Mujah “Buah Raya” at Nanga Gaat. He could remember his family’s house before it was attacked by Mujah’s men.

In the Katibas, after Unggat and Gerinang had died, they were succeeded as chiefs by their sons Keling and Mata Hari, who led a great number of Iban to the Sut, Gaat and Mujong tributaries of the Baleh. The people of these Rivers still regard the descendants of Naga and Sumping as being of their original line of chiefs, for their ancestors led the migrations from the Batang Ai to the Kanyau, Katibas and finally to the Baleh River where these Iban live today. (Naga & Sumping were the descendent of Seremat Chief named Bau and Salengka mentioned earlier in EIM Part 2 who was also directly related to Saribas, Batang Ai, Dau & Balau Iban)

From Pulau Ensulit in Indonesia, Jubang moved up the Piang River and settled temporarily at Emperan Tebelian. From this settlement, he and his people migrated into the Katibas in Sarawak territory via Sungai Ayat in order to settle at the Bangkit stream. From the Bangkit, Jubang and his people moved down the main Katibas River to the Rajang and then up that river to settle in the Sut, a tributary of the Baleh. While he was living in the Sut, Jubang joined Gerinang’s war against the Pieng Dayaks in the Mahakam River in Indonesian territory, and there he was killed. At the time of his father’s death, Koh lived at Nanga Dia where he was appointed Penghulu by the Raj all because he had obeyed the government wishes in not taking revenge upon the Julau Iban who had killed his cousin named Lanau during the fighting at Bukit Balong.

After he had attacked the Piengs, Gerinang led another war against the Lusum Dayaks at Keluan and defeated them. As a result of this the Lusum Dayak fled to settle in the Baram. In their place at Keluan, the Badang Dayak have lived there to the present day. Gerinang was imprisoned by the Rajah for this attack on the Lusum, but later he was appointed Penghulu, succeeding his deceased grandfather Penghulu Keling.

In Jubang’s company from the Katibas there was a Nanga Delok man named Melintang. When he arrived in the Baleh he was permitted by the chiefs of that river to live with his followers in the Merirai tributary. He was appointed the first Penghulu of that river in 1942 but died shortly after his appointment. After his death he was succeeded by his grandson the late Tun Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Temenggong Jugah, the former Federal Minister for Sarawak Affairs after Sarawak was given in¬dependence within the Malaysian Federation in 1963.

Jubang, the father of Temenggong Koh, left Lubang Baya in the Batang Ai to migrate to the Kanyau River where he lived at Pulau Ensulit. It was at this settlement that he married Garong, the daughter of chief Ba, and their child was Temenggong Koh, the well known Iban chieftain of modern Sarawak, who died in 1955.

Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” of Paku.

In the last quarter of the 19th century Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” of the Paku, (son of Saribas Jack) who had succeeded his uncle, Linggir “Mali Lebu”, as chief in the Paku River, took his followers on a small expedition to attack Iban trouble makers at Sut, Baleh. He was accompanied by the warriors Kandau apai Limbak, Lambor apai Nyanggau, Mula, Malina apai Mundat, Enggu apai Genilau and Unggang “Kumpang Pali” of Entanak near Betong. At the mouth of the Sut they waited at night for the enemy to come down to trade at a small trading station at the mouth of the Baleh River. At this time the government station was at Nanga Baleh. During the night a boatful of enemy came down the Sut River and Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his men attacked them. During the fighting Lambor killed one of the enemy and captured another, Kandau killed one enemy and the rest were taken captives.

When they came down to Sibu they were halted by the government who accused Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” of leading a war party without the approval of the government. All their captives were confiscated by the government. Once they were home, dissatisfied at this govern¬ment intervention in his war against the Iban of the Sut, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his followers went overland to Kanowit to call for the chiefs Ubong and Lintong “Moahari” to join him in attacking the hostile Iban of Ibau below what is now Kapit town. During this raid Penghulu Garran’s warriors killed and captured a number of the enemy, among whom was a man named Sumai, captured by Mula of Penom.

After his expedition against the Sut and Ibau, as there were no more enemies near home, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” led his warriors to attack the Maloh Dayaks in Dutch territory. While they were on their way down the Kapuas River, they were repulsed by the Dutch with guns from their naval boats. Because of this attack by the Dutch they returned homeward after they had killed only a few of the enemy. But on the way back they were asked by friendly Malohs to kill a fierce Maloh farmer who lived alone in his farm hut. His name was Sangun and he was hated by the other Maloh Dayaks.

Sangun’s hut was very tall, as it was built on high stilts. It was not possible for Penghulu Garran’s warriors to reach Sangun with spears and swords from the ground. When they surrounded the hut, Sangun threatened them by showing the big blade and long handle of his spear. Due to this, Penghulu Garran’s warriors were afraid to come near his hut. At this he asked Mula to light a large fire to smoke out Sangun. So Mula and other warriors lit a fire below Sangun’s hut. Seeing this, Sangun equipped himself with his war weapons in order to attack them. After Sangun had come down to the ground, Mula, Juing, Gerijih, Muking, Jugol, Banggai and the other warriors started to attack him. Sangun was a very strong man and defended himself vigorously with spear and shield.

After a long fight, Sangun ran up the hill to escape into the forest canopy. Penghulu Garran followed him so that Sangun would not run too far ahead and escape into the forest.

When Sangun saw Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” following him, he halted to challenge him. During the fighting, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” struck Sangun on his left thigh which crippled him severely. Sangun could no longer walk but could only defend himself with his shield. Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” asked Mula to strike Sangun, in order to cut off his head for a trophy, which he did.

After Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” had returned from Maloh country, the Paku Iban never again went to war against other tribes unless they were part of the government led forces.

Early Iban Pioneers of the Krian Region.

The early Iban pioneers who came to explore and settle the Krian region were originally from what is now the Saribas District. Many of them were at one time or another, Paku settlers. They pushed their routes to the Krian River via the Rimbas. Some of them took the lower route, starting from Sekundong or Kerangan Pinggai, Paku, transversed the Rimbas region of Debak, Deit, Belasau, Undai and Rapong to the Melupa where they continued their migration by boats sailing down the river. In Melupa these pioneers settled permanently, while some others pushed, on to the Awik, Sebetan and Sabelak region.

Other pioneers such as Radin took the middle route setting out from Samu, Paku. When they reached the Rimbas at Tembawai Surok Lelabi in the Teru, they wound their way up the river and then crossed to the Krian side at Bayor. On reaching Penajar Mountain the party split up. One party went downriver to explore the Kawang and Batang Rimbas until they came to Gerenjang, a tributary of the Upper Krian. Other parties explored the regions of Babang and Pilai. The pioneers of the Pilai followed the course of that river and finally settled at Nanga Maras, Krian.

Some explorers and pioneers started from Samu and Anyut migrating up the Paku River itself to the vicinity of Meroh where they turned to the left, going up the Ketoh River, a small tributary of the Paku until they reached its source, Mount Medang, the place where Linggir “Mali Lebu” encountered the spirit of Enting Naing in the form of a snake (ular kendawang). They ascended this mountain and settled on the other side of it, at the Upper Gerenjang. Others continued on to the Upper Krian and Awas.

(a) The Melupa Region.

After Daji’s victory over the Seru at Nanga Diso, where the Seru leader, Genalus, was killed by Nanggai of the Rimbas, more and more Iban came from the Saribas to occupy the Krian.

The region of the Melupa was perhaps first permanently settled by the immigrants led by Daji and Gila who used the lower route. They penetrated to the Melupa via the virgin jungle covering Sibirong Mountain, the source of Sulau River, a tributary of the Assam River, in the Melupa. Since their penetration was by way of the Sibirong, clearing the jungle to farm the land as they went, the mountain is also known as Sibirong Pesok. “Pesok” means to break through or penetration. In the course of their migration, they settled at the Sibirong for awhile. Later, Unggang “Kumpang Pali” led another party from the Saribas to the Krian via the Undai of the Rimbas and down the Melupa. He and his followers finally settled at Temudok on the middle Krian region.

(b) The Awik Region.

About three generations after the Iban had occupied the Krian River, Enchana “Letan Pulas Emas” and Penghulu Penghulu Minggat and their followers, decided to migrate from Paku region to the Krian region. At first they decided to settle in the Krian, but Gila, veteran of the last tribal war against the Sera at Nanga Diso, would not approve of this. Thus Letan and his party entered the Awik and built a longhouse at Rantau Menukol, located below Nanga Malong. From there they moved upriver at Lubok Kepayang.

Later when Penghulu Minggat came with his followers, he settled at Nanga Mitas, where he built a 60-door longhouse. The descendants of Penghulu Minggat now live in Kamidan, just above Nanga Mitas.

(c) The Sebetan Region.

Sebetan was pioneered almost simultaneously with Awik by Bir, one of Linggir “Mali Lebu” young warrior from Sekundong, Paku. He wanted to follow Penghulu Minggat and his party. But the latter dissuaded Bir from following him for fear that the Awik would soon become overcrowded. Penghulu Minggat permitted him to proceed upriver only to Nanga Stingam, where Bir made up his mind to find another place to live.

Incidentally, Bir, on a hunting expedition, followed the course of Sungai Manding, a small tributary of the Awik, to its source. At its headwaters, he found another stream flowing in a different direction. He named it Sungai Berangan for there were many berangan trees growing on either bank of the stream. When he returned to his house at Nanga Stingam, he took some of his men to explore more of the region of Sungai Berangan and the main river where it branches out. Apparently the stream empties into the Sebetan River, whose mouth is below the modern town of Saratok.

Afterwards Bir went down the Sebetan to its mouth where he observed bird-omens for seven days. While doing this, he saw a barking deer (kijang) swimming in the river. He knew that this omen was bad. But he was determined to have the Sebetan as his new place of settlement. Bir took all his followers from Nanga Stingam, Awik, to occupy the Sebetan. They built their first longhouse at Pengkalan Rumput (Grassy Landing Place). Later they moved on to Tembawai Emperan. Then they moved to Tembawai Panjai, where the main party split into three groups. These groups built their longhouses at Tembawai Lukut, Tembawai Ngitar and Tembawai Rungan.

Thus Bir became the founder of the Sebetan settlements. When he died he was greatly honoured in that his coffin was not buried but was placed on a platform or lumbong. Bir’s lumbong is still intact on the Naas range (Tinting Naas) near the longhouse of the Honourable Datuk Edmund Langgu, former Member of Parliament, at Sungai Klampai, Sebetan. The remains of Bir’s bones can still be seen there, inside a jar.

The Kalaka under Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang”.

In June, 1843, after the Saribas Iban of the Padeh and Paku had been defeated by James Brooke and Captain Henry Keppel, Rimbas was similarly attacked and taken. Due to this many people from the Rimbas migrated to the Krian via the Melupa. Here they settled along the river up to the Babang tributary. When the Iban of the lower Batang Lupar, Saribas and Krian were beginning to enjoy peace after the defeat of Kedu “Lang Ngindang” at Mt. Stulak and that of Janting “Lang Labang” at Bukit Batu on the headwaters of Mujong, the Rajah decreed that all Iban who had settled along the Baleh and in its tributaries were to return and live under the control of the govern¬ment in the main Rajang below Kapit.

This intervention in Iban affairs was protested by a senior Iban leader of the Ulu Ai named Penghulu Ngumbang “Brauh Langit” of Mepi, who had fought against the government along the Kedang range in 1886. The Emperan, Katibas and the Rajang Iban assisted him, as did the warriors of Penghulu Bantin “Ijau Lelayang” of the Ulu Ai. The Rajah’s followers were led by OKP Nanang of the Padeh, Penghulu Minggat of Awik and Jabu of Bangat, Skrang. Two years after his defeat at Kedang, Penghulu Ngumbang, Penghulu Bantin, together with Imba and Allam, agreed to attend the peace-making ceremony to be held at both the Lubok Antu and Kapit forts.

Despite of the agreement to live in peace sworn at this peace-making, the Iban of Yong and Cheremin in the upper Rajang again grew restless and in 1894 openly revolted against the government. The Rajah led an expedition against them in person. He appointed the aged OKP Nanang of Padeh, Saribas, to lead the fighting. This was the last war that OKP Nanang took part in before his death in Padeh in 1901.

After peace was restored, Penghulu Bantin went from the Kampuas to Ulu Ai to buy jars. On his way home with a rusa-type jar he stayed one night in an Iban longhouse on the lower Batang Ai. Several days after he left the house, a man who lived there found a rusa jar missing. He reported the loss to Mr. Bailey, Resident of the Second Division in Simanggang. In his wrath against the Ulu Ai rebel chief, Mr. Bailey summoned Penghulu Bantin and accused him of having stolen the lost jar. Penghulu Bantin denied the charge, and therefore a bitter quarrel arose between Penghulu Bantin and the Resident.

Mr. Bailey demanded that Penghulu Bantin should pay the necessary jar tax. Penghulu Bantin refused to pay, since he had bought the jar with his own money. In this disagreement, Mr. Bailey lost his temper with Penghulu Bantin, who returned to the Ulu Ai and started to collect followers to rebel against the Sarawak Government. The Rajah, being misinformed by Mr. Bailey about the quarrel, led a punitive expedition against Penghulu Bantin from 1897 to 1904 which ended with the battle at Entimau hill in the upper Katibas. In the same year, 1904, Bantin’s followers, led by Kana of Engkari and Mantok “Batu Cheling” and the people of the Ulu Kanowit, were defeated by a government force under Munan Penghulu Dalam, at Wong Adai below the Meluan. This encounter was commonly called the Bongkap war since Mantok’s huge war boat was named Bongkap.

In 1906 Penghuiu Ngumbang of the Mepi, Ulu Ai, supported by the Ulu Ai, Emperan, Kanowit, Julau, Katibas and Baleh Iban, renewed fighting against the government in the upper waters until defeated at Bukit Balong.

After these troubles had ended Penghulu Ngumbang and Penghulu Bantin agreed to make peace with the downriver Iban under Munan, and a peace-making ceremony was held at Kapit in 1907.

Munan, the Penghulu Dalam at Sibu, and Penghulu Ngumbang of Mepi in the Ulu Ai both died in 1914. In the following year the Baleh Iban led by Penghulu Merom rebelled against the government at Bukit Selong, at the source of the Mujong tributary and in the Gaat tributary. While fighting in the Gaat the government forces were headed by Gani “Sauh Besi”, the grandson of Kedu “Lang Ngindang” of the Skrang, who had settled at Bawang Assan near Sibu. The Gaat trouble ended in 1919 and there followed a peace-making ceremony at Kapit in 1920.

In the intervening year of 1916, the restless Iban of the Ulu Ai were led by one Tabor, a son of Penghulu Ngelingkong of the Mujan, to attack the Kayan of the upper Rajang. To stop this, the government sent a punitive expedition against them, and there was a battle at Nanga Pila, where Tabor was killed by a Constable named Impin “Pintu Batu Nanga Pila” of the Bangat, Skrang.

After the Iban troubles in the upper waters of the Batang Ai and Batang Rajang had stopped, a peace-making was held at Kapit between the Iban and the Kayan of Long Nawang (or Apo Kayan) in 1924. At this ceremony the Iban were represented by Penghulu Koh, Keling, Melintang and other upper Rajang and Baleh Penghulus. After the ceremony was over, and due to Penghulu Koh’s service in organizing the successful peace-making, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, the third Rajah of Sarawak, pro¬moted him to the rank of Temenggong.

Rebellion By Penghulu Asun “Bah Tunggal”.

In 1929 Penghulu Asun “Bah Tunggal” of the Entabai and many Iban who supported him refused to pay taxes on shot-guns, pasu, gantang and chupak measures and the daching weight. In their arguments they said it was unreasonable for the Iban, who were not traders (orang dagang) to pay these taxes; they said they owed nothing to the government once they had paid the purchase price. In this trouble Asun was reinforced by Penghulu Kana of Engkari, Kendawang, son of the late Penghulu Janting “Lang Labang” of the Julau, Manang Bakak of the Pakan in Julau, and many young warriors from the Machan, Poi, Ngemah, Kanowit, Julau and the Ulu Batang Ai Rivers.

When the trouble was at its height a lot of unfounded rumours passed up and down the countryside accusing the Resident, District Officers and the Native Officers of having created the trouble which led the Iban to rebel. One of these rumours said that the government had introduced a law that all husbands in the Ulu must pay a tax of fifteen cents per night to sleep with their wives in their family quarters. This false story incited Asun’s ignorant warriors to take their stand at several locations in the Kanowit River where they were met and quelled by government forces.

Ultimately Asun was arrested in 1933. After all the ringleaders had been arrested, or had surren¬dered, the Rajah exiled Asun, Kana, Kendawang and Mikai to Lundu, while Manang Bakak was leniently put in jail at Marudi.

Story of Warrior Kandau anak Entingang.

Kandau anak Entingang was a Paku warrior who lived in Langan’s house at Nanga Drap near Danau in the upper Paku River. From his youth, Kandau was ambitious. He was anxious to meet spirits and spiritual heroes in his dreams so that he might obtain charms from them which would aid him in becoming a successful warrior. In order to meet spirits he secretly erected a small hut on the top of a dabai tree at Lubok Isu, not far below his longhouse bathing place. At night he often slept there. He never informed anyone of what he met or saw in his dreams.

One day two strangers came to his longhouse from the upper Rajang. They informed the Paku Iban that the Iban of Sut in the Baleh River were still hostile to the Rajah’s government. On hearing this, a young warleader named Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” invited Du and others to join him in fighting the Iban of Sut. At this time a well-known young warrior named Unggang “Kumpang Pali” from Entanak near Betong was in the Paku to court a girl named Satik, a sister of the famous warrior Kedit “Rindang”. When he heard that Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” was to lead war expedition to the upper Rajang he decided to join the party. Those who were prepared to follow Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” were Kadam and his brother Mambang, Saang and his brother Mula, Du, Enggu, Munji, Lambor, Melina “Bujang Berani” and Unja. They journeyed by a large warboat to the Sut via Sibu. When they reached the Government station at Nanga Ngemah, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” ordered that they stay the night there, as it was already dark.

The next morning at 8.00 a.m. Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his warriors went to the fort to meet the European Officer-in-Charge of the station. On meeting them the latter asked them where they had come from. Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” told the Officer-in-Charge that they had come to ask his approval to attack the enemy in the Sut tributary of the Baleh, as they had heard that these people were not loyal to the Brooke gevernment. The Officer-in-Charge said that the Rajah planned to ask chief Linggir of Paku to attack them. He asked whether they know Linggir. At this, Kadam told the Officer-in-Charge that their leader Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” was a nephew and son-in-law of Linggir.

Hearing this Officer-in-Charge asked whether Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” had ever led a war expedition before. Kadam told him that Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” was already an experienced warleader, having led several expeditions in the past. “If he had not yet led a war expedition,” said Kadam, “surely we would not follow him to war.” Hearing this, the Officer-in-Charge ordered them to meet him again at 8 a.m. the next morning.

The next day Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his warriors came to the fort again as the Officer-in-Charge had asked them to. During this second meeting the Officer-in-Charge gave them permission to attack only one Iban longhouse in the Sut. He strongly warned them not to kill women and children, “If you happen to encounter them”, he said, “You should capture them and take them back with you to your country”. Having given these orders, the Officer-in-Charge commanded them to depart upriver the next day.

Early next morning Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his warriors left the Nanga Ngemali station for Sut in the Baleh River. Shortly after they had entered the Sut, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” ordered his followers to stop as they would raid only the nearest enemy longhouse in the lower river. As soon as they had landed, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” ordered that a temporary war-camp be erected as soon as possible so that the younger warriors might spy on the enemy that evening.

Shortly after the camp had been set up, Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” held a council of war in order to arrange for his followers to spy on the nearest enemy longhouse. After a short discussion, Kandau was commanded to pole his boat upriver. Unja who had wanted to accompany him was left behind. A few minutes after he had left, Kandau returned and informed his people to make ready for a fight, as a boatfull of enemy was approach¬ing from upriver. Hearing this Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his warriors equipped themselves with swords, shields and spears and boarded the warboat in order to attack the enemy boat.

As they sailed out to meet the enemy, almost all the unprepared enemies threw themselves into the river to escape. Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” and his warriors were able to kill or capture many of them. After a short skirmish it was discovered that Kandau had killed one and captured two. His brother Mambang only captured one. The rest killed one enemy each, except Enggu, Kadam and Munji.

Some years after this war, Kandau joined another troop led by Kedu “Lang Ngindang” of the Skrang, which attacked the house of Munau apai Laja of Engkari at Nanga Jangkuman. During the battle Kandau took a captive. Again in the 1860s when Penghulu Minggat of Awik attacked the Kanowit and Entabai rebels, Kandau took another captive.

In the early 1870s Kandau married Gulang, one of the daughters of Chulo “Tarang” of the Upper Krian. If was due to this marriage that he was appointed one of Chulo “Tarang”’s leading warriors, when he and Penghulu Minggat of Awik attacked the rebels under Janting and Merum at Bukit Batu in the Ulu Mujong in 1886. During the fighting, Kandau was severely wounded. Due to the large wound he received, Charles Brooke told him that he had done his best and should prepare to die like a brave man. Kandau told the Rajah that he would not die by weapons made of iron, as an Antu Grasi, or demon huntsman, had told him so in a dream. “According to the demon”, he said, “Only fire can slay me”. This was the first time that Kandau revealed the spiritual guardianship he had received decades earlier. Many years later, while burning logs in his padi field, he fell into the large fire which he himself had lit and was instantly burnt to death.

Manang Bakak “Asu Rangka” of the Paku.

While serving a prison sentence at Simanggang Jail, Manang Bakak was said to have left his cell and wandered freely at night, returning again in the morning. This occurred when he was imprisoned in the late 1890s for attempted murder and for his attitude towards the government.

He was found guilty of using a friend’s spear in attempting to murder a
Trader and his wife at Nanga Sekundong in the Paku. Luckily his victims were only wounded. Suspicion fell strongly on him and led to his arrest and inprisonment in the Simanggang jail. While he was in jail, he left his cell and sat outside house at night. The Resident and other government officers were wondering how he was able to break open the strong iron door with his bare hands. In their amazement they considered him insane. After he did this several times, he was transferred to the Kuching jail.

Here he also came out of his cell at night to sit outside the building. But because he never ran away, the government pardoned him. At the Kuching jail Bakak was said to have broken the iron bars of the cell in which he was locked.

At one time according to these stories, he was called by the Rajah to the Astana grounds. Bakak came with his escort. Sir Charles Brooke told Bakak that he had heard that he was a strong man, and asked him to lift a huge iron cannon that stood in the grounds. Bakak immediately took hold of the cannon, raised it from the ground and asked the Rajah where he would like him to throw it. For himself he wanted to throw it into a deep pool in the Sarawak River off the Astana landing place. The Rajah merely asked him to put the cannon back, he was so puzzled to see such extraordinary strength.

After he had been released from prison, the mischievous Bakak unlawfully carried a flag of State op the Krian and down the Rimbas River. He informed the Iban of these rivers that the Rajah wanted all warriors to join a government war expedition to fight the Julau Iban. Of course, this was a false story, so the Resident of the Second Division, Mr. Bailey, ordered that Bakak be arrested. To carry out this order Tait, the brother of Penghulu Saang, accompanied by his brother M’eling and a certain Indit, went to arrest Bakak at Ulu Bayor, Rimbas, where he was hiding. As they knew that Bakak was a strong man, his companions asked Tait to catch him with the aid of a pelemah charm which would weaken him. When they reached the Ulu Bayor longhouse at midday they found that Bakak was sleeping in the headman’s house. Seeing this, Tait and his friends caught him with the pelemah charm, which made Bakak very weak, and brought him to Simanggang where he was again im¬prisoned.

Again, he behaved in strange ways, and at last he was seen eating his owe feces, But this action was of course not real; he did it by a conjuring trick. Later due to his escape from the prison house, he was released and declared an outlaw by the government. This meant that if anyone disturbed Bakak the government would not be responsible for the mischief done.

Once, while troops were staying at Simanggang while on their way to the Delok Cholera expedition in 1902, Bakak did an extraordinary thing which was witnessed by many in the Simanggang bazaar. He told a certain Chinese trader that all the iron bars he sold in his shop were soft and could not be used for making knives. Hearing this, the Chinese shopkeeper told Bakak he could take all the iron bars in his shop, if he could break them to pieces with his hands. Bakak took the iron bars one by one, and broke them by cutting them with two fingers. This action amazed all who witnessed it. The trader, who had promised to give all the iron bars to him if he could break them, fulfilled his promise. So Bakak took them and distributed them to those who had gathered to watch.

At one time about 80 Iban were stranded in Kuching, on their way home from tapping wild rubber in various places throughout the country. They had run short of money for paying their fares. Bakak, who was staying in Kuching, played various tricks in order to raise money to help them. He bought about twenty fathoms of white calico cloth which he hung across Carpenter Street. In between these curtains he demonstrated various kinds of magical tricks, such as turning a pingan leaf into a mouse-deer, a brass areca-nut box into a tortoise, and many other things into centipedes and snakes. Everyone who was attracted by these tricks had to pay two cents for a short glance into the enclosure where Bakak was performing his magic. From these tricks Bakak collected about $100/- which was enough for his friends to go home by the sailing schooners used in those early years of the century.

Bakak was a Saribas Iban, born at Tanjong, who lived at Beduru and Matop, Paku. From boyhood he had been interested in the secrets of the medicine men. Wherever he travelled in his bachelor days, he studied all branches of magic from famous manang or dukun wherever he could find them. Being learned in all these things, he was able to turn sireh leaves into dollar notes and white, red and black calico towels into white, red and black snakes.

When he was serving a sentence in the Baram prison for his involvement in the Asun affair, he went to cure a patient in an Iban longhouse at Nakat. Next morning his friend Kakat sent him back to the Baram bazaar by canoe in order that he might go back to the prison house. On the way, Kakat told Bakak that he had no money to buy food in the bazaar. Bakak told him not to worry for money came whenever anyone was in need of it. As they neared the town, Bakak asked Kakat to lend him the black towel which he wore around his waist. Kakat handed his towel to Bakak, who pronounced a spell (puchau) over it and threw it into the river. When they reached the landing stage at Marudi, they found that a great number of people were in panic. Bakak asked the reason. Someone told him that the son of a rich Chinese trader had been bitten by a black cobra near his father’s shop and had fallen un¬conscious. The man said that the boy’s father was looking for someone who could cure his son. Hearing this Bakak went to a shop to take some refreshments with Kakat. After the boy’s father was told that Bakak was in town he came to look for him. When he met him, he begged Bakak to see his son who was unconscious due to the snake bite. Bakak told him that he could not help him as he had never cured anyone of snake bite before. Finally, he let himself be persuaded to try to cure the trader’s son, and went to see the boy and read a spell (puchau) over the tiny wound on the boy’s leg. After this the boy became conscious and was well again shortly afterwards. In appreciation, the trader handed Bakak $60/-, as Bakak had expected. He knew that all this funny business would happen, because the black calico towel he had thrown into the river had become the black cobra, and he had sent it to bite the trader’s son, whom he had named in his spell. He gave this money to Kakat who needed it.

In his young days when he led a party of Iban rubber tappers to work at Mukah, he and his followers were invited to attend a tamat pencha festival, – a feast at which the penikar, or teacher, chooses the first, second and third class martial arts dancers. At the end of the feast the penikar invited Bakak’s men to compete with his students in the dance. Bakak agreed and asked his friends to enter the competition. After all the men had danced, the penikar suggested that Bakak should dance in opposition to him. Bakak agreed and he started to attack his opponent more roughly then the dance allowed. Due to the roughness of the battle dance they soon fell into open quarrelling. When the time came for Bakak to accept the blows of his opponent, he prevented his approach with a gayong dalam spell, which spiritually struck the liver of his opponent. Due to this, the quarrel became very bad and this caused a lot of trouble. In his anger, after his friends had left the house, Bakak pulled away the house ladder and threw it to the ground. Having done this, with his great strength he pulled down an areca palm which he placed upside down in place of the ladder. In fear of him, none of his opponents dared to say anything.

There are many other strange things that Bakak is said to have done to confuse people. He could cause a few glasses of wine never to be finished, even if drunk by several hundred people all day. The last time he did this was in 1943 at the end of a festival at the Batu Anchau cemetery on the Paku River.

During his time Bakak was a famous manang or shaman. He was especially renowned for the power and courage he showed in performing dangerous pelian in which he summoned demons, some of them in the form of monkeys, crocodiles, river-turtles, or barking deer. The demons, it was believed, caused sickness. When the demons he summoned appeared in a reptile or animal guise, Bakak was brave enough to fight them with a knife.

In the 1940s, on his way from Julau to his sister’s house at Matop in the Paku, Bakak was invited to perform a pelian for a sick woman at Penom. During the night’s performance the drinkers finished their wine and had no money to buy more from the Chinese boat-hawkers in the river nearby. Due to this, they begged for money from Bakak who was singing his pelian prayers while seated on a swing. Bakak asked for sir eh leaves from a man who sat near him, and the latter gave him all the sireh leaves he found in his areca nut box. Receiving these Bakak rolled them many times between his palms, chanting a spell, which turned the seven leaves the man had given him into dollar notes. With this money the young men bought bottles of wine from the Chinese hawkers. But a week later one of the traders complained that a strange thing had happened to him. “Someone,” he said, “mischievously threw sireh leaves into my money box.”

After Bakak was released from the Baram prison in about 1935 he returned to live at Pakan in the Julau River. From Julau he visited his relatives in the Paku once every few months till his last visit in 1955. Most of his lifetime was spent at Pakan. He died of old age at Matop, Paku in 1955, aged about 81 years.

Kedu “Lang Ngindang”.

Kedu “Lang Ngindang”, a Skrang chief who lived at Nanga Bimu, opened a feud with the Kantu’ people of Merakai by attacking them with a large force. Due to this Mr. Maxwell, then the Resident at Simanggang, with the help of OKP Nanang of Padeh, Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang” of the Kalaka and Jebu and Utik of the Bangat, Skrang, attacked Kedu “Lang Ngindang” at Nanga Bunu in 1879. During the fighting OKP Nanang’s brother Unting and their nephews Senabong and Timban, the sons of the deceased Aji displayed notable bravery, because they wished to avenge their father’s death in 1858; Aji’s head was at that time still in the hands of a Skrang Iban.

After he had been defeated at Nanga Bunu, Kedu “Lang Ngindang” and his leading warriors, Uching “Kesulai Tandang”, Aming “Ijau Kemelang” and many others, including Sigat of Tanjong, Basek “Tengkujoh Darah” of Nanga Tanyit, Dunggau of Nariga Murat, and Busut of Enteban, fled to fortify themselves on the summit of Stulak hill. After the Rajah had defeated them there in 1881, Kedu “Lang Ngindang” and his warriors surrendered to the government forces. Some returned to the Skrang while many others migrated with Kedu “Lang Ngindang” to the Kanowit, after he had been asked to deposit 10 valuable jars as security for his good behaviour. Kedu “Lang Ngindang” refused to go back again to the Skrang as he did not want to see the faces of some of the Tuans (European Officers) in Fort Alice at Simanggang as he made peace. He decided to make peace at Sibu instead.

From Stulak hill Kedu “Lang Ngindang” moved again to live with his followers at the mouths of the rivers Tebalong and Kesit in Entabai. Years afterwards all of them dispersed again, and Kedu “Lang Ngindang” moved downriver and lived till his death of old age at Bawang Assan. His grandson Gani lived at Bawang Assan till he died in 1959. The rest of his followers mingled with other Skrang and Saribas Iban who had migrated to the Julau and Entabai Rivers before and after the Sadok defeat in 1861. Before these migrations, the Julau and the Kanowit were already peopled by Skrang, Lemanak and Saribas Iban under the leadership of well-known chiefs like Mujah “Buah Raya” who had fought against the Tuan Muda, Charles Brooke in 1858; and Lintong “Moahari”, who had reinforced Aji in his attack on Betong Fort and finally joined him in attacking the Government forces on their way to Sadok later that year.

Nakoda Gurang “Ulau” of the Paku.

Gurang was the eldest son of Ramping and Bintang of Samu, Paku. He married Lulong, the first daughter of Saang and Dindu of Matop. After their marriage Gurang lived with his wife’s family at Matop. But after his father-in-law Saang died, Gurang and the entire family returned to live at Samu.

At the age of seventeen he joined a Paku party of rubber tappers who went by a sailing boat they had made themselves to the Sadong River. For this trip they took provisions of two and a half pasu of rice each.

From the Sadong they went up the Kraang and reached the mouth of the MelIMn two days later. From this place they went up the Melikin for another two days till they reached a landing place (pangkalan). From this landing place they carried their provisions and working equipment overland for two days up and down the hills to their destination. The strongest among them could carry ten gallons of rice, while the weaker ones took only eight gallons, in addition to their other goods. At this time there was plenty of wild rubber, such as the gutta percha, nyatu sabang, nyatu beringin, and nyatu samalam and nyatu puteh. In addition there was plenty of the rubber gubi, kenk and perapat in the area. On this trip, however, the members of the party earned only $127- each.

Gurang’s wife Lulong died during the delivery of a daughter, Linda, and after this Gurang joined Nyaru and sailed to Singapore enroute for Malaya with seventy other Iban. At Singapore they boarded a steamer to Klang. From Klang they went by rail to Kuala Lumpur, where Nyaru met the Governor to ask for permission to work rubber in the jungle far away from town. The Governor said that they could tap rubber only after the rebellions in Pekan and Pahang had been put down. The Governor then asked Nyaru whether he and his Iban would agree to help the Govern¬ment fight the rebels. Nyaru said that they would be pleased to assist if the Govern¬ment required their services.

Since at this time he did not speak Malay, Nyaru appointed Rambuyan to lead the Paku and Krian Iban, and Janting, brother of Penghulu Tandang son of Entering apai Nawai, to lead the Jalau Iban. The soldiers on the expeditions only entrusted the Iban with the transport of war materials and food. They did not permit them to fight the enemy. For this work the government paid them only ten dollars each, plus frees food and lodging.

After these expeditions, the Government summoned Rambuyan and Janting to inform them that the government had given permission for them to tap wild rubber in the Perak, Trengganu and Pahang forests. Melina of Ulu Anyut and his men went to work in Perak, Rambuyan and his men went to Trengganu, and Nyaru sailed for Jambi with Baam, Ambau, Luncha, Umbat, Lubun, Katang, Kedit, Tambi, Entinggi, Demong “Matahari”, Muyu, Nyanggau, Gurang and Bandang. When this latter group arrived at Jambi they found only a few tapable wild gubi rubber trees. So they worked there only a month and earned ten dollars each. At this time Gurang was attacked by measles. His brother-in-law Bandang and three others brought him back to Singapore in order to return as soon as they could to Sarawak.

On his return to Samu Gurang’s mother-in-law arranged that he marry her second daughter Kerandang. Some years after their marriage Kerandang gave birth to a son named Renggi, who was better known as Jabo. After the birth of this son, Gurang joined Duat anak Guang, a son-in-law of Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu”; Kadam of Tru, Rimbas, and Medan to return to Perak in Malaya. There they tapped wild rubber and earned one hundred dollars each. When he came home in about 1896, Gurang found that his son Jabo was nearly able to sit up by himself.

Shortly after this, he joined Pasa of Sekundong in a trading trip to Kota Warringin in Kalimantan Barat. On this trip his companion Muyu bought two jars, Salau bought one and Pasa bought two with money from Penghulu Kedit and Jamit apai Made. The rest of his friends including himself were disappointed with the scarcity of jars in the area. Due to this Sujang and Bengali, both from Matop, went directly to Sabah to purchase jars. From Sabah they went on to Mindanao and Palawan and they never returned to Sarawak. Others in the party did not return from Kota Warringin in Kalimantan. Gurang apai Jabo went to Lawas in northern Sarawak, where he collected rattan for sale, while working there, Gurang married a Murut woman, which changed his ideas about looking for jars.

From Lawas Gurang paid a visit on Nakoda Tinggi at Sugut in Sabah. At this time Tinggi was engaged in fighting Mat Salleh and his men. During this visit Gurang gave up the thought of working for money. Instead, he joined Tinggi in order to show his bravery in battle.

After he had been successful in killing enemies in Sabah, Gurang returned to Lawas in order to go back to his family in the Paku. On hearing that he planned to go home, Luta of Nanga Maras, Krian gave him things such as money and brassware to deliver to his brother Unchi. But when Gurang arrived in Lawas he found that much of his brassware left in the hands of his Murut wife had been lost. Due to this, he did not return to his family in the Paku, but instead, he led a large party of Iban who were then working at and around Lawas to Singapore in order to tap wild rubber in Sumatra.

They left Labuan by the M.V. Ranee for Singapore. From Singapore they travelled by launch to Penang and then crossed the Straits of Malacca to Langkat in Sumatra. On arriving at Langkat town, Gurang went to see Tengku Ambong, Mentri Besar of the Sultanate of Langkat. On meeting the Chief Minister, Gurang asked permission for the Sarawak Iban to tap gutta (mayang kapor) in the region. Tengku Ambong told Gurang that he could not grant such permission as at that time the Sultanate of Langkat had just been incorporated into the Dutch Empire, and the Achehs were in rebellion against the Dutch government. “If I approved your application,” he said, “I am afraid you would be ambushed in the forest either by Dutch troops or by the rebels”. So he advised Gurang and his followers to go to Saruai town on the Tamiang River.

Gurang explained to his followers the result of his talks with Tengku Ambong. Hearing this, all agreed to proceed to Temiang by rail. Thus they arrived at Berendan town, and there they stayed the night. From this town they went by boat up the Temiang River for six hours to Saruai town. When they arrived, they stayed in the Government Rest house.

Next morning Gurang went to meet the Controlleur and told him that he had brought a lot of Iban followers from Sarawak to tap wild rubber in the Temiang region. So he had come to ask formally for his approval. In their conversation Gurang told the Controlleur that while at Langkat he had met Tengku Ambong who had advised him to come to Temiang to ask for approval from him to tap wild rubber in his country. The Controlleur said that he thought it would be better if the Iban were employed as luggage carriers for the Government troops during their expeditions to Acheh country. He said that the Government was prepared to pay each of them $15/- per month for their service. Gurang could not accept the offer before discussing it with his followers.

After he had talked the matter over with his followers, Gurang and his men went again next morning to the Controlleur’s office. Gurang said that all the Iban were willing to join the expedition. Hearing this Controlleur asked them to come to his Office again next day to sign the agreement. Next day as instructed, the Iban came to the Controlleur’s Office. It was explained to them that they were only to work as carriers of government luggage, and would not be equipped with guns to fight the enemy. For their service they were paid $15/- each per month plus free food and lodging with effect from that day.

Next day the Government sent them by launch to the town of Simpang. Here they lived in a huge concrete building. From Sipang they accompanied the Javanese soldiers who were fighting the Muslim Acheh under their ruler, Sultan Suda. In carrying out their raids, the Government troops used a number of routes. Some battalions went up the Acheh River, some from Tapak town. Gurang and his people joined those who fought the enemy along the Temiang River and its tributary the Kalui. In the upper Kalui, the Iban saw the Javanese soldiers they accompanied fighting against Gayau rebels who had sided with the Acheh. During the fighting the Iban found opportunity to kill stragglers with their parang (knives).

After the war had ended, Gurang told the Controlleur that he and his people wanted to work wild gutta (mayang kapor). The Controlleur approved the request but said that they should work at Langkat. Due to this, Gurang and his followers returned to Langkat with the Controlleur’s letter to Tengku Ambong. Arriving at Langkat they met Tengku Ambong’s chief clerk to talk of their intention to tap mayang kapor. The chief clerk asked them to wait till he had found a Chinese towkay in Penang willing to buy their rubber. But a few days later, the chief clerk told them that there was no towkay willing to buy mayang kapor due to the fact that it was no longer saleable on the European market. This was the last time that mayang kapor mbber was required by overseas buyers. It was later replaced by jelutong rubber which still has a market in many parts of the world. From Langkat, Gurang led his people to Singapore via Penang enroute for Lawas in Sarawak.

A few years after he had rejoined his Murut wife in Lawas, his son Jabo came from the Paku to fetch him home. By this time Jabo was about nineteen years old. Because of his son’s appearance at Lawas, Gurang divorced his Murut wife in order to return with his loving son to Kerandang, his old wife. Gurang brought back with him two old jars and a quantity of brassware. Shortly after his arrival in samu, he held an enchaboh arong festival in order to inform his relatives and friends that during his two decades in other countries, in addition to acquiring jars, he had also killed enemies. This entitled him to be known as raja berani in accordance with Iban custom.

The Story of Penghulu Chulo “Tarang”.

Penghulu Chulo “Tarang”, who was also known as Begarak, was one of the great warriors of the Paku, during the times of Chief Linggir “Mali Lebu”. On his maternal side he was descended from chief Saang and was a great grandson of Malang of Serudit, who was called Pengarah. The reason why Pengarah and his descendants lived at Serudit is related in a book called The Sea Dayaks of Borneo before White Rajah Rule (1967a: 39).

When he was a young bachelor, on the way to visit a girl friend at night, Chulo met a huge demon (antu gerasi) standing in the road in front of him. His teeth were as big as maram palm fruit. Chulo caught the demon suddenly and wrestled with him. As they wrestled, the demon suddenly vanished. So Chulo continued his journey to the girl’s house. That night while Chulo slept with his friends in the girl’s long-house, he dreamed of a very handsome young man who came and talked with him. The young man said, “How was it you dared to wrestle with me? In the past, no one has ever dared to wrestle against me. As you defeated me, from now on you will kill enemies in wars. You will also become rich because of your success in planting padi. You will be able to buy many old jars, which the people of your race value highly.” The demon assured Chulo that although he would become a very brave and strong warrior, he would never become a warleader. Instead he would serve as a leading warrior under someone else’s command.

The demon told Chulo that he lived on the summit of Bukit Buloh in the Paku River watershed and looked after the fate of the Paku people. After the young man had spoken these words, Chulo woke up and found it was all a dream. After this dream Chulo became a very brave warrior and fought under chief Linggir “Mali Lebu” of Paku. To start his fighting career Chulo “Tarang”, together with Ramping of Samu and Entemang of the Rimbas decided to attack the Beliun who then lived along the Sarikei River and who had been attacked previously by Ugat of Paku, as mentioned in an earlier chapter. As they began their attack on a Beliun house, before they could kill more than two enemies, Ramping was badly wounded on the thigh. Seeing this, Chulo and his friends stopped fighting in order to carry Ramping to safety. On their homeward journey, they finished their provisions just as they came to the foot of Tabujang hill. Due to this they grew weak with hunger. So they hid Ramping inside a cave at Tabujang hill, in order that the hostile Seru would not find and slay him while they returned home for more provisions.

They returned in haste to the Rimbas with the Beliun heads in order to inform their friends of their successful raid. They told the people the news of Ramping’s wound. When the Rimbas people heard this they sympathised with Ramping. After he had collected enough people to help him, Chulo “Tarang” led them to Tabujang hill to fetch Ramping. When they reached the cave, they found that Ramping was safe, though his large wound had been eaten by worms. They later brought him to a safer place to be looked after by his friends.

After Ramping’s recovery, Chulo “Tarang” and Entemang with other warriors went again to raid the Beliun village on the Sarikei River. When they came to the River bank opposite the village, Chulo “Tarang” and Entemang swam across the stream to spy out the position of the enemy. While they were swimming Entemang was caught by a crocodile and disappeared. Seeing this, Chulo “Tarang” returned to inform his friends of Entemang’s death.

After relating what had occurred, Chulo “Tarang” urged his companions to search Entemang’s body. In spite of their sadness over Entemang’s death, none of them dared do so, as the spot where their friend had disappeared was just opposite the pangkalan, or landing place, of the enemy. So Chulo “Tarang” and the others returned to fetch Ramping and bring him back to the Rimbas.

Two weeks after they had returned from the warpath, some of Entemang’s relatives came to Paku to accuse Chulo “Tarang” of slaying Entemang. They said that Chulo “Tarang”’s story about Entemang’s death was false. Chulo “Tarang” strongly denied this. The Paku warriors who had joined the war party strongly sided with Chulo “Tarang”. But the Rimbas people said that they had heard rumours from Sarikei that the body of Entemang had been found. On the corpse, according to these rumours, was a wound as if he had been killed by a spear. The people of Rimbas said that Entemang must have been killed by Chulo “Tarang”’s spear as no one else was with him at the time of the accident. Chulo “Tarang” strongly denied the Rimbas people’s accusation which was only based on rumour. “If you have not seen the wound on Entemang’s body yourselves, you must not believe a baseless story,” said Chulo “Tarang”.

The Rimbas people returned. But later they sent a messenger to inform Chulo “Tarang” that they wanted him to prove his innocence in a diving contest against them. “If Tarang refuses to settle this dispute by diving against us”, said the messenger, “it is certain that he is the slayer of Entemang.” Knowing that he was not guilty, Chulo “Tarang” promptly accepted the challenge.32 He told the messenger that the diving contest should be held in a month’s time, as both sides must be given sufficient time to look for divers to champion their cause. As he was looking for a diver to dive for him, Chulo “Tarang” found that Apai Enchalu was ready to do it for him, while his opponents engaged a man named Usut. Both men were reported to be excellent divers.

Before the contest started, the people of Rimbas invited Chulo “Tarang” to bet one tajau menaga (dragon jar), which the loser of the contest would surrender to the winner. Chulo “Tarang” said that he wanted to bet eight tajau menaga jars, not merely one, as proposed by his opponents. The Rimbas people refused Chulo “Tarang” request. They said that Chulo “Tarang” was trying to frighten them so that the diving contest would be cancelled. Chulo “Tarang” told the Rimbas people, that as he was innocent of Entemang’s death, he dared to bet them eight jars, which he knew that he would not lose*.

Many people came from the Krian in addition to those from the Rimbas and Paku, to witness the contest. Before the divers went under water, Chulo “Tarang” spoke to all the people present. He said that he was the leader who had invited Entemang and other warriors from the Rimbas to attack the Beliun village in the Sarikei River. He swore that as he was a leader of this expedition, he did not kill Entemang as his relatives believed. “Due to my innocence of the death of my most trusted warrior, Entemang, without doubt I will win this diving contest.” After Chulo “Tarang” had assured the people of his innocence, Kendawang, one of Linggir’s leading warriors from Paku asked whether the people of Rimbas wished to withdraw their accusation against Chulo “Tarang” before the diving contest took place. If they would withdraw they could do it, but if they lost the contest they would also lose their wager.

The Rimbas people said that they would not withdraw their accusation. They wanted to bet Chulo “Tarang” six menaga jars and not eight as he had suggested. Chulo “Tarang” agreed. After the betting was agreed to by both sides, those who sided with Chulo “Tarang” of Paku, or with his opponents of the Rimbas, began to place bets with setawak and bendai gongs. One whose name is still remembered was Encharang apai Bibay of Nanga Bangkit, Paku. Encharang bet that the Rimbas people would win the contest. Shortly before the diving contest was to start, each side asked one of their men to recite prayers to call for the Gods and universal spirits, who reside in the heavens and the water to come and see that justice was done. They prayed for them to cause the innocent to win without difficulty. The diving then started. After a short while under the water, Usut who dived for the people of Rimbas drowned, while Chulo “Tarang”’s champion, Apai Enchalu was still under the water. Due to Usut’s condition, the chiefs ordered that he be taken out of the water, which proved that the Rimbas people had lost their case.

Immediately after the case of Chulo “Tarang” had been proved by the victory of Apai Enchalu, Encharang apai Bibay snatched back the gong which he had wagered against his opponent who had sided with Chulo “Tarang” .When his opponent saw this, he and his friends followed Encharang and forced him to surrender the gong, or lose his life. Knowing that he was wrong, Encharang handed back the gong to his opponent.

When Linggir “Mali Lebu” of Paku raided Ilas and other Melanau villages in the Rajang delta, Chulo “Tarang” was one of his leading warriors. Likewise when Linggir invaded the Bukitan longhouse at Sugai in the Julau, with his great strength and bravery, Chulo captured eight captives.

At one time when Orang Kaya Rabong of the Skrang attacked the Balau Dayaks and Lingga Malays with two large warboats at Banting, Chulo and a man named Isut of Anyut joined the Skrang warriors. During the fighting, Chulo killed three enemies. Only one of the slain was beheaded by him. This was because he was more attracted by two valuable old jars he looted in one of the enemy’s rooms. Due to this success he was given the nickname of “Tarang”. When he returned to the Skrang, Chulo left the skull with Rabong, as he was satisfied to bring back to the Paku the two jars he had looted. Isut who accompanied him was a slave of Apai Jabang of Getah, Anyut. Because of his dream, Chulo “Tarang” never became a great warleader except when leading his small band of warriors in raids or “little wars” (kayau anak).

In Paku, Chulo “Tarang” married a woman named Siah who bore him a son named Tandok. The latter and his family migrated to the Sabelak and settled at Kedoh. After the death of Siah, Chulo “Tarang” married Dinggu, a daughter of Ramping “Gumbang” of Tawai in the Rimbas by whom he had three sons and four daughters whose names were: Ngadan, Unggit, Dungkong (f), Lanjing (f), Gulang (f), Insin (f) and Tujoh.

From Nanga Tawai, due to a squabble with his cousins, the Orang Kaya Linggang and his brothers, Ramping “Gumbang” and his son-in-law Chulo “Tarang” and his family moved up the Rimbas River and settled at Nanga Ulai on the lower part of the Bay or tributary. From Nanga Ulai, due to the lack of land for planting padi, Gumbang and Chulo “Tarang” migrated to the Krian and settled at Kumpai. This migration took place slightly later than that of Enchana “Letan” and his followers who, as described in an earlier section, migrated from the Paku to the Awik.

After the death of his father-in-law, Chulo “Tarang” was appointed the first penghulu to rule the upper Krian watershed by the Second Rajah of Sarawak. Two of Chulo “Tarang” sons, Ngadan and Unggit, were brave warriors together with two of his sons-in-law, Kandau and Ngindang of Paku.

When Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang” were appointed Penghulus of the lower and upper Krian, none of the people who were settled at the foot of the Embuas rapids and further up the Krian had yet submitted themselves to the Brooke Raj. Due to the general unrest in the Krian, the Rajah led a punitive expedition against them. He warned all those who wished to submit to his rule to live either with Penghulu Minggat at Awik or with Chulo “Tarang” at Kumpai. After this declaration was made, the people at the mouth of the Kabo tributary and the people in the Budu stream fled to the upper Senulau in order to resist the Rajah’s troops at Bukit Batu. But before they fled, they had sent their women and children of the Julau, to Ulu Awik.

Not many warriors from the Layar, Paku, Rimbas and the lower Krian joined the Rajah’s force. Those who did only did so to please the government. Before the expedition actually took place many people of the lower Krian and the Saribas secretly warned their friends to run away to safety. Therefore during the expedition only the Skrang warriors really fulfilled their pledge. Even then, their approaches to the rebels were always blocked by the Saribas warriors who wanted to protect their friends from attack.

But the Balau warriors who went up the main Krian River by boat attacked the hostile people of Nanga Kabo. In this raid that small longhouse was defeated; its site became a cemetery and is still used as such by the Iban of the area to this day. During the attack, most of the inhabitants were away downriver attending a funeral at a village called Kerangan and therefore escaped. As a result of the raid, the people above Nanga Kabo in the main Krian scattered. Some fled to join the enemy under Janting and Ranggau of the Julau, while others offered their submission to the government. Seeing that some of these people were still hostile, the Rajah ordered Penghulu Minggat of Awik to raid all those who had fled to the upper Kanowit and Mujok and who had allied themselves with the hostile Katibas Iban gathered at the upper Kamalih and Stulak hill near the headwaters of the Kanowit.

At this time the infamous Libau “Rentap” was living at Stulak having left Lanja Mountain where he had fled after his defeat at Sadok in 1861. Due to this Krian-Katibas unrest, the aged Libau “Rentap” moved away to the range of hills lying between the headwaters of Kabo, Awik, Julau, Sarikei and Binatang Rivers, where he died of old age and was honourably enshrined in a belian tomb (lumbong) on the summit of Bukit Sibau.

Shortly after Libau “Rentap” death, Ranggau succeeded to the leadership of the rebels and built a stronghold at Bukit Dugan on the headwaters of the Ensiring. Before the stronghold was completed the Rajah ordered Penghulu Minggat to attack it. Hearing rumours of Penghulu Minggat’s campaign preparations the enemy became divided. Those who continued to rebel followed Ranggau to Bukit Dugan, while those who were sick of such a hard wartime life returned to live safely at the Entabai.

From the main Kanowit River Penghulu Minggat led his force overland towards the head¬waters of the Ensiring tributary. From this point he raided enemy longhouses as he moved down the river. When he arrived at the mouth of Ensiring, he waited for some of his leading warriors who had gone off on their own to attack the enemy living away from the main route. After all the warriors had finally gathered at the place where Penghulu Minggat and the main force were waiting, he counted the head trophies and the captives that his warriors had taken. The victims totalled 81 heads and 4 captives.

Shortly after Penghulu Minggat had attacked the Ensiring, Janting and Ranggau of the Julau again began to build a stronghold at Bukit Dugan which was situated at the head¬waters of the Mujok, Ensiring and Katibas Rivers. When he learned of this the Rajah ordered Penghulu Minggat of Awik, Chief Linggir “Mali Lebu” of Paku and Entering apai Nawai of Julau to attack it with forces from the Paku, Rimbas, Krian, Awik, Sebetan and Sabelak. Chief Linggir “Mali Lebu” then led his warriors from the Paku and Rimbas to join Penghulu Minggat and his followers and proceed to the Julau to summon Entering and his fighting men.

From the upper Julau the force went downriver by boat and then up the Kanowit, staying one night at Nanga Mujok. At this point the first council of war was held to decide upon the most suitable route towards Bukit Dugan. During the discussion, the opinions of the warleaders and their leading warriors were divided. Some proposed to go up the Mujok and others to go up the Ensuing which had recently been attacked by Penghulu Minggat. Finally, following the advice of the Julau guides the route through the Mujok was agreed upon. Early next day, the force went up the Mujok to the mouth of the Sugai stream. When they arrived at the Sugai, the guides led the party on by foot further upstream to see the dangerous and winding rapids which they would encounter next day. Once there, they discovered many fresh tracks made by the enemy, undoubtedly spying on their advance.

That night, the warleaders asked the guides whether the rapids were passable by big boats. They advised that only the smaller boats could negotiate the rapids as they were extremely dangerous. Hearing this, the warleaders asked the distance from the rapids to the last point upriver where boats could still be used. The guides said that the last station was Nanga Tiga still far away; they would be two nights on the trail. At this advice from the guides, Penghulu Minggat ordered the force to stay one more day at the mouth of the Sugai in order to learn from the guides the exact location of Bukit Dugan. The guides said that Bukit Dugan was a lofty, steep hill situated between the headwaters of the Mujok and Ensiring of the Kanowit, and the sources of the Katibas, Poi and Machan Rivers on the northeast. The guides thought that the entire enemy’s wives, children and valuable property must have been sent away by now to a safe place in the upper Katibas. Besides this information, the guides told the warleaders that the enemies who defended their stronghold were from the upper Julau and the upper Layar, some were warriors of the famous hostile chief Kedu “Lang Ngindang” of the Nanga Bunu, and many others came from Merurun and the upper Katibas under Enjop.

Linggir then asked Penghulu Minggat about the other places which the Rajah has asked them to attack in addition to the enemy’s stronghold on the Dugan Hill. Penghulu Minggat told Linggir that the Rajah had only ordered them to raid the hostile people along the Ensiring tributary and the two longhouses in the Mujok stream together with those who had gone up to Bukit Dugan. “If we kill other people,” said Penghulu Minggat, “we will be responsible for the consequences”.

Considering the difficulty of the rapids, Entering suggested that the party should leave their boats at Nanga Sugai. He thought it would be less strenuous, to walk from that point slowly to Nanga Tiga than to proceed by boat. This suggestion was unanimously accepted by the other warleaders. Having agreed to go overland to Nanga Tiga, Penghulu Minggat suggested that twelve trusted warriors act as scouts (pengeratnbing) going ahead of the main force, six on eadii side of the river bank. Linggir promptly approved Penghulu Minggat’s arrangement. But he advised him to warn the scouts not to attack the enemy if they saw them. “Instead of attacking them, they must stop and wait for the arrival of the main force”.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Entering appointed his warrior Tandang and two others to proceed as scouts on behalf of the Julaus. On behalf of the Awik and Krian, Penghulu Minggat directed his son Munan and Luna “Panggau” of Sabelak to choose some more warriors to accompany them. On behalf of the Pakus and Rimbas, Linggir directed his son-in-law Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu”, Juing and Ajan “Sanggol Langit” to act as scouts, and finally on behalf of the Krians Chulo “Tarang” took the lead with Adu apai Jingan and Telajan of Dassay.

After a morning meal, the three warleaders assisted by Chulo “Tarang”, asked each other about their dreams of the night before. It was found that all was well with them. Then Penghulu Minggat and Chulo “Tarang” ordered that all boats should be put on the river bank before they started to march towards Nanga Tiga. When this was done, the twelve scouts marched ahead of the main force. During the march, some new marks made by the enemy were found by the scouts, but none of these showed any sign of an enemy ambush. When they reached a place called Letong Tibak, halfway between the mouth of Sugai and Nanga Tiga, the force stopped for the night. From this place the scouts travelled further up to guard the force from a possible surprise attack.

While the scouts were away, the warriors erected temporary huts for a one-night stay. Late in the evening the scouts returned to the troop and the warleaders asked them the news of their day’s work. The scouts told them that they had used four routes (three scouts going together along each route) but they had not encountered any enemy. Due to this, they thought that the enemy would not dare to attack them while they were advancing to attack the stockade in two day’s time. That evening after eating, a council of war was held on a huge gravel bed at Nanga Maong. Penghulu Minggat asked Linggir what would be the right time for them to start marching next morning. Linggir said that it would be good to proceed to Nanga Tiga immediately after they had taken their morning meal. Hearing this, Entering suggested that if the troop’s provisions were enough for several more days delay before the attack on the stockade at Bukit Dugan, they should detour to look for the wandering enemy in the vicinity of the sources of the Ensuing and Mujok Rivers. Penghulu Minggat could not agree with Entering’s suggestion so he commanded that the force proceed to Nanga Tiga immediately after an early breakfast next morning.

During the meeting neither Chulo “Tarang” of Krian nor Entering of Julau was very happy, because a considerable number of their followers had joined the enemy at Bukit Dugan. After the time had been fixed for them to break camp next day, Penghulu Minggat selected twenty-one of the bravest warriors from the Paku, Rimbas, Krian, Awik, Sabelak and Julau Rivers to take the lead in attacking the enemy’s stockade.

Next morning the force left Nanga Maong. The leading warriors marched ahead of the main force, having been told that they were not to attack the enemy should the latter try to ambush them on the way. Instead of attacking them, these warriors were instructed to retreat to the main force for the sake of safety; but they were permitted to kill unarmed farmers if, by chance, they met them in their rice fields. This was in order to prevent them from informing the enemy at Bukit Dugan. While the force was marching, they passed several huge felled trees (pengerebah) which had been felled to obstruct boat passage on the Mujok River in order to hinder any advance upriver, should they have proceeded by boat. It was told later that these obstructions had been made by an enemy named Andum. That is why the gravel bed where Andum and his friends made the obstructions is called Kerangan Andum to this day.

From Kerangan Andum the party marched on to Nanga Tiga, which was also called Nanga Japiyan, where they stayed one night. As soon as they had arrived at this place a camp was erected, and the other warriors went out into the surrounding jungle to guard against a surprise attack. Those who were building the camp were strictly forbidden to cook lest the smoke be seen by the enemy from their stockade on the nearby hill.

Early that night a council-of-war was held. This time Penghulu Minggat arranged that the force be divided into three columns. Each column was to march along the middle, right and left paths which led to the enemy’s stockade. Besides these about two dozen warriors were needed to act as scouts marching on the left and right sides of the three columns of warriors. Next morning, the attack on the stockade was to commence. All the warriors were to proceed in accordance with the programme agreed on in the night’s conference. Linggir, Penghulu Minggat and Entering marched behind the leading warriors up the central path with a stronger force bringing up the rear. On their way to the stockade they discovered a lot of fresh marks made by the enemy that very morning. But when they reached the building, they found only a completely empty stronghold. Eventually after they had inspected every part of the stockade and its compound, they found that it was too late to return back to camp the same day. So they stayed the night on the mountain top with the majority of them sitting without shelter. In the evening, while the warriors were cooking their food both inside and outside the stockade, a storm and heavy rain came, making it very difficult to do the cooking. The heavy rain poured down till morning.
After the rain had ceased, Penghulu Minggat called for a meeting in which he informed the warriors with regret that the expedition had now ended fruitlessly. So the force returned following the same route along which they had advanced.

In his later years, due to his diligence in planting padi, Penghulu Chulo “Tarang” grew very wealthy. A great number of Iban came to purchase padi from him year after year. They bought padi with jarlets (kebok), brass trays (tabak), ivory armlets (simpai rangki), oval beads (pelaga), corsets (rawai), large and small bells (gerunong and geri), gongs of various sizes such as the setawak, bendai, and engkerumong. At this time very few people had money. Due to his wealth Chulo “Tarang” was able to bequeath a great deal of valuable property to his children. To three of his daughters, Dungkong, Insin and Gulang, he gave one sergiu and one menaga jar and one bedil cannon each. To Tujoh the youngest child he gave only one menaga jar.

Late in the 1870s Penghulu Chulo “Tarang” was the first Iban chief in the Krian region to be convened to Christianity. It was due to his early contact with European Anglican missionaries that he became the first man in Second Division to build a large house with huge belian posts. These posts are to this day still used by his family at Kumpai. It was due to this building, according to Iban belief, that Penghulu Chulo “Tarang” died in 1887, before the house was completed.

After OKP Dana “Bayang” died in 1854, Aji in 1858 and Linggir “Mali Lebu” in 1875, OKP Nanang, Penghulu Minggat and Penghulu Chulo “Tarang” became the senior Iban chiefs whose fighting skills were called upon to quell the rebellions in the upper Rajang and the upper Batang Ai Rivers.

During the Rajah’s expedition against Bukit Batu at Ulu Mujong in the Baleh, the Second Rajah invited only Chulo “Tarang” and his warriors, together with Penghulu Minggat and his warriors, to become leaders on the warpath. Before the fighting began the Rajah asked Chulo “Tarang” and Penghulu Minggat to persuade chief Janting of Kanowit to surrender. Thus Chulo “Tarang” and Penghulu Minggat, with their warrior sons, brothers and sons-in-law, went to meet Janting. When they reached the foot of the Bukit Batu, they found that the enemy had already laid an ambush for the Rajah’s fighting men. Of these, Janting was one of the leading enemy warriors. Shortly after they came to the foot of the mountain they were attacked by the enemy. During the alarm (begau), Kandau and Ngindang “Mumpang Pali”, sons-in-law of Chulo “Tarang” were wounded by enemy’s spears. The former received a wound in his stomach while the latter on his arm. Only Unggit killed an enemy during the lightning fight. Some of Penghulu Minggat’s warriors were wounded but none were killed. In order to stop the enemy from advancing the fortmen shot at them with guns and killed some of them.

Quarrel between Penghulu Munan and Mr. Bailey.

After Penghulu Minggat died in Sumatra in 1890, Mr. Bailey, the Resident of the Second Division, installed a man named Ampan as penghulu to succeed the deceased chief. But Penghulu Ampan was a man of strange character. He would not reserve Penghulu Minggat’s Pulau Papan, Pulau Baan, Pulau Rutan and Pulau Danan in the Ulu Awik. The setting aside of such pulau was the way in which chiefs of the country sought to reserve large trees for canoes and rattan to tie the beams of new longhouses when they were built.

Due to Ampan’s behaviour, Munan, the eldest son of Penghulu Minggat, his brothers and his late father’s followers became very upset. They could not approve of such a thing, since according to tradition each river occupied by the Iban must have a reserved forest in which trees and rattan can grow. In order to safeguard his father’s reserved forest, Munan went to Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu” of Paku and the OKP Nanang of Padeh to seek their advice regarding the matter. It may be recalled that the Paku was Penghulu Minggat’s native land, so naturally his son Munan in his despair sought the advice of his relatives in the Saribas.

While Munan was away visiting the Paku and Padeh chiefs, Ampan went to report to Mr. Bailey who was at that time visiting the government headquarters at Kabong in the lower Kalaka. He told Mr. Bailey that all was well in his district, except that Munan, the son of Penghulu Minggat, was absent in the Saribas urging Penghulu Garran “Lembang Batu”, OKP Nanang and others to rebel against the government. Without further investigation Mr. Bailey became violent. He summoned Munan to come at once and meet him at Kabong. While in the Saribas, Munan was told by his relatives that it was traditional for Iban in each river to reserve special areas for Pulau Papan, Pulau Baan, Pulau Rutan and Pulau Danan, as his father Penghulu Minggat had correctly done in the Awik River.

When Munan arrived home, he found a summon awaiting him from the Resident to an urgent meeting at Kabong fort. While he was preparing for this, the rumour reached him that he was sure to be arrested due to his disagreement with Ampan, the new chief of the area. This rumour upset Munan very much. So he and his followers went to Kabong in a big warboat to meet the Resident.

When Munan’s boat arrived at the jetty below the fort, Mr. Bailey came down the plankwalk with two pistols in his hands and called for Munan to come out of his boat without delay. Hearing this, Munan suddenly took up his sword and went out to meet the Resident. He was closely followed by a man named Jungan, later the Penghulu of Sabelak. Seeing the danger, Pengiran Matali, the senior Native Officer who accompanied Mr. Bailey, urged that neither Bailey nor Munan try to harm the other physically. At the same time the Pengiran suggested that their quarrel should be settled by the Rajah personally, and he offered to escort Munan to Kuching with an explanatory letter from the Resident. This suggestion was promptly agreed to by Mr. Bailey and Munan, and Pengiran Matali took Munan by boat to meet the Rajah in Kuching. On his arrival in Kuching, Munan was straight away detained in the prison at Pangkalan Batu to await the Rajah’s decision.

After some time in the prison, one night Munan dreamt a strange dream. In it he thought that he met the Ranee, the wife of Rajah Charles Brooke, who told him that he (Munan) would not meet with any trouble and that early the next day he would be released from detention. So it was that the next morning at about 9.00 a.m. the Rajah and the Ranee came to the prison and ordered that Munan be freed and returned to the Kalaka immediately.

Munan was joyful, but his hatred of Mr. Bailey was growing stronger and stronger. After he had stayed some time in his mother’s house at the Awik, he returned to his wife’s house in the Julau where he was a penghulu. It should be explained that Munan had married Subang, an adopted daughter of Layang and Tambong. Tambong was the only daughter of Libau “Rentap” who had migrated to the Entabai after he had been defeated at Sadok in 1861. From the Entabai, after the death of Libau “Rentap”, the family had moved to the nearby Julau River. While Munan was living in the Julau, the people of the Ulu Ai, under chiefs Penghulu Ngumbang “Brauh Langit” and Penghulu Bantin “Ijau Lelayang”, became restless. Due to their hostile activities, the Rajah ordered Munan to attack them, and he did so in 1898. During the expedition he and his warriors killed 18 people from Lubang Baya, and went down the Batang Ai as far as Nanga Kaong. Besides killing these enemies he also took some captives. After the raids were over, he returned down the Batang Lupar past the Simanggang fort to Sibu. The news of his victory over the enemy spread round about, surprising everyone including his arch rival Mr. Bailey at Fort Alice, Simanggang.

Later in 1903, due to his meritorious service and bravery in assisting the government in various punitive expeditions, the Rajah ordered Munan to move from the Julau to Pulau Kertau near Sibu. Shortly after he had settled down at Kertau, the Rajah conferred on Munan the title of Penghulu Dalam, carrying a monthly salary which he enjoyed till his death in 1914. Furthermore, due to his wisdom and influence over the Rajang Iban, the Rajah appointed him a full member of the Council Negeri in 1906, a post which he held till his death. He succeeded Pengarah Ringkai of Rantau Anak, Betong, whose appointment was from 1889-1902 and the OKP Nanang of Padeh, Saribas, who had served from 1891-1901.

Penghulu Dalam Munan attacks Rumah Jimbau, Ulu Engkari.

In 1902 Penghulu Bantin of the Ulu Ai and the people under Penghulu Munau apai Laja and his son Kana of Engkari rebelled against the government. To disrupt the peace, Bantin and Kana and their fighters attacked people at several places, parti¬cularly their neighbours, the people of Lemanak. Consequently, the Rajah commanded Munan, the Penghulu Dalam of Sibu, Penghulu Insol of the Padeh, Saribas, and Penghulu Banta of the Skrang to attack the rebels at Engkari. Banta’s and Insol’s forces went to war according to the date decided upon by the Penghulu Dalam.

In the course of the war, the forces from Saribas and Skrang were badly beaten by the enemy. Thirteen of their warriors were killed. But in spite of this defeat, Insol took a firm vow to fight the enemy till all his warriors had safely returned to their own ground.

With the lower Rajang and Kanowit Iban, numbering altogether abput 900, Munan set out from Kanowit. He passed the headwaters of the Katibas and went on to the headwaters of the Engkari, where he found the traces of an encounter only a few days old which had taken place between the Skrang and Saribas forces and the enemy. From the number of dead found, it was evident that there had been severe hand-to-hand encounters. It was feared that the Skrang and the Saribas had lost twenty or more men.

Seeing this, Munan realised that the Skrang and Saribas under Banta and Insol must have gone ahead of him several days earlier. He was unable to join them due to the distance and because he was not certain of the route they had taken. In this way the war plan was complicated, and the Saribas and Skrang forces suffered because of it.

Munan ordered his force to stop not far from a big house under a headman named Jimbau. It was said that this house contained many Ulu Ai people who had come to reinforce Jimbau, when the Saribas and Skrang were known to be approaching. Here Munan called a council of war to select three of his most trusted warriors to spy on the house that coming night and a dozen others to guard the main force by watching for the enemy in case they came to attack them by surprise.

After these warriors had gone out on duty, Munan called three of his leading warriors, Ajah of Binatang, Ajah of Entaih and Ajah of Melangan. He suggested that if any of the three failed to kill an enemy, he should never again be called Ajah. Though this was spoken as a joke, Munan’s words strongly encouraged the three Ajahs in the coming assault.

At about midnight the spies came to the enemy’s house, where the people were celebrating the feast of enchaboh arong, in which the bards sang their chants of praise to Singalang Burong, Lang Betenong, Keling, Bunga Nuing, Laja and Bunga Jawa and other gods of war, who had given them an easy victory over the enemy. While one of Munan’s spies sat quietly below the floor of the house, just where Bantin and other leaders were sitting, he heard a certain woman coming to speak to Kana. She told him that in her sleep early that night, she had a very bad dream. “In my dream,” she said, “I saw a great number of the enemy attacking us in this house.” She warned Kana and the others to prepare for fighting. Hearing this, Kana asked who this enemy could be, since the Saribas and Skrang forces had been defeated and the survivors had all gone back to their places. “I do not believe any other enemy can suddenly fall down from heaven to attack us,” said Kana. Hearing these words the leading spy took his companions to rash back to inform Munan about what they had heard and seen during their spying.

After Munan had been told that the enemy was celebrating an enchaboh arong festival in honour of the head trophies they had taken a few days earlier, he commanded the force to march and attack the house before dawn the next morning. On their arrival at the house the three Ajahs and seven others including Banyi apai Ibi of the Julau took the lead and fought the enemy along the gallery (ruai) of the longhouse. It being still early in the morning a considerable number of the enemy was drunk and so was easily killed by Munan’s fighters.

While these men entered the house, the rest of Munan’s fighters waited for the enemy to come out of the house down the ladders of the individual open platforms (tanju) and from the family rooms (bilek). When the fighting was at its height, Munau apai Laja and his son Kana, trying to escape, carried Munau’s daughter down the ladder from the tanju. Because of their pemenga charms, Known as “Batu Lichin”, a Chinese and an adopted son of Munan, waiting for them below the ladder, was shocked and taken aback, which give the chance for Kana, his father and his sister to escape unhurt.

After the fighting was over, Munan ordered that the house be burnt along with three others in the same vicinity. After the fighting was ended it was found that 53 of the enemy had been killed including the stragglers and 5 captives taken by Munan. Only two of his men were missing.

Iban migration to the Mukah, Balingian, Anap and Bintulu Rivers.

After Penghulu Minggat had attacked the Iban of Ensiring, a man named Kelukau migrated with his followers from Julau to Mukah. He was later followed by Penghulu Takin and his people. From the Skrang Penghulus Jelani and Merdan led their people to migrate to Bintulu in the Fourth Division.

From the upper Krian, Penghulu Umpang, the son of Chambai, born at Nanga Dran, Paku, led his people to the Balingian River. He was the first Iban leader to migrate to the Balingian, a river located in today’s Third Division.

In 1858 when the Betong fort was completed, chief Bunyau of Rantau Anak was commanded by the Tuan Muda to recruit first-class fortmen to guard it. In carrying out this order, Bunyau placed his son Bakir “Bujang Brani” and his nephew Malina “Panggau” in charge of the fort. They were assisted by Bunyau’s other nephews Ringkai “Bedilang Besi” and Biju, together with Maan and Glegan.

In addition to them, Bunyau looked for some more men from the Paku. Linggir “Mali Lebu” the chief of Paku, arranged for his nephew Mula to be appointed, together with Kandau, Umpang, Ugong, Randi, Broke, Endawi and Dau. From the Rimbas came Kadam and Aban of Teru.

Two years after they had been working as fortmen, Kandau, Ugong, Randi, Mula, Broke and Umpang resigned from the service in order to go to Sabah on a trading expedition. The leader of this first trading venture was a brilliant young leader named Kedit of Batu Genting in the Paku. He was accompanied by Mambang, Umpang, Randi, Kangkik, Tumbing and Laman apai Muri. Umpang and Randi had saved money while working as fortmen. Their salary in the service in those years was $6/- per month.

When they arrived in Sabah they stayed at Papar. Nearby lived Dusuns, Muruts and Bajaus who had acquired jars from Chinese traders in exchange for padi and water buffalo. From surrounding villages they purchased jars using silver dollars, satawak and bendai gongs and bedil (cannons) they had bought along the coast during their voyage to Sabah. Kedit bought three jars, Bandi, Umpang, Mambang, Kangkit, Laman and Tumbing bought two each. After obtaining these jars, Kedit led his followers back, after a two-month trading sojourn in Sabah.

When they reached home, Umpang built his longhouse at Nanga Tagun on the main bank of the Paku River. While he and his followers were settled there, they were very successful in their farming, so that they were able to buy more jars and brass objects of various kinds from the local Malay traders, namely Abang Tek and Abang Chek, formerly of the Paku and Rimbas. After his voyage to Sabah, Umpang never again went trading in foreign lands. He was content to lead his people to tap wild rubber at Lundu and Samunsam near Cape Datu. From the Paku Umpang migrated in the Krian and settled near the source of that river. While he was here, he went to Kuching to meet the Rajah who knew him well from the days when he had served as fortman at Betong.

During his meeting with the Rajah, Umpang asked for approval to migrate to the Balingian, a river situated between the Mukah and Tatau Rivers near the boundary between the Third and Fourth Divisions of Sarawak. The Rajah told him that he had allotted that river to chief Linggir of the Paku, and all his followers were allowed to migrate there if they wished. “If you are Linggir’s man you can move to Balingian with not less than one hundred families as soon as you like,” said the Rajah. The Rajah also ordered that Umpang should become the leader of the migration to prevent all who followed him from quarreling about where to settle in the new area.

When he arrived home he told the Krian people that he had been permitted by the Rajah to lead the migration to the Balingian River. Hearing this, the Iban of Santebu, Abu and Nanga Grenjang came to join the migration to the new area. Altogether there were over one hundred families. After they had built large boats for the exodus, they left the Krian and went along the coast towards the Balingian River to settle at a place above Nanga Pelugau. After they had settled at this place, the Rajah appointed Umpang as Penghulu over the Iban of Balingian. Some years later when more Iban had joined them, Penghulu Abu was appointed in addition to him.

From his first settlement near Nanga Pelugau, Penghulu Umpang and his followers moved down and settled in the Arip tributary on the true left side of the Balingian. While here they profited from the high price of jelutong, as this type of wild rubber was plentiful in the vicinity. The money they earned from this commodity was invested in Mr. Ong Ewe Hai’s bank in Kuching.

When the price of jelutong was down, Penghulu Umpang persuaded the Iban to plant sago and rubber along the lower banks of the Balingian and its tributaries. Penghuiu Umpang had four sons, Mulok, Kantan, Ambun and Lembang. Besides these he adopted two daughters, Tiong and Lenta, and a son named Nyegang. He died at the age of ninety years and was greatly mourned by his people.

He was succeeded by his eldest son Mulok, who, following in his father’s footsteps, led his people to work hard in order to earn sufficient food and money. Some years after he had become Penghulu, Mulok’s household suffered from smallpox, which killed him, Kantan, Lembang and some others. After his death, Penghulu Mulok was succeeded by his brother Ambun. When he was Penghulu, Ambun led his people to plant rubber at Salian, adding to the rubber gardens he had planted with his deceased brothers. During the Japanese occupation, due to a false report, he was accused by the Japanese Military police (kempetai) of having collected followers to rebel against the government. Due to this, Penghulu Ambun was executed without trial by the kempetai at Mukah near the end of World War II. After Ambun’s death his only daughter and her family returned to their old country in the Paku River, where they have lived to the present day.

Iban migration to the Anap River was jointly led by Berasap and Berain in about 1888. After this river had been populated by Skrang and Saribas Iban, Berasap was appointed Penghulu of the downriver area, and Bunya of the upper river. Berasap was succeeded by Penghulu Taboh. When Taboh resigned he was succeeded by Penghulu Begok who, at his resignation, was succeeded by Penghulu Buan. In the upper river, when Penghulu Bunya resigned, he was succeeded by Penghulu Kana, who was succeeded by Penghulu Banying.

Migration to the Niah and Suai Rivers.

The first Iban migration to the Niah River took place in 1934 when Awang Itam was a Native Officer at the Niah sub-District Office. The first group of migrants was led by Panau of Skaloh from the Skrang and Undup Rivers in the Second Division.

A month later came Renggan and his followers from the Tatau River. Renggan and his people migrated to Niah to follow his uncle Lium who had married a Penan woman named Durang, the sister of Tabilan of the Niah River. Three years after the arrival of Panau and Renggan and their followers, Manggoi and Andam came to the Niah River with their followers from Simanggang. The rest of the Niah Iban arrived later than these three groups. After the Niah River had become thickly populated with Iban, the Rajah appointed Manggoi to be the first Penghulu in that area.

The first Iban chief to migrate to the Suai River was Utik, son of Tugang of Bangat, Skrang. He was the nephew of the well-known warrior Jabu apai Umping of the Bangat in lower Skrang. After he had become friendly with the local Penans, Untik went home to call his relatives to join him. These people now live at the house of Mamat, a son of Utik, at Basri Dangkar in the upper Suai River. The second Iban group to come to the Suai was led by ex-Police Inspector Gindi from the Undup near Simanggang.

Before the Iban migrated to Niah, it is said that the Penan roamed about in the forest hunting wild animals for food. They did not farm, as did the Dayak, but depended on the pantu palm for their staple food. When they first met the Iban, they did not want to eat rice. With regard to burial, the Penan had no special cemetery, but just buried their dead underground anywhere or in holes in trees in the forest. After they lived together with the Iban for some time, the Penan began to make for themselves a special graveyard at Nanga Kelebus. Now this cemetery is used by the Iban, while the Penan buries their dead in the Moslem graveyard.

Manggoi said that when he first came to Niah in 1934, he found that the Niah, Sibuti and Suai Rivers were still thickly populated by Penans, the original inhabitants. The first man he met on his arrival was a Penan chief, Duman, wfto lived with his people in a longhouse at Nanga Lemaus. At this meeting Duman assured Manggoi that they surely could live peacefully together in the Niah River. Eventually after the death of Duman, his son-in-law Pajawing was appointed to succeed him as chief. Unfortunately two years later he died. After the death of Pajawing the Penan community dispersed. Some moved to Suai and lived under chief Sogon, while those who remained at Niah moved downriver to live together with the Malays and eventually adopted their religion. In recent years only a few have remained pagan; those live together with their semi-chief Tabilan along the Tanjong Belipat.

Eventually, at the turn of the century, the Skrang, Saribas, Batang Ai and other adjacent rivers of the Second Division of Sarawak became badly over-populated, which caused many of the people of these rivers to migrate to new places like the Mukah, Balingian, Oya, Bintulu, Anap, Tatau and Baram Rivers. Later, because of the same problem, as well as to follow their kindred who had already migrated, many more Iban from the Second and Third Divisions applied to the Government either to migrate to the places mentioned above or to migrate elsewhere, to unexplored rivers, such as the Suai, Niah, Belait and Limbang.

Iban migration to the Baram.

After the Batang Baram region was ceded by the Sultanate of Brunei to the Raj of Sarawak, some Sea Dayak leaders of the Second and Third Divisions applied to the Second Rajah, Sir Charles Brooke, G.C.M.G., for approval to migrate to the area.

Early in the 1890s Berendah of Skrang migrated with his followers and was ordered by the Resident Mr. Charles Hose to settle at Dabai above the present town of Marudi. After him came Kalang, also from Skrang, with a group of settlers. They were asked by Mr. Hose to settle at Sungai Berit above Lubok Nibong. Two years later another group came, led by Inggir of the Batang Lupar. Inggir and his people were given land by the Resident at Sungai Nipa, a left tributary of the Bakong. About three years later Rhu, Leban, and Apai Samban came from Skrang, and they were ordered to live in the Bakong proper. At the end of that year came Jampu, also from the Skrang, and he was asked by Mr. Hose to settle at Sungai Liam, another tributary of the Bakong River.

In 1896 Ngadan, a son of the well-known Chulo “Tarang” apai Dungkong of the Krian, Kalaka, came with Saribas people to settle at Malang, a branch of the Bakong River. His brother Tujoh. Who was the seventh child of Chulo “Tarang” (Tujoh means “seven”), and his cousin Jampang whose nickname was “Pintu Meru”, and a third son of Kedit “Rindang” of the Paku separated themselves from Ngadan. Tujoh led his followers to settle at Puyut, while Jampang settled at Lubok Nibong above the town of Marudi.

It was during this migration that Jampang and his brother-in-law, Graman “Tungkat Langit” of the Padeh, took a famous guchi jar with them to the Baram. This was the jar which Graman’s grandfather, the OKP Dana “Bayang”, looted when he fought against the Undup Dayaks near Simanggang in the days of the first Rajah. This jar was thought to bring luck; therefore all Dayaks who knew its legend were eager to drink water from it. At present, it is in the possession of Badong, a grand-daughter of Jampang of Lubok Nibong, Baram.

After the arrival of these Skrang, Saribas and Batang Lupar migrants in the Baram, Ganai “Buloh Balang” came from Bangat in the Second Division. He and his followers were ordered by Mr. Hose to live at Biar on the Bakong River. The rest of the Iban migration to the Baram took place after the year 1900. When the Iban first arrived in the Baram they met with the Narom people who lived below Marudi. Although the Naroms have all been converted to Islam now, they still live separately from the ordinary Malays at Marudi who profess the same religion. The Naroms speak their own language as well as Iban and Malay.

A decade after the first Iban had migrated to the Baram, a man named Jawa from Sabelak in the Krian brought his followers to Limbang. Shortly after their arrrival the Kadayan along the Mandalam tributary rebelled against the government. Munan, the Penghulu Dalam of Sibu, and Kalong “Mali Lebu” of Paku were commanded by the Rajah to quell the trouble with their Iban forces.

Iban migration to Sibuti.

In 1927 Sergeant Barat and T.R. Dian anak Kinchang applied for permission from H.H. the Rajah, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, to migrate to Sibuti. Their application was approved and Dian went first to live in Sibuti in the same year. In the following year ex-Sergeant Barat came with his followers and joined Dian’s longhouse at Mamut. They lived together at this settlement for five years, and then separated in order to expand their agricultural lands.

After they had separated, Dian and Barat visited the Undup near Simanggang for the purpose of inviting their relatives and friends to migrate with them to Sibuti. After they had persuaded enough followers, they returned to Sibuti. On Dian’s return he moved down to live at Pidek, while Barat and his followers stayed on at Mamut.

In 1927, when Dian and his followers first arrived in Sibuti, the first important thing he did was to cleanse the land with the blood of five pigs as was the Iban custom. Two of the pigs were killed at Nanga Bakas, two at Mamut, and one when Dian built his first longhouse in the land. Three years after he had settled in Sibuti, T.R. Lutin and T.R. Unal followed from Undup. On their arrival Dian and Barat advised T.R. Unal and his followers to live at Kelitang, while T.R. Lutin was told to settle with his people at Kuap in the Ulu Sibuti. In 1927 before H.H. The Rajah approved their application to migrate, he asked them to develop the Sibuti lands for agricultural purposes other than rubber planting. If they obeyed His Highness’s wish, the Rajah promised not to tax their labour. It was because of this command that no land taxes were demanded from these settlers before the Second World War.

During the Japanese occupation many of them planted rubber trees in the area. These trees are today tappable, which gives the Sibuti Iban a little money in addition to the return from their yearly padi crop. All the Iban migrants to Sibuti from the Second Division were animists, or people lapsed from the Anglican Church. The animists still held to their ancestral religion up to a few years ago, at which time the Roman Catholic and Anglican Missions came to proselytize. At present very few have been converted, as they are reluctant to forget their ancestral religion founded by Petara Simpulang Gana, Singalang Burong and Anda Mara, the religion of their ancestors from ages past. They are at the present time still celebrating many traditional festivals, such as the Gawai Batu, Gawai Umai and Gawai Burong.

On their arrival in 1927, the first cemetery they made in Sibuti was Pendam Keseput, where they buried Buli anak Busor, the first man to die in the new country.

Before the Iban migrated to Sibuti from the Saribas River in the Second Division, Nyauh anak Ambok who had married at Malang in the Bakong, Baram, wrote a letter to Orang Kaya Janai, a Miri by race (or Mirek) and a chief of the Sibuti River, to apply for land in this river to which he might migrate.

The Orang Kaya Janai told Nyauh that he would accept him and his followers to come and settle in the Sibuti. After gaining this approval, Nyauh from Malang wrote a letter to his mother Rini at Lubau in the Saribas, telling her that he had found good land for settlement in the Sibuti River. In her reply Rini told Nyauh that she had no intention of leaving Saribas. On learning this Nyauh and his wife visited her in the Saribas, but while they were there his wife died. Due to her death Nyauh completely dismissed the idea of migrating elsewhere.

Some years later, his cousin Jeragan, who lived at Bakong, Baram, wrote a letter to Nyauh. He said, “It will be a great loss to you, if you fail to migrate to the land which has been given to you by Orang Kaya Janai in Sibuti.” On receiving this encouraging letter, Nyauh again urged his mother to migrate with him. “If I fail to take this fertile land in Sibuti, I am sure it will be an irreparable loss to you and me as well as to our future descendants,” said Nyauh to his mother. Hearing her son’s decision, Rini agreed to follow him.

After his mother had agreed to migrate, Nyauh invited Mulok anak Malina and Entering anak Jiram of Lubau to see the new land in the Sibuti. When they came they found that Orang Kaya Janai had died, so they met with his successor, T,K. Haji Mat of Sibuti.

On meeting them, before he could permit their migration, as approved by the late Orang Kaya Jenai, Haji Mat gathered all the Malay, Dale’ and Miri leaders in the Sibuti together. At this meeting these leaders approved the applications of the Undup Iban from the Batang Lupar. To confirm their agreement Haji Mat wrote a letter for the Saribas Dayaks to take to the Resident, Mr. Aplin at Miri.

When Mr. Aplin met them, he sent them back to Sibuti to see Wan (now Tuanku) Bujang, to discuss again the Saribas Iban migration with the Sibuti chiefs. After the discussion was over Wan Bujang directed Abang Entassin to survey the land in the Bakas stream, a left tributary of the Sibuti into which these Iban would migrate. After the land had been surveyed, the Iban were given all the land above the Kedayan settlement at Nanga Bakas.

After the Saribas migration to Sibuti had been agreed to by the Government, Mr. Aplin ordered Nyauh and his followers to return to Saribas via Kuching, in order to bring a letter to the Resident of the First Divison. On their arrival at Kuching, the Resident of the First Division sent them to H.H. The Rajah. They met His Highness who approved of their migration but would not allow them to leave Saribas until ex-Sergeant Barat and his followers had proved that they could live on friendly terms with the indigenous people in Sibuti.

Some weeks after they had arrived at Lubau in the Saribas, a Malay Native Officer called them to the Betong fort. This Officer told them that their application to migrate to Sibuti had been cancelled by the Government. If they wanted his help he told them, he would consult the Government on their behalf. Hearing this, Nyauh became worried. He and his two friends went to Sibuti to ask why they were no longer allowed to migrate after the Rajah had approved the movement. When they came to Sibuti they were told by Wan Bujang that there had been no such change of attitude towards their migration. So they returned to the Saribas. They did not see this Malay Native Officer at Betong fort again.

Three years after ex-Sergeant Barat had migrated to Sibuti, Nyauh and his Saribas Dayaks came to the area by chartered Chinese launch. This launch made three trips to transport them at a total cost of $1,500/-. The price of rubber at this time was $37- per picul. At this time, in 1932, ex-Penghulu Asun, rebel chief of Entabai, was at the height of his power. On their arrival in the Sibuti they first hired land for farming from Wan Mahmud of Nanga Satap. After the harvest was over, they moved up to Nanga Bakas where they made offerings (tasih ai) to the God of water by sacrificing three medium-sized pigs. After this, they built their first longhouse at Tembawai Tinting, inside Kadayan land above Nanga Bakas.

After the Sibuti River had become thickly populated with Second Division Iban, the Rajah appointed ex-Sergeant Barat to be the first Penghulu of the area.

Extract from articles originally written by Benedict Sandin & Professor Clifford Sather.
Re-compile for weblog publication by Gregory Nyanggau Mawar.
Published in the Sarawak Musuem Journal, Volume XLVI, titled “Source of Iban Traditional History”, Part 1, 2 & 3.

Early Iban Migration – Part 2

EARLY IBAN MIGRATIONS – Part 2

Migration to south-west Sarawak.

When a number of Iban had settled along the upper Merakai River in Indonesian Borneo, a chief named Gelungan and his followers moved out from that area and settled in the hills of Balau Ulu situated between the Merakai and Undup watersheds. Following their settlement another chief named Langkup came out of Merakai with his followers to settle in the mid Undup River.

After the arrival of these two groups of Iban in the Undup another chief named Jelian came out of Merakai with his followers and settled at Wong Empangu on the lower Undup. Soon after Jelian and his followers had settled at Wong Empangu, Gelungan and his people left the Balau Ulu hills and moved down the Undup and the Batang Lupar to settle at Balau Hi hill which is situated between the modern town of Simanggang and the Lingga River. Because they had twice lived near hills of the same name, they called themselves the Balau Dayaks, even though they came originally from the same area as other Iban groups in Sarawak.

At this time Langkup migrated down the Undup with his followers. Nothing much is known of this chief other than that he married a woman who was also named Langkup. Due to this coincidence of names, which is forbidden by Iban matrimonial law, Langkup’s wife’s name had to be changed and she was later called Lemok. All of these chiefs were pioneers of the Undup, one of the right tributaries of the Batang Lupar River.

At Balau Ili hill Gelungan married a woman named Sendi, the only daughter of a chief named Dendan of Sebuyau. After this marriage Gelungan led some of his followers down the Batang Lupar to settle at Balu Sebuyau near the mouth of the Batang Lupar River. It was because they settled at this place that they came to call themselves the Sebuyau Dayaks, though they, too, have the same origin as other Iban.

From the Sebuyau tributary, Gelungan again migrated westward with his followers to the lower Sadong river. Finally, after he had lived in various places in the Sadong, Gelungan died of old age. After the death of her husband, Sendi was told in a dream by goddess Kumang to look in the Skrang for a man named Guang to be her husband. Similarly Guang, a widower of the Enteban, Skrang, learned in a dream from the goddess Kumang to accept a wife named Sendi who would come from far away in order to marry him.

After she had had this dream, Sendi went by boat paddled by her slaves to the Skrang to look for Guang. She left her children by Gelungan behind at Sadong. When Sendi married the widower Guang, their marriage violated a prohibition known as Ngemulu Antu and could not take place until they had paid the fines demanded by custom to the local chief to prevent subsequent misfortune.

After Sendi had married Guang of Skrang some of Gelungan’s followers migrated westward from Sadong and settled at Merdang Lumut, Merdang Limau and Merdang Gayam along the Semarahan River. From these places they moved again, settling eventually at Tabuan4 near the modern town of Kuching and at Sungai Tanju.

Some decades before the first visit of James Brooke to Sarawak in 1839, a Sebuyau Chief named Nyambong, due to his enmity with the Saribas Iban, migrated from the Batang Lupar to the Lundu River, not far from the western boundary of Sarawak with Indonesian Borneo at Cape Datu.

After Nyambong’s death he was succeeded as chief of the community by his son Jugah who, from the beginning of Brooke rule in Sarawak, helped the Rajah fight the Saribas and Skrang Iban of the Second Division. During one of these expeditions, in this case against Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Paku in August, 1849, Jugah lost two of his sons, Bunsi and Tujang

Balau and Sebuyau Iban.

In addition to the descendants of Gelungan and Sendi and other Iban who settled in the Lingga and Sebuyau rivers of the lower Batang Lupar, another chief named Blassan moved from Tapang Peraja in the Katungau River, migrating to the Sebuyau not far from the mouth of the Batang Lupar river. Here he had his people clear land for their farms up the Sebuyau River as far as the Lintah stream. When Blassan died he was succeeded by his son-in-law, Entri who continued to fell more forest for padi fields as far as Tembawai Panjai. Here he died of old age. After the death of Entri, Dangu succeeded him as chief, and felled still more virgin forest around Tembawai Panjai. He was killed when he joined “Ijau Lang” and his warriors when they fought against the Saribas Iban under Unal “Bulan” at Plassan, near the mouth of the Saribas river. This occurred after Jame Brooke had been proclaimed Rajah of Sarawak.

After Dangu’s death, Bugih succeeded him as chief. He led his people to fell the virgin jungle on the left bank of the Sebuyau River as far as the Simunjan and the Semabang watersheds. After this, he and his people lived at Langgong Brikok where Bugih died of old age. Bugih was succeeded as chief by Demong. The latter was succeeded by Saga who was still living with his people at Sabangan some fifteen years ago.

At about the same time as when Blassan migrated to the Sebuyau in the lower Batang Lupar, two Iban leaders named Nyanggau and Bara journeyed from Tapang Peraja, on the Ketungau river of Kalimantan Barat, to Temudok of the Dau Engkerebang. After they had lived for many years at Temudok they moved westward to Melugu where they lived in two separate longhouses. Bara lived at Tembawai Tinting and Nyanggau at the Riang stream. From Tembawai Tinting, Bara moved to Tembawai Empang on the Engkeramut stream while Nyanggau died at Sungai Riang.

Together with other Iban groups, the Balau migrated from Indonesian Borneo to Sarawak and settled at Bukit Balau at the head of the Undup River. From Balau hill, this community moved down to Kelasin under their chief Sambas. While living at this settlement, they were continually attacked by the Kantu Dayaks from the Indonesian side of the border. After Sambas died, his son Juntang became chief and led his followers to settle at Dau in Indonesian Borneo, a region already settled by the Dau Iban mentioned in Part 1. Due to the fact that the region was already settled by the Dau Iban, Juntang and his followers soon returned to the Sarawak side of the border and finally settled at Batu Besai at the foot of the Kalingkang range. After they had been settled for many decades they moved down to live at Selepong. From there, they moved to Tunggal and then to Langgong, where they lived for only a few years. From Langgong they migrated to the upper reaches of the Lingga River. From these settlements some moved to a place called Bangunan, while another group lived at Repak Tepus. From the latter settlement, Juntang and his followers moved westward and settled at Abok. Here Juntang died of old age.

After Juntang’s death, his son Ali became chief. The people under him divided up. Ali led his followers to the upper Sadong region, others moved to Muding and Merai, while some remained at Abok. It was while Ali and his followers were living in the Ulu Sadong, that James Brooke was proclaimed Rajah of Sarawak. Ali was very loyal to the Brooke Raj. At Ulu Sadong Ali’s followers again separated. Some of them dispersed to Sebat, Sungai Pinang, Keruin and Nyelitak where their descendants are still living to this day. After Ali died, he was succeeded by his son Ringkai as chief. When Jawa died he was succeeded by his son Penghulu Mulok who resigned only a few years ago at the expiration of a five years’ term as Penghulu.

While Ali was living in the Sadong another Balau Iban leader, Ijau anak Busut, lived at Empili. The latter, through his grandmother, Nagi, who married Jambai, was descended from Gelungan and his wife Sendi. Before they moved to the lower Batang Lupar, Jambai and his wife Nagi lived at Kumpang on the middle Batang Ai. But after Jambai had died at Kumpang, his son Busut moved to Empili in the Sadong where he died of old age. He was succeeded as chief by his son Ijau “Lang” who led the Iban of the Sadong in the early days of Brooke rule.

It happened that in Ijau’s time, one of his men murdered another Iban named Kilat. This murder was reported by the victim’s relatives to the Rajah at Kuching. On receiving the report, the Rajah personally led a small expedition to punish Ijau, the chief of the region. But when his force reached Empili, the Rajah noticed a white flag flown by Ijau as a sign of peace. Therefore a compromise was reached and no skirmish took place, as Ijau assured the Rajah of his loyalty. Before he left Empili for his way home, the Rajah presented iron cannon to Ijau to cement his loyalty. Today the cannon is at Beti’s house at Nyelitak on the Ulu Sadong river.

After he had officially submitted to the Brooke Raj, Ijau and his family and followers left Sadong to settle at Banting in the Lingga tributary of the Batang Lupar. While he was here, he was continually at war with the Saribas and Skrang Iban. At last, in one of these wars, he was killed by Unal “Bulan” and his Saribas fighters at Plassan near the mouth of the Saribas River. Because of his death, his son-in-law Janting attacked Rimbas in the Saribas that same year.

Another version of this history is that when the Iban came out of the Kapuas basin and migrated to Sarawak, they first settled at Bukit Balau Ulu in the head¬waters of the Undup River. While they were still living in the Undup near Bukit Balau Ulu they and the Dau Iban were continually attacked by the Malays and the Skrang Iban, so that at last they fled away to the Lingga, Banting and Bukit Balau Hill below Simanggang.

While living at Bukit Balau Hill, some of them lived under a chief named Peranti whose house contained only ten families. When this house was demolished, Peranti led his followers to live at Selanjan, where he died of old age. After his death, his nephew Jali succeeded him as chief, and led his people to live at Sabemban, while others lived with the Dau Iban in the Empelanjan, Engkeramut and Selepong longhouses. When Jali died his son Aban became chief and was succeeded by Mambang, who when he died was succeeded by his son Jeritan, the present headman of Sabemban longhouse.

Iban migration from Indonesian Borneo through Kumpang.

While Iban leaders such as Jelian, Gelungan and Langkup were leading their followers on migrations into Sarawak through the Undup tributary, other leaders led migrations into the Batang Ai through the Kumpang, a tributary which joins the Batang Ai above Engkelili.

The first chief who led his followers to descend the Kumpang was Lanong. As he was the first migration leader to enter the new country, and he and his people settled permanently on the banks of Kumpang. They called themselves the Kumpang Dayaks.

Another chief who led his followers to migrate to Sarawak from Indonesian Borneo and used this route was Medan. He and his people first settled temporarily in the Kumpang but later moved down to Sengkarong below Engkilili. Medan was a famous ancestor of the Belambang people who to the present-day live in the area lying between the Kumpang and Undup tributaries of the Batang Lupar. They were followed by Ambau (not Pateh Ambau) who came later with Kanyong and settled at Tanjong Melarang, and Semalanjat who settled at Bungkap. The latter is a well known ancestor of the Bengap Dayaks.

From the Tiang Laju range Gunggu led his people to settle at Meriu near Engkilili. At this place they separated; some settled with the Belambang below Engkilili and others went to the Lemanak River, a right tributary of the Batang Lupar whose mouth is not far below Engkelili.

The early Ulu Ai, Skrang and Lemanak Iban.

A few decades after the Undup stream had been settled by Iban under Gelungan, Jelian and Langkup, the two leaders Meringgai and Manggai moved down the Undup and went up the Skrang to settle at the mouth of the Tisak stream and at the middle of Skrang river respectively. At this time the mouth of the Skrang was already settled by Lau Moa and his followers who had come from the Sadong and lower Batang Lupar. He was probably one of the followers of Sera Bungkok who had moved from Cape Datu to settle at the mouth of the Rajang River with his brother Senaun, the father of Tugau, the Melanau ancestor. After Manggi and Meringai had migrated to the Skrang, many more migration leaders came from the Batang Ai and Undup, such as Guang who settled at Nanga Enteban, Entigar at Nanga Belaai, Chaong at Tanjong Lipat and Sudok and his brother Malang at Lubok Numpu and later Manggai (see below) and Tindin the son of Chaong who migrated to the Saribas to join his daughter Rinda, who married Demong the son of the Bukitan chief Entinggi of the Paku.

In the Batang Ai, a certain chief at Seremat named Bau married Selangka (f) by whom he begot Chandu (f), Sentu (f), Buja, Mawan, Pagan, Gemong and Lanyi (f). After Chandu had married Gallau, the son of Mawar Biak of Entanak, Saribas, her brothers and sisters left Seremat to migrate up and down the Batang Lupar. Niok, her husband and children moved to Nanga Lubang Baya in the upper Ai. It was from here that their descendants, Naga and Sumping migrated to the Kanyau in Kalimantan and from here later migrated to the Katibas to become the first Iban to settle in that river. After their death they were succeeded as chiefs of the Rejang Iban by their descendants Unggat, Matahari, Gerinang and Keling, ancestors of the recent Penghulus Jinggut, Kumbong and Jimbun of the Baleh.

Mawan and his children migrated to the Ulu Lingga and settled with the Dau and Balau Dayaks, while Buja and his family moved to the upper Ai to settle at Nanga Buie. Their brother Sentu moved down the Batang Ai to live at Nanga Kumpang, while another brother named Gemong moved up the river to live in the Delok tributary. Pagan lived at the Mepi stream. He was the ancestor of Rabai, the wife of the famous Batang Ai war leader, the late Penghulu Ngumbang of Mepi.

Geographically Lemanak country is located between the areas settled by the Batang Ai and Batang Skrang Iban. Due to its location, the people of Lemanak suffered incessant hardship because of conflicts between the people of Skrang and the Batang Ai, who fought in the Lemanak country. For this reason the Lemanak was never fully populated by the Iban. Many times, when the Batang Ai warriors failed in attacking the Skrangs, or vice versa, war parties simply satisfied them¬selves by killing the defenseless Lemanak Iban. In the early days of Brooke rule, when the Batang Ai chief Ngumbang quarrelled with Genam of the Skrang, the people who suffered most from the quarrel were the Lemanaks. Similarly when Saang the nephew of Linggir “Mali Lebu” of Paku murdered the Seriang Iban, the Iban of Lemanak also suffered considerably, since the Seriang and the Saribas Iban fought each other in their country in the 1870s.

Due to these endless hardships, the Lemanak Iban migrated to other rivers without the knowledge of their own leaders, and settled apart from each other in the Kanowit, Julau and Nyelong rivers. The majority of them settled in the lower Julau. On their way to these rivers, they often stopped one or two years in the upper Saribas to farm the Layar peoples’ lands. But because the Saribas country was fully inhabited since the days of Patinggi Ngadan, there was no more room for these unsettled Lemanak Iban to live permanently; so they left for the Rejang area.

Early in this century when Ngumbang and Bantin attacked the Lemanak Iban at Sebiau, they killed or captured seventy-two of them. Because of this defeat, Apai Jelema and his followers migrated to the Sabelak where they settled with their friends who had worked as fortmen at Kubong in the 1880s. The latter had settled at Roban, in the Sabelak, a right tributary of the Krian River.

Patinggi Gurang of Kayong

Patinggi Gurang, a Sumatran ancestor, was a famous nobleman of Kayong. He lived not far from the present-day city of Pontianak in Indonesian Borneo and was a fisherman. One day when he returned from fishing, he discovered his golden mascot was stolen. He became worried and asked his young son, Patinggi Ngadan, to search for it at once.

One day he again went to fish in the sea. While fishing he found a kedundong fruit caught in his net. Since his arrival in Kalimantan he had never before seen such a fruit. So he picked it up and on arriving home that evening, instead of eating it, he threw the fruit to the ground below the house so that it might grow.

The kedundong tree sprouted and grew very fast so that it soon overshadowed the whole of the Kayong village. On seeing this the Kayongians decided to fell the tree. They cut at it but their adzes could not fell it. They tried again and again to cut it down using many kinds of iron axes. But none even scratched the tree’s bark. Finally one man thought of cutting it with an axe made of lead, and with it he felled the kedundong tree very easily.

After the tree had been felled, Patinggi Gurang again sent his young son Patinggi Ngadan to search for the lost golden mascot.12 Ngadan did so going from village to village up and down the great Kapuas river. But he could find no trace of the stolen mascot.

Having become discouraged in his search of the Kapuas region, Ngadan walked overland to Sadong (now in Sarawak) to find out whether anyone there had any knowledge of the theft of his father’s mascot. None knew of it, so he continued his wandering overland to the Batang Lupar River. There too he secretly enquired about the theft.

Failing to discover anything as to its whereabouts, Ngadan continued his wandering by boat from the Batang Lupar to the Saribas river. In the Saribas he stayed temporarily at Plassan. From there he again moved on and stayed the night at Tanjong Orang Taui, which is also known as Tanjong Rangka or Tanjong Pendam. From there, he paddled up to a place where he met a man named Talap making a canoe at the mouth of the Ban stream below the present town of Belong. Upon meeting Talap, Ngadan enquired the extent of land he owned up the river. Talap told him that all the lands passed by the wood chips he had cut from the boat he was fashioning belonged to him. Ngadan was pleased to hear this, and so he stopped paddling. His boat was only drifting up the river following the flowing tide.

When he reached a certain place called Bangai, the tide turned. Because of this Ngadan moored his boat and at the same time fixed his boundary with Talap at this point. It was and is still followed to this day by the peoples of Pasa and those of the Layar.

After mooring his boat, Ngadan took his flints to strike a fire. As he struck them, one of the flints fell into the river and at once miraculously became a huge boulder, still known to this day as Batu Api. This boulder still serves to remind all generations in the Layar that it was and is forever the boundary between the lands belonging to the descendants of Patinggi Ngadan and those belonging to the descendants of Talap.

Patinggi Ngadan built his house here. On the site of this house he planted a durian tree which is still growing on the spot to this day. Some seventy years ago, when the Dayaks and Malays quarrelled over farming lands along the Layar River, the latter claimed that this durian tree was theirs. They lost the case, as it was truly planted by Patinggi Ngadan, who was an ancestor of the Dayaks.

Some years afterward, Patinggi Ngadan left this house to live at Tanjong Berundang, which was and is still known as Kubur Lunyai, opposite the present Skuyat village. In the olden days this place was also called Lubok Binsang Pupong Langang. After living here for sometime, he moved upriver to settle at Batu Lintang.

While he was living here, life was very dangerous. No one dared bathe alone in the Layar River, due to the many crocodiles that lived in the river at that time. And no men dared to wander freely in the forests, due to the many tigers that roamed there. To overcome these difficulties Patinggi Ngadan and his followers made a safe bathing place slightly inside the Batu Lintang stream.

Some years after they had lived at Batu Lintang, one morning Patinggi Ngadan’s sister named Nara went to take her bath in the stream. On the way she saw a shell armlet (simpai rangki’) lying on the roadside. When she came home she told Patinggi about it. The latter strongly advised her not to touch it, for it was surely a tiger’s lure, or bait (taju remaung).

On the next morning as she was again going to bathe, she saw a different kind of armlet lying at the same spot. Again, she told her brother. On the next day, when she passed the same spot to bathe, she saw a long type of pelaga and other kinds of beads left lying in the same place. The armlets she saw the previous days were no longer there. She again related the story to her brother.

Finally on the fourth day, as she passed the same spot, instead of seeing beads and armlets as before, she saw lensat and sibau fruits lying on the roadside. She moved them with her foot, in order that children would not see and carry them away. When she told Patinggi Ngadan about this, he scolded her.

“You should not touch nor have anything to do with these fruit”, said her brother angrily.

“It was merely because I was afraid that the children might come and attempt to carry them away”, replied Nara sadly.

“If you really have touched them”, answered Patinggi, “You are now exposed to misfortune (puni), because you have had contact with a lure”.

Due to this, Patinggi Ngadan presently called for his slaves to cut down all of the banana plants at Emperan Tabau which was situated slightly below the village landing place. From their stalks Patinggi’s slaves erected a stockade in which Nara was hidden. The fence of the stockade was strongly lined with seven rows of stalks stacked on one another. It was then fully covered with seven layers of Iban woven blankets (pua’ kumbu’).

After Nara had been secured inside the stockade, at dark there came a tiger from the direction of Bangat Hills. Its roars were heard by all the people of the region. After it had stopped roaring, the ground around the stockade was shaken and the stockade broken. Those who stood guard nearby stabbed the tiger with their spears and shot it with their blowpipe, until the tiger was killed.

A tiny scratch made by the tiger on Nara’s body became an incurable wound, which caused her to remain unmarriageable all the days of her life.

Soon after this happening, Patinggi Ngadan went to inspect his lands up the Layar river. As he sprinkled the river banks, the gravel-beds, the mumban and the meruju trees with holy water, he said, “If any person, who is not of my descent, poisons the fish in this river, let no fish be stupefied and die.”

It was due to this prayer of Patinggi Ngadan that whenever tuba-fishing is performed in the Layar River, a man of his direct line is called to spill the poisonous tuba into the river to make it effective.

Patinggi Ngadan went upriver as far as Kerangan Patinggi (Patinggi’s gravel-bed) where he cut notches in a belian tree trunk. This belian trunk still remains there to this day and is known as Tras Tangkal Patinggi.

Sometime afterwards Patinggi Ngadan heard the news that Sampar of Penebak in the Ulu Layar wanted to migrate down to live in his land. Being certain of this, he arranged his slaves to hang one ringka and one selabit basket from poles at the mouth of a stream opposite the Tras Tangkal Patinggi. It is due to this that this stream is known as Sungai Ringka. Patinggi made clear to Sampar in this way that if he attempted to settle in his land downriver, he would either fight or fine him for migrating there without his consent. When Sampar heard this, he dismissed the idea of migrating. As a matter of fact, Patinggi moved down from Batu Lintang to live at Nanga Jaloh or Lupa which was about five miles down the river.

In the tusut genealogies it is remembered that Patinggi Ngadan married Lamentan and they begot a daughter Bata and a son Labun. Labun married Sansi and begot a son Jegera. After his marriage, Labun separated from his followers in his father’s house and found a new settlement at Lupa which was situated seven hundred yards down¬river.

Eventually, the people of these two villages started their traditional game of cock-fighting at a place between their longhouses. They held these cock-fights day after day. After the cocks had all been killed, they fought the hens, and after the hens had all died, they fought their eggs. In his sleep one night, Patinggi dreamed of meeting a spirit of a cock who told him that as they had been excessively cruel to the fowls, they too would suffer the same fate by dying disastrously.

A few days after this dream, a large kite was seen flying and swooping over the roofs of their two longhouses. The inhabitants became sick and died in due course, until there were not enough able-bodied survivors left to bury the corpses of those who had perished. Due to this disastrous epidemic, the survivors fled away and the villages became rotten. Their sites in later years became two large burial grounds called Pendam Lupa and Pendam Jaloh respectively.

Malays and Iban in the Saribas.

Rusak was a grandson of Jelian of the Undup. He migrated with his people to the Paku after Tindin and his followers had already settled in the area. The story of Tindin, who was mentioned at the beginning of Part Two, was told in a book called Sea Dayaks of Borneo (1967a). When he came he settled at Nanga Sekundong. Shortly after he had come to live in the Paku, Rusak heard that a group of people was living far away downriver, near the mouth of the Saribas. Anxious to know who they were, he went downriver in his canoe to meet them. When he came to Nanga Luba, a few miles below Nanga Paku, he stopped owning to the strong tide.

As he was sitting in his canoe, he heard someone coming upriver in a boat, traveling with the tide. Seeing the stranger, he asked where he was going. The man replied that he came from the sea (laut) and was heading upriver to meet the Dayaks. Rusak told him that he was a Dayak himself, going downriver to see the Lugu. Hearing this, a man asked Rusak how far downriver the land belonged to the Dayaks, Rusak told him that as Nanga Luba was the first meeting place of Dayak and “Laut” (Malay), the same spot would become their future boundary. The man agreed to this and said that forever the Laut would settle downriver and the Dayaks, upriver. After this meeting of Rusak and the Lugu, who later became Malays, the Iban of the Saribas have called the Malays “Laut”.

Some time after this meeting another group of Iban under the leadership of Manggi came to live amongst the Lugu at the mouth of the Saribas. Manggi bad migrated from the Undup to Sungai Tisak near the mouth of the Skrang. He had gone from the Tisak to Ulu Maludam and down the Maludam to the sea.

Several decades after Rusak had met the Lugu, Temenggong Kadir came to Semaruang, near the present Malay village of Beladin, by sailing boat and anchored at Manggi’s landing place. According to the Malay calenders, this was around the time of the 15th Sultan of Brunei (1690 AD - 1710 AD) named Sultan Nasarudin. Manggi went to the boat to meet him. He asked where he had come from and where he was going. Temenggong Kadir told him that he had come from Brunei, and said that if he, Manggi, agreed to accept him and his friends, they would settle at Semaruang. Without consulting his followers, Manggi said that he would accept Temenggong Kadir and his friends in order to increase the number of people who were already settled there. At this time Tindin and Rusak were living in the Paku, Talap in the lower Layar, Patinggi Ngadan at Batu Api above Betong and Temegoh in the Bangkit tributary of the lower Paku.

Shortly after Temenggong Kadir had settled at Semaruang, a certain trader came from the town of Pagar Ruyong in Minangkabau in Sumatra. His name was Abang Gudam. He brought with him cloth to sell. On his arrival he met Manggi and Temenggong Kadir who agreed to let him trade temporarily. When Temenggong Kadir spoke to Abang Gudam, he related to him the story of how and why he had come there from Brunei. He informed him that he had worked as an interpreter in the Sultan’s court at Brunei for many years, until his daughter named Dayang Chi was seized to be one of the Sultan’s concubines. It was because of his hatred of the Sultan for this deed, he said, that he bad fled from Brunei to live with the Dayaks. Temenggong Kadir also told Abang Gudam that his daughter Dayang Chi was very fair. If anyone could get her away from the Sultan’s harem, he would not hesitate to let her marry him. Thus Temenggong Kadir tried to persuade Abang Gudam, who was a very handsome man, to rescue Dayang Chi from the hands of the Sultan of Brunei.

Hearing these words, Abang Gudam said that he was on his way to trade in Brunei, but if he were to go there, even if he were to take the Temenggong’s daughter by force from the palace, he would not recognise her. Temenggong Kadir said that he had small cannon (bedil) in his possession which Dayang Chi liked very much. If she saw the cannon, he said, she would weep, recognising it as the property of her family. He suggested that the best thing to do would be for Abang Gudam to take this cannon with him, and when he arrived at Brunei he should try to persuade Dayang Chi to come down to the boat to buy things, so that she would see the cannon which she would instantly recognise. He also told Abang Gudam that in order to recognise Dayang Chi, he should look for a black mole on her throat and another on her neck. After a long conversation between them, Abang Gudam asked Temenggong Kadir to lend him the cannon so that be could take it to Brunei.

Next morning Abang Gudam and his companions set sail for Brunei. After a month-long voyage, they reached Brunei Bay and anchored their boat at the public landing place in the centre of the town. Abang Gudam then opened the windows of his boat in order to put his cloth on display. On seeing the unusually magnificent display a number of customers came to see the beautiful coloured silks. Even though many people came, Abang Gudam only stayed there for one night. Early the next day he moved his boat to anchor at the Sultan’s jetty. While he was trading there a great number of customers came to purchase cloth from him. A day later, Abang Gudam went to the palace to present to the Sultan a large quantity of fine silk and other cloth. The Sultan was pleased with the gifts. He said that he would reciprocate with anything, including one of his wives or concubines that Abang Gudam should choose. Abang Gudam was delighted with the Sultan’s offer, and he told him he would think about it and tell the Sultan in a day or two.

In the evening the entire Royal wives and concubines went down to Abang Gudam’s boat to purchase cloth. As she entered the boat, Dayang Chi saw the cannon and instantly recognized it as belonging to her family. When she touched it she burst into tears. As she wept, Abang Gudam glanced at her neck and saw the moles described by Temenggong Kadir. Abang Gudam looked at her and asked whether she was the Sultan’s wife. She said she was, and she told him that she had come to purchase cloth. Abang Gudam respectfully begged her to choose any cloth she wished. She chose fifteen pieces and when she offered money in payment, Abang Gudam would not accept it, but said that the cloth was hers to keep completely free of charge.

After his wives and concubines had returned to the palace, the Sultan enquired as to who the trader was and from whence he came. They informed him that the trader’s name was Abang Gudam and that he came from Pagar Ruyong, Minangkabau, on the island of Sumatra. On learning the trader’s name, the Sultan proceeded to the boat. As he went inside the boat he respectfully enquired as to the country of the trader’s origin. Abang Gudam said that he had come from Minangkabau in Sumatra and was the son of Dato Bandahara Harun of Pagar Ruyong. The Sultan asked how far Sumatra was from Brunei. Abang Gudam said that if he was sailing against the wind, he could not reach Brunei in two months. In the course of their conversation Abang Gudam asked why the Sultan had never traveled overseas. The Sultan said that he could not possibly spare the time for a long journey because he lacked a trustworthy officer to administer the country in his absence. The Sultan asked Abang Gudam how he could leave his country for such a long period. Abang Gudam answered that, unlike the Sultan, he was not a ruler and had nothing to do with the administration of his father’s kingdom. The Sultan asked whether Abang Gudam had any brothers and sisters. He said he had three, one brother, Dato Bandahara Puteh, and two sisters, Dayang Ungu and Dayang Remindan.

After this meeting the Sultan formally invited Abang Gudam to visit his palace. Abang Gudam respectfully declined, saying that he could not spare the time as he was still dealing with his customers. Besides he would stay many more days in Brunei. After saying this, Abang Gudam presented to the Sultana a very magnificent piece of cloth embroidered with gold thread. The Sultan returned to the palace and handed the cloth to the Sultana who was most pleased to accept it, as she had never in her life seen such a beautiful piece.

The next morning the Sultan asked his cook to slaughter a fat cow, a goat and a great number of chickens for a reception to be held in honour of the visit of Abang Gudam, the nobleman of Minangkabau. He also called for experts to cook the meat with spices and condiments. When the food was ready, the Sultan and senior members of his administration went down to the jetty to formally invite Abang Gudam. While they were on their way to the jetty, gendang music was beaten in the palace to herald the grand luncheon.

Upon the arrival of the Sultan and his entourage at his boat, Abang Gudam welcomed them and eventually took leave of them to dress himself for the reception in the palace. He took special care to dress himself in the best clothes he had, including a pair of shoes embroidered in gold.

When Abang Gudam was ready, the Sultan conducted him to the palace. As they arrived he was taken to the seat of honour, at the Sultan’s right hand side close to the senior ministers and war leaders of the state. When they had all taken their seats they proceeded to discuss Islamic religious law, Abang Gudam, as a Muslim nobleman, was an authority on such matters. From the tone of his conversation and his overall etiquette, the high ranking Brunei officials were thoroughly convinced that Abang Gudam had been brought up in one of the most respected ruling families of Sumatra. Eventually the food was served and after the meal was over, the Sultan requested that Abang Gudam should stay the night in the palace. However, the latter said he would have to return to the boat to attend to his business. On bearing this, the Sultan was troubled, as he still had not decided on what to present to Abang Gudam in return for his earlier generosity.

Abang Gudam was very much attracted by Dayang Chi who was a very beautiful woman. So next morning he went to see the Sultan in the palace. During the audience, he told the ruler, that he came to take leave from him, so that he might sail away. He said that in regard to the present which the Sultan had promised him, he would be very grateful if the latter would give him Dayang Chi, one of the Sultan’s concubines. The Sultan kept his word and asked Dayang Chi to be taken from his harem to go with Abang Gudam. When Dayang Chi arrived in the boat they set sail for Saribas. They sailed for several weeks before they reached Semaruang. On seeing his daughter, Temenggong Kadir was full of joy. In appreciation for her safe arrival he held a makan selamat celebration to which he invited many people.

Some days afterward Temenggong Kadir went to Abang Gudam’s house to ask whether he intended to settle permanently in the Saribas district or return to Minangkabau. Abang Gudam said that he preferred to stay, if the condition of the country permitted it. On hearing this, Temenggong Kadir told Abang Gudam that he recalled his promise made to him regarding Dayang Chi, and as he had taken her from the Sultan’s harem, he would gladly approve of his marrying her. Abang Gudam happily consented to marry Dayang Chi.

After Abang Gudam and Dayang Chi were married, the Dayak chief, Manggi, and his followers moved up the Saribas River to settle at Supa in the Layar river having agreed to let the families of Temenggong Kadir and Abang Gudam and their friends farm padi at and around the Semaruang stream, near the mouth of the Saribas river.

Manggi and his people began to build a longhouse at Supa. While the construction work was going on, Manggi learned that a powerful tribe of people had already settled in the upper Rimbas, a right tributary of the Saribas. Being disturbed by this news, he was anxious to meet them. So he walked overland with his followers from Supa to Ulu Bakir and thence to Suri in the Rimbas till they reached a village at Debak.

On their arrival at Debak, Manggi met the people who called themselves Seru. They told him that they had lived in the Rimbas ever since their ancestors had moved eastward from the mouth of the Rejang River. According to them the people who were still living along the lower Rejang river at that time were the Rejang, Segalang and the Beliun peoples. The Seru also informed Manggi that a group of Dayaks were living below them in the Rimbas under a chief named Garai, the son of Gunggu. These Dayaks had migrated from Sebaru in West Kalimantan about a century ago, under their chiefs Jenua and Padang.

After he had met the Seru, Manggi was taken seriously ill with dysentery and subsequently died. He was buried at the Seru cemetery called Pendam Batu, near the present town of Debak. According to tradition, Gunggu, the father of Garai, was also buried in this same cemetery. After Manggi was buried at Pendam Batu, his friends returned sadly to Supa. On arrival, they did not complete the building of their longhouse; this building rotted away and the place is known to this day as the Tembawai Burok Rumah, “Site of the Decayed House”.

After Manggi’s death, Temenggong Kadir and his family moved up from Semaruang to settle at a village called Saribas, which was about one and half miles below the present town of Pusa. While there, many foreign traders came to the district to trade. These traders landed at Saribas village and the village became an important centre; subsequently the name of the whole river was changed from “Batang Layar” to “Batang Saribas”. “Saribas” had previously been the name of a small stream which ran through the middle of the village. While Temenggong Kadir was living at Saribas village, he gradually converted the Seru, the Bukitan and the Beliun peoples to Islam. These people had previously been captured, enslaved and subsequently sold to Temenggong Kadir and his followers by the Dayaks as they progressively occupied the district.

From Saribas village, Temenggong Kadir moved again and settled at Pusa at the confluence of the Rimbas and the main Saribas River. Abang Gudam and Dayang Chi, after the birth of their first son, Abang Drahman, moved from Semaruang to join Temenggong Kadir and his people at Pusa. Some time after this Temenggong Kadir died and was buried at Sapinang cemetery which is situated between Beladin and the present settlement of Samarang, near the mouth of the Saribas River.

After living for many years at Pusa, Abang Gudam died and was also buried at the Sapinang cemetery. Because of the burials of both Temenggong Kadir and Abang Gudam at this cemetery, this burial ground was, and still is, revered as the most sacred Malay cemetery in the district. Many Malays, especially those in direct descent from Temenggong Kadir and Abang Gudam go there periodically to pray for good fortune.

After Abang Gudam had died, his son Abang Drahman heard that the Paku River, another right tributary of the Saribas, was already inhabited by another group of people. He was anxious to meet them, and so one day he went up the Saribas river with some of his slaves. When he came to the mouth of the Paku River, he went up till he came to Nanga Lalau. At this place he noticed a bunch of isang leaves hung on the bank signifying that the place was owned by someone. Seeing this sign he paddled further up. When he reached the mouth of the Bangkit River, he noticed another bunch of isang leaves hung on the bank for the same reason. So he went further up. When he reached the mouth of the Rembai (also called Luban) stream he noticed yet another mark of the same kind. These leaves were hung to prevent strangers from occupying the area without permission. If anyone came and settled on the land which had been marked with the isang leaves, it would lead to war and the settler would be attacked and killed or driven out of the place without warning. From the mouth of the Rembai stream, Abang Drahman and his men went to Batu Embawang near Lubok Brutan and met the Iban chief, Rusak, in his padi field. When they met, Abang Drahman said that he had come to ask for approval for him and his followers to settle at the mouth of Buling stream, in order to guard the people of the Paku River from pirates who might come to attack the country. Hearing this request, Rusak asked Abang Drahman to stay at his house, to give him enough time to think about his application.

Three days later, Rusak told Abang Drahman that he had given careful thought to his request. He said that he had taken so much time because he was thinking about the future of his people’s descendants, who would need much land for their farming. He told Abang Drahman that he approved the making of a Malay settlement at Nanga Buling and he gave the following farming land to the Malays: on the Paku river from its mouth to Batu Embawang; from Batu Embawang to Dadak hill and then straight down to the Ulu Lalau stream and on the Lubok Nangka in the Buling stream; from Lubok Nangka along a boundary which ran towards a Mengeris Bejampang tree and on to Tapang Genong; and from this, along a boundary which ran from the centre of Tanjong Pedada right down to the main Saribas river. Rusak also told Abang Drahman that no Malay would be allowed to farm Dayak lands overgrown with bamboos, and no Dayaks were to farm Malay lands from Batu Embawang downwards to where the melai grass was growing on both banks of the Paku River. After they had settled this, Abang Drahman returned to Semaruang to lead his people to Nanga Buling. Of those who did not join him some went up the Rimbas and some up to Layar River and settled respectively at Nanga Undai and at Tanjong Belong.

Iban pioneers of the Paku and their Malay allies.

After the death of Tindin and Rusak, the generations living in the Paku up to the time of Saang and Busu were peaceful, since Entingi and his Bukitan followers had migrated to the Julau and Kanowit rivers. When Uyut “Bedilang Besi” (“Iron Hearth”) and Awang were chiefs of the lower and upper Paku respectively, they made a common set of rules for building longhouses:

1. All longhouses must be built on the bank of the main river, so that their inhabitants shall be able to bathe and draw drinking water easily from it;
2. No land owner shall stop the members of the community from building a longhouse on his land;
3. No member of the longhouse may plant fruit trees further than five fathoms from either side of the longhouse;
4. In case the longhouse is abolished due to old age, all fruit trees which have been planted in the compound will be owned by the planter and his descendants.

Uyut “Bedilang Besi” was one of the most powerful war leaders of the Saribas of his time. This was because his sons, nephews and sons-in-law were all brave warriors. Due to his victories in war, Uyut held a grand festival of gawai diri at Lubok Jalu above the mouth of the Lingit stream in the Anyut watershed. At this feast he made a Rhinoceros hornbill statue which was later burnt together with the Senunok longhouse, in 1944.

It was because of his importance that Bedilang changed the old tradition of drinking the holy wine for the Gawai Antu festival. He and his sons and sons-in-law refused to drink this wine, unless it was handed to them with timang jalong songs to praise their bravery in war. Thus it was from Bedilang’s request that the songs of timang jalong originated at this time, and have been sung at all Gawai Antu festivals to the present day.

From the days of Bedilang up to those of his great grandson who was named after him (Uyut), the Paku Iban were continually at war with the Sebuyau and the Balau Dayaks of the lower Batang Lupar river, as well as with the Seru of the Krian and Beliun of the Rejang.

When Jantan, a grandson of Awan, was a chief in the upper Paku river, he was not a formidable warrior, so he was worried about the safety of the upper Paku region, which was surrounded by a number of enemies, such as the Seru, the Beliun and also the Bukitan who had been driven out of Paku and had settled in the Julau and Kanowit districts. Because of these fears he went one day to spy out the enemy with one of his warriors named Sapitan. They walked along the range of hills at the source of the Puan and Paku streams and stayed the night at Bukit Buloh. The next day they walked again from Bukit Buloh along a range of hills situated between the Grenjang stream of the Krian and Sungai Randau towards Bukit Tangga Sadau and on to Bukit Medang. From here they walked to Bukit Lubang Remaung where they stayed another night.

That night Jantan slept just outside the mouth of a cave. In his sleep he dreamed he saw a woman who sat near him. She asked him where he had come from. Jantan told her that he and Sapitan were returning from Bukit Buloh to spy on the enemy. Hearing this, the women told him not to worry about the enemy.

“No enemy will ever come to Ulu Paku from this day onward,” she said. She told him that she was Bunsu Remaung (Tiger Goddess) who defended the Ulu Paku region from enemy raids.

To prove the truth of Jantan’s dream, it happened that after Linggir “Mali Lebu” had raided the Bukitan at Sugai in the Julau, the Katibas Iban under Gerinang and Matahari led a big force up the Julau to take revenge against the Pakus. But on the way their warriors suffered from a smallpox epidemic, which killed the majority of them and caused the survivors to retreat. Besides this, when the Rajah attacked Linggir “Mali Lebu” in the Paku twice in 1843 and 1849 his force only went up the Paku as far as Nanga Anyut, which was just below Jantan’s area.

Iban affairs in the Ulu Paku.

When Mawar Tuai was chief of Bangat and the lower Layar regions, Baling was an active warrior in the upper Skrang. In his wars he drove out the Skrang Bukitan to the Kanowit, which caused them to settle in various scattered places along the Ensiling and Mujok streams and in the Sugei of Bulau River. After Baling died his nephew Nyaru, son of Bakar, attacked the Ulu Paku Bukitans at Nanga Deran. This raid took place when Uyut “Bedilang Besi” was chief of the lower Paku and Anyut rivers. At this time the upper Paku watershed was leaderless after the death of Blaki who had been murdered by the Serus. Blaki’s sons, Bayang and Ugap, were still too young to lead the people. It was because of this that the decision of Awan of the Padeh to marry young Lada was promptly accepted by Bayang and Ugap and their relatives, including their uncle Uyut “Bedilang Besi”, who felt that the upper Paku region should be defended against attacks from the Serus of Krian. At this time “Bedilang Besi” had left them to stay with his wife Nangku, a daughter of chief Saang of the lower Paku and Anyut Rivers.

After he had defeated the Nanga Deran Bukitan, Nyaru migrated to the Paku with his son Libau. In this new area Nyaru and Libau were not leaders, until Libau’s son Kaya married Sawai a daughter of Lada and Awan. Sawai was an heiress of Busu, the father of Uyut “Bedilang Besi”. Nyaru’s sister Rabiah was the mother Mujah “Buah Raya”, who later migrated from the Paku to become famous chief of the Kanowit people.

After the death of Kaya, his eldest son became chief of the upper Paku. When he was old, Jantan directed that all his sons and daughters be separated from him and lead people to live in various longhouses along the banks of the upper Paku river, in the following order:

Libau “Buban” was to stay with Jantan at Nanga Samu. Saing was to build his longhouse at Jukun. Laus and her husband Lanchang were to live at Nanga Buong, and Kadir and Langan were to live at Danau.

At the death of Jantan, Libau “Buban” became the senior chief of the upper Paku river. He was not a man of war but was very straight forward in dealing with the affairs of his people. When Libau was old, Kadir and Langan separated from each other. Kadir went to live with his followers at Penom, while Danau was taken care of by his son Unchi. Langan built his longhouse at Meroh, near the source of the Paku river. At about this tune Libau’s sons Kaya and Ugat married. Kaya stayed in his father’s house while Ugat, went to live with his wife who was the only daughter of Langan at Meroh. Their sister Janta married Kadir, a son of Orang Kaya Linggang of the Rimbas. After her marriage, Janta left her father and went to live in the same longhouse as her uncle Saing, who had moved from Jukun to Batu Genting.

Ugat was a brave warrior who was hostile to the Brunei government, represented by Laksamana Amir who lived at the Malay village of Buling. Due to his hostility, he defied the Laksamana by slashing a mungut basket, which was used by Brunei tax collectors for collecting padi for the yearly tax from the Dayaks and Malays of the Paku River. The Laksamana was angry. Therefore Ugat planned a rebellion which was supported by all the upper Paku Iban. The Iban who had settled in the Anyut tributary did not support Ugat, since Linggir “Mali Lebu” and his families were very friendly with the Laksamana and his family. In order to start the revolt, Ugat led his warriors to attack the Beliun in the Sarikei River. By doing this he could at the same time stop the migrants from the Layar and Skrang rivers from migrating to the Awik, a tributary of the Krian and to Pakan a tributary of the Julau – the places which he and his people intended to occupy after their rebellion was over.

After the preparations for the war against Sarikei were completed, Ugat and his warriors went up to the Paku and Ketoh streams. From the Ketoh watershed they climbed the Medang range and went on to Nanga Lu’ong on the Krian River. They stayed the night at Nanga Luong. Next day they traveled up the Luong stream towards the Dangap stream and went down to its mouth. From here they travelled up the Budu stream to Nanga Dasi and then went up the Dasi stream to the Emperawan Pakap Mawi range. From there they traveled to the headwaters of the Awik River, where they stayed the second night. As the Awik watershed was close to the source of the Sarikei River, Ugat held his council of war here. In the conference he directed that they proceed early next day to the Sarikei river watershed where they would stay the third and final night before they assaulted the enemy. He also warned his warriors that they were not to make any noise when inside the enemy territory, as they must not be heard by the wandering Beliun and the Bukitan of the Julau. He was aware that if they were discovered by the Bukitans, the latter would spread the news to all the Beliuns of the Sarikei River. Above all, for the safety of his warriors, he arranged that the leading warriors Ramping, Doo, Ita and Japang should go as advance scouts a mile ahead of the others. They must not carry any baggage, but would be fully equipped with swords, spears and shields.

Next morning they left the place after the four leading warriors were gone. Even¬tually at noon they reached a Beliun village. On their way to the nearest house Ramping and Ita passed a banana plantation where they killed a woman who was clearing her garden. As they killed her they were seen by several people who raised the alarm all through the village, telling of their approach.

Ramping and Ita took the woman’s head to Ugat. Ugat was worried when they told him that while they were killing her they had been seen by enemies who had fled to the village to inform their people. Hearing this Ugat stopped his warriors from advancing further. He was afraid that if they risked invading the village, they would meet stiff resistance, as the enemy would be fully prepared to defend them¬selves. So he brought his warriors back to the Paku.

After he had failed to defeat the Beliun of Sarikei, Ugat decided once again to lead his warriors on the warpath. This time he decided to attack the Serus who had settled below the Embuas rapids in the lower Krian River. At this time none of the Iban who had migrated from the Rimbas had settled above the Embuas rapids. The only areas that had been settled by them were the Melupa tributary together with both banks of the middle reaches of the Krian River. Due to the small number of settlers, the Iban longhouse at Berangan Arang had twice been attacked by Bukitan from the Julau River.

To attack the Seru, Ugat led his warriors from Ulu Paku to Ulu Krian where they built a warboat, or perau pengayau. After the boat had been completed they went down the Krian to the Embuas rapids. After they had left it the leading warriors were ordered by Ugat to steer the boat at the bow, while he himself was at the stem. The other warriors sat inside, under an awning made from palm leaves. Eventually as they came to Satebok, they heard the noise of people coming by boat from downriver. Hearing this, Ramping and Japang steered the boat to the bank in order to hide themselves below the tree branches. When they had quietly hidden themselves a longboat full of men, women and children appeared. These people were on their way to attend a wedding feast upriver. Excited on seeing them, Japang urged his friends to attack the boat at once. They paddled towards it. As they came near to it, Ramping and Japang threw spears at the enemies and killed two of them. Ugat who was at the stern killed another. Seeing the danger, the enemies fought very hard to defend their women and children. They were able to reach Ugat’s warriors inside the boat with their seligi spears made of the strong trunks of the nibong palm. Ugat’s warriors underneath the awning of the boat could not fight nor defend themselves as they could not come out while their boat was in the middle of the river. Among those who were speared by the Serus were Unchi a son of Kadir and Lunyai, a son of Laus and Lanchang, both of whom were badly wounded. So Ugat and his warriors returned up the Krian in order to march back to the Paku.

A few years after Ugat had attacked the Serus of the lower Krian, he had a dream. In it he met a number of people coming into his house at Nanga Tiang. They told Ugat that they were on their way to Bangat and wanted him to entertain them with a grand festival where they could enjoy the meat of pigs. At this time all the people of the upper Paku lived together in a large longhouse under Ugat and his brother Kaya, while their father Libau stayed alone at Ulu Samu after he had eloped with Saap following the death of his first wife, Nawi. Due to the request of the people whom Ugat saw in his dream, he called everyone to meet at his longhouse to discuss what to do about it. Kelass the son of Saing was of the opinion that it was time now for Ugat to hold a grand festival to celebrate his two victories over his enemies at Sarikei and lately in the lower Krian. The rest of the people agreed with Kelass. They wanted Ugat to hold the feast as soon as he could.

For the feast, Ugat asked the carpenters who had a good knowledge of carving to fashion for him a ritual pole known as Chandi Uriek, a sort of bamboo pole used for the first stage of the Bird Festival (Gawai Burong). After the preparations for the festival had been completed, Ugat invited a famous warrior named Uyu apai Ikom of the Ulu Julau to act as master of ceremonies. When Uyu came he noticed that the carvings on Ugat’s ritual pole were too grand. He told Ugat that it was not proper to hold such a low feast with so grand a pole.

Uyu asked Ugat where his father Libau was. Ugat told him that his father had not been informed as he was living in the upper Samu River with a new wife. Hearing this, Uyu told Ugat that he would not dare to make any decisions about the rules of the feast until he had discussed these matters first with Libau “Buban”, the father of Ugat. Hearing what Uyu had said, Ugat sent his men to bring his father from Ulu Samu. After Libau had come, Uyu told him that he was of the opinion that the ritual pole which Ugat had made for his feast was too grand for him.

“Ugat is too young and has not yet attained the high rank of a warleader who is fit to use that kind of carved pole for the feast,” said Uyu, “I suggest that this feast should be celebrated in your name, instead of your son’s”, said Uyu to Libau.

Libau agreed. So the feast was celebrated in the name of Libau, not of Ugat. After the feast was over, the Rajah defeated Linggir at the battle of Beting Maru in 1849. Also it was from Ugat’s house at Nanga Tiang that Kedit “Rindang” went to reinforce Linggir who attacked the Rajah’s advancing flotilla at the battle of Nanga Peka four days after the battle of Beting Maru had been fought. After Linggir’s defeat at the battle of Beting Maru, the Paku Dayaks submitted themselves officially to the government of Rajah Brooke. Ugat, who still did not want to be governed by any government, decided to migrate to the Julau so that he and his people could continue to defy the government of the country. The majority of the people of the upper Paku River followed him to the Julau. But before they reached the Julau they farmed the Ulu Awik lands. The Awik is the right tributary of the Krian.

Shortly after Ugat had migrated to the Ulu Julau, Enchana “Letan” of Linggir’s house at Kerangan Pinggai led the people of the lower Paku and Anyut tributary on migration to the Awik River. Three years later, they were followed to the Awik by Letan’s brother Minggat who had recently married Jara, a Rimbas woman from Suri. When Letan and his people from the lower Paku and Anyut were about to settle in the Awik, Ugat and his followers moved to the Julau. In the season of falling trees (maia nebang) in the first year that they farmed there, Ugat and many others suffered from a pedis parut epidemic. Due to this trouble, Ugat and those who were sick were brought back to the Paku. Shortly after their arrival home, most of them including Ugat died of the disease. Due to Ugat’s death, all of his followers returned to the Paku and the migration was discontinued.

Patinggi Timbul attacks the Ketubit longhouse.

When Kalanang the second, Saang and Jantan were chiefs of the Paku, Patinggi Timbol of Kabong led the Seru and the Bukitan of the Krian to- attack Bujang Berani’s longhouse at Ketubit, below Sungai Langit on the upper Layar River. The Patinggi led his Seru warriors up the Krian to collect Bukitan reinforcements. From there they marched to the Grenjang and on to Ulu Paku. From here they went up the Penom stream to Ketubit. When they arrived they were able to raid Bujang Berani’s house just at the time when its people were celebrating a feast. As a lot of people were drunk, they were easily defeated by Patinggi Timbul’s warriors.

The latter then set out to return to the Krian with their head trophies and loot. But when they reached a tributary of the Sungai Langit, they were attacked by the Layar Iban. During the fighting Patinggi Timbul and many of his warriors were killed. That is why the stream on which they fought is called Sungai Bangkai Lawai meaning the stream of Malay corpses. Lawai is an old Iban word for Malay. Due to the destruction of Bujang Berani’s longhouse at Ketubit by Patinggi Timbul and his fighters, the site on which it had stood became a cemetery, Pendam Ketubit, and is still used by the Iban in the area to the present day.

The Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” of Padeh.

The Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” of the Padeh was the youngest child of Orang Kaya Beti and his wife Endau. He was the most powerful Iban warleader of the Second Division in his day. He had six sons and three daughters: Orang Kaya Pemancha Nanang, Luyoh, Aji, Unting, Buda, Umpu, Tiong (f), Landan (f) and Badong (f). His most trusted warriors were Sabok apai Maang, Uyu apai Ukum, Unal “Bulan”, Igoh apai Lamban, Orang Kaya Akun “Bedindang” and his brothers. It was because of this group of brave warriors that Dana’s wars were all successful.

OK Pemancha Dana “Bayang” was the only know Iban Chief known to have led an headhunting expedition by sea to areas beyong the Tanjong Datu into the Dutch territory of Kalimantan, Indonesia. With reference to The Indian Archipelago: Its History and Present State, Vol. II, by Horace Stebbing Roscoe St. John, Published by LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS. London, 1853 page 176, he wrote ….

“The war schooner Haai, stationed at Sambas, in Borneo, suffered considerably from a flotilla of thirty ” Dyak prahus,” which attacked her, in the year 1819. At the same time the coasts of Pontianak were much infested by Dyak pirates. At Mampawa an action took place with them. The chief of the place having learned that there were nine of their prahus at the mouth of the river, each manned by from thirty to forty of these notorious sea-banditti, resolved to attack them, though with a small force. They fought at close quarters, no other weapon being used than the klewang, a heavy sword or cutlass. These Dyaks, according to the Dutch writers, came from Sarebas, which is only accessible to the peculiarly constructed boats of that people. He describes them in their expeditions as carrying fire, murder, and havoc along the cultured and peaceful shores, and bearing away as trophies the skulls of their victims. Having at that time few or no firearms they used klewangs and javelins, with the points hardened by fire.

They have been known in large bodies to join the Lanuns, in their piratical excursions, claiming the heads and the iron work captured as their division of the spoil.

The sea Dyaks are described by one of the best SeaDyaks informed writers (Hugh Low, Sarawak)  on Borneo, as frequenting the neighbouring waters in their prahus, to carry off the heads of defenceless fishermen, or any other persons whom they may find unprotected, or off their guard. They inhabit chiefly the tracts about the rivers Sarebas and Sakarran, with their numerous and large branches, which form estuaries and deltas, with many avenues to the sea, very favourable to clandestine enterprises, and the facility of retreat.

The country on the great rivers, occupied by the sea Country of Dyaks, is generally flat towards the coast, and hilly towards the interior. In many parts dense forests overshadow it, broken by spacious levels, where the soil is fertile and the inhabitants, if industrious, may produce rice in abundance, while fruit of a tasteful and nutritious kind is plentiful, and within the reach of all. Small paths intersect the woods, leading from one village to another, and known to all the pirates, but only to them, and serving them as a means of communication. Though the place of residence is generally chosen on the borders of some stream, many villages lie deeply secluded in the jungles, accessible by ways familiar to none but their tenants and the tribes who may be in friendly association with them. Some are situated far up the interior, near the sources of rivers, where the water is too shallow for purposes of navigation. When, therefore, the fighting-men of these communities desire to partake in the excitement and gain of a piratical enterprise, they march towards the sea, and join the flotilla of some tribe located further down the stream, villages. The villages of the sea Dyaks are composed of large houses, with one common apartment, and many separate chambers, with the singular economy of which we have been made familiar from the narratives of recent enterprise.”

With above information, we know that OKP Dana had already led a large war party to raid the coastal areas of West Kalimantan and was already at the prime of his political influence. James Brooke was only a 16 years old boy, commissioned as ensign to the 6th bengal Native Infantry.

Before he became a warleader, Dana had a vivid dream in which he was told by the goddess Kumang, who resides at the top of Santubong mountain, that he should not kill any people who live northeast of the Saribas river and between the Saribas and the Santubong delta. She assured him that it would be easy for him to defeat all the people who lived between the Santubong delta and the Kayong river southeast of the town of Pontianak. It was because of this dream that the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” never raided the Melanaus who lived at the Rejang delta and beyond.

Also because of this dream, whenever he came to Santubong Mountain on his way to raid the enemy beyond it, he had to stop one night at Santubong beach in order to climb the mountain to consult the goddess regarding his coming war plans.

In about July of the year 1819, Dana attacked the Sungai Raya in Kalimantan with 40 warboats from the Saribas and Skrang rivers. He and his followers raided many villagers and longhouses, and his warriors killed over one hundred Malays and Salakau Dayaks in the area. Besides this they captured a considerable number of prisoners whom they brought back to their homes.

After he had successfully raided Sungai Raya, his next expidition was an attack on the Balau settlement at Banting. This attack was purely to exert revenge on the death of his two elder brothers, Isik and Senaang, who were killed by Balau raiders while fishing for buntal fish at Tanjong Kauk, when he was still a boy. According to Saribas historian account, Bediman Anak Ketit, the Incident at Tanjong Kauk happens in the month of July, when the middle and lower river Iban of the Layar, Paku and Padeh were catching buntal fish at Tanjong Kauk above the mouth of Rimbas in the main Saribas River. Following the yearly habit of collecting buntal fish at this tune of the year, several hundreds of people took part that year, including a young Dana “Bayang”, his elder brothers Isik and Senaang and his relatives.

One day when many of them were catching fish in the river a large force of Balau warriors came up the river in warboats to attack the Saribas fishermen whom they knew to be fishing there at that time of the month. The majority of the unarmed Saribas Iban repulsed the enemy with paddles and poles. During the fighting many Saribas small fishing boats were capsized. Their crews were either drowned or killed by the enemy. Out of the hundreds of Saribas fishermen who were at work in the river and who fought against the enemy, only the Orang Kaya Pemancha and some others were able to defend themselves with small knives which they used to slice fish.

After all his relatives and friends including his brothers Isek and Senang in his boat had been drowned or been killed, the wounded Dana with an harpoon stuck on his stomach, swam to the shore to save himself.  After the enemy had left, Dana fainted.

Early next morning, when he woke up after a long sleep, Dana walked along the winding muddy bank of the Saribas till he met a man in a boat. The latter was Saribas Malay who recognized the Orang Kaya Pemancha. The latter begged this man to take him home to the Padeh in his boat.

After the massacre at Tanjong Kauk, Dana vowed to organise a big war expedition against the Balau Iban of Bukit Banting.  He said that they must do it as revenge for the death of so many Saribas people at Tanjong Kauk.

Fortunately, while attacking the Balau fortified longhouse at Banting many years later, this attack was halted shortly by two of OKP Dana’s uncles named Manang Insing and Kelabu. They had earlier in the years been married and settled with the Balau community at Banting. A peace ceremony could have been organised between the two rival Iban community. It was said that OKP Dana never attack the Balau settlement anymore and that the Balau did not trouble OKP Dana on his headhunting expedition passing by the Batang Lupar river mouth or passing by the Balau settlement at Banting on his way to attack Undup in later years.

Next, the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang”, with the help of the principal chiefs of the Saribas Malays and other Iban leaders of the Saribas and Skrang raided the town of Sambas. They fought very hard and killed a large number of the enemy, including Salakau and Lara Dayaks who lived in the surrounding countryside.

Two years later, he led a large number of Saribas and Skrang Iban in a raid upon the Chinese town of Singkawang. The Chinese defended themselves with long handled knives known as tat but a great number of them were killed. A few of the enemy who were able to escape fled to Mentrado town. Besides killing the enemy, a large number of captives were taken, whose descendants live to this day in the Saribas district.

Because some of the Chinese had escaped to Mentrado during his raid on Singkawang, Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” attacked Mentrado with 180 warboats from the Saribas and Skrang. During the fighting, hundreds of Chinese were killed and a small number were captured and taken back to the Skrang and Saribas rivers. Today, their descendants are living in these regions, although some were sold at the time to Malay chiefs and so were absorbed into the local Malay population.

One night few years after his attack on the Mentrado Chinese, Dana “Bayang” led over a hundred warboats of Malays and Iban from the Saribas and Skrang in a raid upon the town of Pontianak. They fought very hard in an attempt to invade the town area. But faced with unexpected difficulty they were able to attack only those of the enemy who pursued them out to sea in their boats. At this time the Orang Kaya Pemancha’s leading warrior Libau “Rentap” and his fighting men from Skrang killed a boatful of Pontianak Malays and gained a gold-handled kris.

A year after that, Dana “Bayang” led an expedition against the Salakau Dayaks who lived in the Sarawak territory near Cape Datu. During the fighting, the enemy was reinforced by the Lundu Iban led by Orang Kaya Temenggong Jugah, son of Nyambong who had migrated to Lundu with his tribe from the Sebuyau. Dana fought them as well. In fact this involvement of the Lundu Iban in a Saribas-Salakau war revived an old enemity between the Sebuyau and Saribas Iban. Although many of the enemies were killed, Orang Kaya Pemancha also sustained heavy losses among his own fighters.

The next year, Dana “Bayang” raided Mempawah near Sambas. In this war his warriors slaughtered a large number of fishermen. But as soon as this war was over, a number of minor Saribas warleaders, such as the Qrang Kaya Antau “Linggang Negeri” and his brother Orang Kaya Gun “Mangku Bumi” of the Rimbas, attacked the Sebuyau Iban with small war parties. In revenge, the Sebuyau Iban allied themselves with the Balaus and attacked the Saribas Iban in the later’s territory at Rimbas, Paku and Padeh.

At the height of these conflicts, between 1830 – 1835, Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” led over 200 warboats of Saribas and Skrang Iban warriors to raid Sambas. After the enemy’s stockade was taken, Dana’s warriors captured a gun which had been left behind by the enemy. This gun was taken back to Saribas and was later called the “Bujang Timpang Berang”. The gun was used by Orang Kaya Pemancha Nanang, the son of Dana “Bayang”, when he and his warriors in the upper Layar fought for several years against Brooke forces at Sadok Mountain, until their surrender in 1861.

In the same year that Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” raided Sambas, Orang Kaya Rabong of Skrang attacked the Balau Iban and Malays at Banting hill on the Lingga river in retaliation for the Balau attacks on the lower Skrang Iban. A few years after Orang Kaya Rabong’s attack on Banting, the Undup Iban reinforced by the Dau Iban attacked the Kumpang and Lemanak Iban of the lower Batang Ai. Because of their precarious position these Iban asked Dana “Bayang” to help them take revenge upon their attackers.

Dana “Bayang” said that the Undup and Dau Iban was not his enemy, therefore he could not interfere, but the Kumpang, the Lemanak and the Skrang Iban insisted that he should help them, or else they could not defeat the enemy who had been attacking them for the past few years. So it was that the Orang Kaya Pemancha asked them who would lead the party against the enemy. They told him that all the Kumpang, the Lemanak and the Skrang Iban had unanimously appointed him warleader.

Hearing this the Orang Kaya Pemancha agreed to their request, but he told them that before he could fight the enemy, he must first call together other warleaders and leading wariors of the Saribas to find out whether they would agree to join the expedition. The Kumpang messengers were asked by the Orang Kaya Pemancha to wait for a couple of days until he had received answers from the other Saribas leaders.

A few days later, Unal “Bulan”, Igoh apai Lemban and Uyu apai Ikum came and said that they agreed to join the expedition with their fighting men. Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Paku said that he and his warriors would also join, but that they could only do this after they had finished planting (nugal) their hill rice.

After the Orang Kaya Pemancha had been assured by the other Saribas leaders that they would join his forces (bala) he sent the messengers from Kumpang home to inform their people that he and his warriors from the Layar and Padeh would come as soon as it was convenient. After their departure, Dana invited Sabok, Badindang, and his brothers Isek and Senaang to follow him and Unal “Bulan” and his fighters from the upper Layar River to the Undup. The latter’s leading warriors were headed by Igoh apai Lamban and Uyu apai Ikum.

When their war preparations were completed, the Orang Kaya Pemancha and his hundreds of warriors left the Padeh for Skrang. On the way they stayed one night at Nanga Lemanak. The next day they marched to the Kumpang. On their arrival, they found that thousands of people from the Skrang, Seremat, Lemanak and Belambang were awaiting their arrival.

That night after the leaders of each community had discussed various things with him, the Orang Kaya Pemancha asked how many people from the Skrang, Lemanak, Belambang, Seremat and Kumpang were prepared to join the bala force. They told him that a few thousand warriors had come and an unknown number would come later as soon as they could.

Hearing this Dana asked them whether they had chosen a supreme war commander. They said that they had chosen him to lead the force. On hearing this, Dana said that he would not proceed with the war until Linggir “Mali Lebu” and his fighters from the Paku had arrived after finishing their padi planting. As a result, the people of Kumpang had to feed the troop for at least a fortnight while they were waiting for the arrival of Linggir and his followers. Two weeks later, the latter came from the Paku. Linggir’s leading warriors were Enchana “Letan”, Birai “Jawa Jambai”, Minggat and Chulo “Tarang”.

On the night of Linggir’s arrival, the Orang Kaya Pemancha called his first council of war. In it he told Linggir that the Batang Lupar people had chosen him to be the commander-in-chief of the invasion against the Undup Iban. Linggir said that this was the correct choice as no one else was more senior and experienced. Linggir further said that if it were not that they had come to reinforce him; he and his fighters might not have come at all because they were very busy with their fanning at that moment.

After this discussion, the Orang Kaya Pemancha told the people the things they must do to prepare for the war. He ordered two local headmen to pull up small saplings for tambak burong (augury sticks) early the next day. One was to pull up a sapling when he heard the call of a ketupong bird on his right and the other was to do the same thing when he heard the call of a beragai bird on his left. He ordered another two headmen to go into the forest the following morning. One was to pull up a sapling when he heard the voice of a pangkas bird on his right, and the other to do the same when he heard an embuas bird on his left. After that, they should again walk together until they heard a kelabu papau bird call on the left of the path. He explained because of these omens, the men would all be safe on the expedition no matter what bad omens they might encounter on the way.

The following night a bedara festival was held in order to prepare the offerings which were to be given to the gods and to the familiar spirits of war in order that they might help the warriors to defeat their enemies easily. Afterwards, the lemambang sang the renong kayau chants in order to ask the heroes of Panggau Libau and Gelong to bless them and ensure their success. They sang the chants near a group of war charms and weapons which had been put on a Dias (meligai).

When the bards stopped singing at daybreak, food was served by the hosts to all along the gallery of the longhouse. After everyone had eaten, the longhouse headman gathered the people together to ask them to relate their dreams of the night before. After all the warriors had told the headman their dreams, the Orang Kaya Pemancha asked the headman himself what his own dream had been. The headman said that in his dream that night, he felt he was one of a group who killed a number of bears. Later, when he looked round, he noticed the dead bodies of bears lying all over the ground. He added that after this he felt he was one of many who killed a group of monkeys. Then later, when he looked round, he saw that many bodies of monkeys were lying on the ground where he stood. On hearing this, the Orang Kaya Pemancha ordered all of the warriors who had had good dreams to accompany him to war.

After they had marched far along the path towards the Undup, Dana ordered the force to stop for a few moments in order to ngusok, or “respect”, the omens which they had heard along the road that morning. After this stop they marched further till they reached a certain spot selected by the Orang Kaya Pemancha where they stayed three nights to respect the right-hand voice of ketupong heard by the headmen who had looked for omens five days before. When this was done they marched again till noon. When they came to a certain place Dana ordered his force to stop in order to build a camp where they must stay one night, to respect the voice of the beragai bird which had been heard by the headman when he had taken an augury stick.

Next morning the Orang Kaya Pemancha ordered his troops to march nearer to the border of the enemy’s lands. On the way they made a night stop to respect the voice of the pangkas bird which the headman had heard when he pulled up the tambak burong near the longhouse.

Early next morning, they marched again and reached the border before noon. On their arrival Dana ordered his force to stop and build a camp where they could stay. When the younger warriors were building the camp, Dana ordered Sabok “Gila Berani” and Bedindang to lead a dozen warriors into the forest to guard (ngikup) the troops from a possible surprise attack. They remained there until late at night.

After everyone had had their meal that night the Orang Kaya Pemancha gathered all the warriors together in order to hear the news from Sabok “Gila Berani” and Bedindang who had travelled around while on guard. Bedindang said that they had walked very slowly in the forest as they were not using the usual path. As they came inside the enemy’s country, a few of them had climbed a tall mengeris tree in order to scan the enemy’s position. From the tree top, they saw an enemy longhouse in the distance. After they had seen it, they returned and reached the camp long after night fall. Hearing this Dana asked Bedindang the following questions:

Q. If we leave this place early what time of the day in your estimation will we reach the enemy longhouse?
A. We are sure to reach there before noon.
Q. If we cook our provisions here in the morning will we reach the enemy longhouse in time?
A. If we cook after midnight, we shall have sufficient time to leave this camp early and reach the longhouse before noon.

When the Orang Kaya Pemancha had learned how far away the longhouse was he ordered the warriors to cook their food soon after midnight so that the force could march at day break. He also informed his leading warriors that he was determined to invade not just one longhouse, but all the longhouses on the Undup River. After they had defeated the first longhouse, they would occupy it as a base for their next attack.

Early next morning they left the camp and marched towards the border, where they planned to stay near to the enemy’s longhouse. When they came to the mengeris tree from whose top the spies had seen the enemy longhouse, the Orang Kaya Pemancha ordered his force to stay another night there, in order to discuss the final arrangements for the attack.

After they had eaten that night, Dana called a council of war. In it he commanded that the next day Sabok “Gila Berani” and Bedindang should go with two warriors to spy on the enemy’s movements. Other warriors were detailed guard duty near the camp.

Next day Sabok and Bedindang and two others went to spy on the enemy. They returned to camp long after dark. After they had eaten, Dana called them to him in order to hear what they had seen. Bedindang said that they had only travelled along the path, but had not met any enemy. He said that after they had approached close to the enemy’s longhouse they had scanned it from the top of a tree. The length of the house, according to the spies was about thirty doors. On hearing this Dana ordered the force to stay one more day there. That night, he asked all the warriors to go to bed earlier than usual in order to allow maximum time for dreaming. At the same time he asked that all firewood collected from the forest be dry so that it would not smoke when burned.

Next day while all the younger warriors were busy collecting firewood, the warleaders and their leading warriors discussed the coming raid on the enemy’s longhouse. The leaders were the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang”, Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Paku and Unal “Bulan” of the upper Layar river. Their ideas on the attack were sounded out by Dana in his last council of war the following night. During this informal meeting the Orang Kaya Pemancha asked the people of Kumpang how many longhouses there were in the Undup River. They told him that there were a good many and that the majority of them had only been attacked by them in small kayau anak wars.

Hearing this, Dana assured the Kumpang people that as he had invited all the principal warleaders and leading warriors from the Saribas to join his war, he would not stop raiding the enemy’s houses until he was satisfied of their entire defeat. These words surprised the Kumpang leaders, for they thought that the Orang Kaya Pemancha would only attack one longhouse, and then go back satisfied with a small victory.

That same night after dinner Dana called a council of war. At the beginning of the discussion he begged all present to tell publicly their dreams of the previous night. The people related their dreams; some said that they had had bad dreams while some said that their’s were good. Having heard this Dana asked the dreams of all his leading warriors from the Padeh and Layar rivers. They informed him that they had slept well. Having heard all this, he ordered those whose dreams were inauspicious not to risk themselves in joining the fight, but to return to their base.

The Orang Kaya Pemancha then arranged his leading warriors with those of Linggir “Mali Lebu” and Unal “Bulan” to take up the lead in the attack along three paths in the following order:

1. His own leading warriors from the Padeh were to march along the central path.
2. Linggir’s leading warriors were to march along the right road.
3. Unal “Bulan’s” leading warriors were to march along the left road.
4. The warriors of the Kumpang, Skrang, Lemanak and Seremat were to follow these three divisions of warriors in equal numbers.
5. Sabok ‘Gila Berani” and Bedindang took the lead in front of the other warriors who marched along the central road.

The Orang Kaya Pemancha ordered the warriors who marched along the central path not to enter the enemy’s longhouse. Instead, they should wait for the enemy to come out and kill them as they jumped from the house. After the meeting was over, Dana commanded the leading warriors to march in front of their respective followers along the three paths. During the fighting many of the enemies were killed as the attack took them by surprise during a meal. Of Dana’s warriors only a few were killed and a few wounded. After the longhouse had been defeated his warriors looted the enemy’s valuable jars, brass cannons and gongs.

After the Orang Kaya Pemancha had been told of the result of the raid, he ordered that the longhouse was to be occupied and guarded by his warriors to make it safe from enemy attack. So Bedindang, Sabok, Isek and Senaang led other warriors towards the border with the next longhouse to insure that no enemy could attack their force by surprise. The others who stayed behind hid their loot safely in the jungle around the longhouse which they had occupied.

That evening Dana called a meeting at his place in the occupied longhouse. In it he asked his warriors to remember the way they had attacked and defeated the longhouse they now occupied. He wanted them to follow the same tactics when they raided other longhouses. He then asked Sabok and Bedindang to spy out the position of the next longhouse they wished to attack.

Early next morning Sabok and Bedindang took a few warriors with them to spy on the enemy. When they came to a longhouse, they found it had been deserted a few days previously. Its inhabitants had fled away to places unknown. When they returned they told the Orang Kaya Pemancha about their spying in the Ulu Undup. When the latter learnt that the longhouse had been vacated he ordered that early next day they march there to raid it. He also commanded all of them to cook their food (mansoh) early in order to start at daybreak.

At day break the next morning Dana commanded his warriors to proceed as quickly as they could towards the enemy longhouse to attack it. They marched exactly the same way as they had done during the previous attack. In this raid only two of the enemies were killed by those who attacked along the right and left paths. The house was occupied easily as no one was living in it.

As soon as they had occupied the longhouse, the warriors started to guard it. Of all the warriors who guarded the force, only Sabok and Bedindang dared venture far into the jungle. They managed to reach a certain padi field where they met a man and his wife who were on their way to reinforce the enemy. On seeing them the man’s wife trembled. She and her husband naturally did not recognise Sabok and Bedindang who told them that they were coming from the Merakai in Indonesian Borneo. They asked them whether it was true that Jarup’s longhouse in the Undup had been raided and defeated by the Kumpang Iban. The couple told them that they had only heard the news, and in order to learn more about the accuracy of the story, they were coming thither to meet the people themselves. The man told them that because of this massacre all those who were able to escape from the raid had fled to Sureng’s longhouse in the upper Undup and were living there.

They also told Sabok and Bedindang that Sureng had asked the Kantu’ from Merakai to help defend his longhouse. Bedindang asked where they, the farmer and his wife, came from. They told him that they were Kantu’ who had come from Merakai to reinforce Sureng’s people in their struggle against the Kumpang invaders. Hearing this, Bedindang and Sabok told the farmer that they must return to their house in haste, in order to assist Sureng and his people to defend themselves against the enemy’s raid. Eventually when Sabok and Bedindang reached their troops, they told the Orang Kaya Pemancba that they had met two of the enemy in a padi field who were coming from the Merakai to assist Sureng and his people in the upper Undup to resist their coming attack. They also told the Orang Kaya Pemancha that all the enemy who had escape from their hands had now fled and were living at Rumah Sureng.

On hearing this story Dana turned to the Kumpang headman and asked for his opinion about an attack on Sureng’s house. The headman said that he had complete faith in the Orang Kaya Pemancha and the other Saribas war-leaders and warriors. Next Dana asked for the opinions of the Lemanak, Belambang, Skrang and Seremat regarding the raid on Sureng’s house. These chiefs said that they would join any war the Orang Kaya Pemancha would lead them to fight. Having heard from the Batang Lupar chiefs, Dana asked for the opinions of Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Paku and Unal “Bulan” of the Ulu Layer regarding the intended attack on Sureng’s longhouse at Ulu Undup. Linggir and Unal “Bulan” said that since they had come to reinforce Dana’s force they would not leave him as long as he was still on the warpath.

Hearing this, Dana said that if all were of the opinion to continue the attack on the Undup Iban, he would not hesitate but lead them in an attack on Sureng’s longhouse, where the enemy had fortified themselves with the help of the Kantu’ and others from Indonesian Borneo.

That night the Orang Kaya Pemancha directed his warriors to be on guard in case the enemy came secretly to spy on them. He told them to stay about half a mile from the troops who occupied the longhouse. He warned the guards not to kill the enemy if they saw them massing in the jungle.

Immediately after the evening meal was eaten, Sabok “Gila Berani” and Uyu apai Ikum went out as directed with then” followers to guard the troops, while the others built a stockade to prevent the approach of the enemy. They also made thousands of spears and sharp stakes (tukak) from nibong palms and bamboo.

Next day Bedindang and Uyu went to the padi field where Sabok and Bedindang had met the man and his wife two days previously. The reason for this was that Bedindang thought that the couple might still be waiting for other Kantu’ to come to reinforce Sureng and his people. They did not meet them, so they went further, until they came to a bathing place near Sureng’s longhouse.

Here they saw two men cutting firewood on the river bank. These men asked them where they were from and how many people were with them. They told them that they had come from Merakai, and their friends were bathing in the river below. Bedindang asked one of the men whether there were many people who had already come to reinforce Sureng. The man said a lot had arrived since Jarup’s house in the lower river had been defeated. People from various longhouses in the Merakai were coming every day. Uyu asked the man whether those who had come from Merakai and Sureng’s people planned only to defend the longhouse from the enemy’s attack, or whether they intended to attack the invaders. The man said that after all the warriors had come from the Merakai, and after the preparations for war had been completed, Sureng had decided to lead them to fight the enemy at their stronghold next day.

Hearing this, Uyu and Bedindang told the men that they would bathe with their friends in the river before they went to Sureng’s longhouse. Having said this they returned in haste to their own troops.

When they arrived, the Orang Kaya Pemancha and other warleaders asked for their story. They said that they had reached Sureng’s bathing place. There they had talked with two of the enemy who told them that they and the Kantu from Merakai planned to attack them. Because of this, Uyu advised that they should prepare themselves either to attack or to defend themselves.

That day, Dana told his warriors to fortify the house they occupied with a strong fence and to put a great number of sharp bamboo spikes (tukak) in the ground outside the fence. After the evening meal, Dana called a meeting. In it he arranged for eight trusted warriors under Bedindang and Uyu to attack (negah) the enemy by surprise, after about twenty or so of them had walked inside the area between the main attackers and the longhouse. At the same time he warned that no warrior should attack the enemy before those who were negah had done so not even if the enemy were chasing them.

Early next morning Uyu and Bedindang with Isek and Senaang and their followers went out to do the negah work, about half a mile away from their stockade. Soon after they had hidden themselves in the bush, a large number of enemies came whom they attacked with fearful war cries. Hearing the noise of their shouts those who defended the house also took their stand. When the enemy was in a state of tumult due to the danger of stepping on the sharp spikes, Uyu and his warriors attacked them from behind and killed them in large numbers before they could reach the fortified longhouse.

After the battle was over a considerable number of Orang Kaya Pemancha’s own warriors were found to be wounded and several warriors from Kumpang had been killed in the fight. But as it was still early in the afternoon, the Orang Kaya Pemancha’s troops had sufficient time to bury the corpses of their dead comrades-in-arms. After that they were sadder than when they had defeated the enemy in the previous two longhouses.

That evening after supper, Dana again called a meeting. In it he ordered his force to attack Sureng’s longhouse early next day. He requested all the able-bodied warriors to prepare themselves. Hearing this, Sabok and Isek asked Dana what to do with the wounded warriors. Isek asked if they could be left there.

The Orang Kaya Pemancha said that they should be left behind in order to be looked after by those who could not join the expedition. Sabok thought that it was very risky to leave them behind since if the enemy came to attack the house again, the wounded warriors would be helpless. Dana said that he was sure that the enemy would never come again after they had been defeated so badly only a day before; all Sureng’s reinforcements must have returned home. The Orang Kaya Pemancha also said that in their attack on the enemy’s longhouse the next morning, his troops must start the raid when the enemy was still eating their breakfast.

That night he begged all of them to go to sleep early in order to receive dreams. Soon after they had gone to bed, a number of them dreamed. In the morning when Dana asked them to relate their dream, many of the warriors told him that their dreams were very unsatisfactory for the warpath. So Dana left all of those who had bad dreams in the longhouse to look after their wounded friends. He took with him only those who had had good dreams.

Eventually when they reached Sureng’s longhouse at day break, the Orang Kaya Pemancha personally led his force into the enemy’s longhouse. He was followed by Linggir “Mali Lebu” and Unal “Bulan”. When they walked, sword in hand, along the gallery of the longhouse they found only a few of the enemy in the building. During the assault they killed nearly all of them. After the house had been defeated the Orang Kaya Pemancha and his warriors entered every section of the building where they looted a huge number of valuable jars, gongs of various sizes and porcelains of many kinds.

To mark his victory over the Undup, Dana took back with him to the Padeh, a famous guchi jar (now in the possession of his descendants at Lubok Nibong, Baram), a menaga and a rusa jar. Linggir “Mali Lebu” looted a menagajar (now in the possession of his great-great-grandson, Lemambang Bugak Anak Duat at Matop, Paku). The rest of the warriors also took back with them jars and brassware whose types and sizes are no longer remembered.

Due to their defeat by Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” on the side of the Kumpang Iban, the Undup Iban fled to two different regions. The majority of them went to Salimbau in Kalimantan, and the others to Ulu Lingga where they settled with the Balau Iban. About a decade later, when Mr. Brereton was in charge of Fort James in the Skrang, they were allowed to return to the Undup. But when they came they found that most of the land in the lower river had been occupied by the Skrang, and the upriver by the Kumpang Iban.

In 1843 when James Brooke and Admiral Keppel attacked the Saribas at the mouth of Padeh river, they fought against the old Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang”, his warrior sons and their followers from the Padeh, Spak and the main upper Layar river. It was in this war that he and Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Paku formally submitted to the Government some months later at Tanjong Sabuloh in the lower Saribas. During the meeting the Rajah wrote about them as follows:

The Orang Kaya Pemancha of Saribas is now with me… the dreaded and the brave, as he is termed by the natives. He is small, plain-looking and old, with his left arm disabled, and his body scarred with spear wounds. I do not dislike the look of him, and of all chiefs’ of that river I believe he is the most honest and steers his course straight enough.

Another chief of a tribe came on board, named Linggir, a short man of almost perfect symmetry, serpent eyes, with the strong savage pictured in his physiogomy. While he sat on deck, I could not keep my eyes off his countenance, for there was peculiar character lurking underneath the twinkle of that sharp eye… avarice, cunning, foresight, all within so small a compass.

Note: During this first meeting with Rajah James Brooke after the attack on Saribas in 1843, OKP Dana “Bayang” requested for a permission from Rajah James Brooke to organise a headhunting expedition to the Indonesian side of Borneo. He explained to Rajah James Brooke that his wife had recently passed away, and that he needs fresh heads to end the mourning period for the people in his area. This was in accordance with the tradition and cultural values of the Iban people to perform final religous rites for the death a very important person. Rajah James Brooke lack of knowledge and understanding of the Iban way of life and religious pratices, at the same time, a man whose mission was bent to end piracy and headhunting. promptly denied the request by OKP Dana. As a parting gesture, OKP Dana presented a pua kumbu called “Lebor Api”, woven by his late wife, to Rajah James Brooke. To the local Saribas Iban historian, the objective of presenting the pua Lebor Api to Rajah James Brooke was a sign to seek the Rajah’s help to look for an enemy head to fulfill OKP Dana religious obligation. As it was, the Rajah kept the pua lebor and the whole epic of the event soon evaporates with the Rajah James Brooke focus his attention on expand his influence and administration. OKP Dana continued to lead his people on their headhunting expedition. During the Rajah James Brooke era, he was already an old man, and naturally the most senior of all the Iban leaders in Saribas and Skrang region.

With reference to The Indian Archipelago: Its History and Present State, Vol. II, by Horace Stebbing Roscoe St. John, Published by LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS. London, 1853 page 178, mentioned …

….. “At a council held in 1847, near the confluence of the Sakarran and Batang Lupar rivers, the chief of a considerable tract of country declared, before an embassy from Sir James Brooke, that he would kill the first man who committed another act of piracy, but he was with several others who spoke in a similar tone borne down by the majority. Freebooting was to them the prescriptive privilege of their tribe; the inveterate usage to which the habits of a life had wedded their attachment, their undoubted source of revenue and pleasure. While orators and journalists in England deny their crimes, and condemn their punishment, they avow their offences, and glory in the perpetration of them. The people, indeed, when some of their leaders endeavoured to put an end to piracy, were enraged by this check upon their ancient modes of life, and fled to the villages of the interior. There the chiefs were still attached to their hereditary vocation, and were too sensible of its profitable nature to relinquish it until compelled.”

The treaty as extracted  from THE INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO: ITS HISTORY AND PRESENT STATE by Horace St. John. Published by LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS. London, 1853.

The Saribas Treaty

“What was of still greater importance than this coercive device, intended for the repression of piracy, was a sealed engagement accepted by the Serebas chiefs to abandon it altogether.

” This is an engagement made by Orang Kaya Pamancha, together with the headmen and elders, Dyaks, now inhabiting the country of Padi, with the Rajah, Sir James Brooke, who rules the country of Sarawak and its dependencies. Now the Orang Kaya Pamancha, the headmen and elders, Dyaks, swear before God, and God is the witness of the Orang Kaya Pamancha, the headmen and elders, Dyaks, that truly, without falsehood or treachery, or any evil courses, but in all sincerity, and with clean hearts, without spot, with regard to the former evil acts, we will never do them in future.

” Article 1 . The Orang Kaya Pamancha, the headmen and elders, Dyaks of Padi, engage in truth, that they will never plunder or pirate again hereafter ; and that they will never again send out men to plunder and pirate from Padih river.

” Article 2. The Orang Kaya Pamancha, the headmen and elders, Dyaks, engage, that if there be any committal of, or consultations to commit, plunder or piracy, or other evil doings of the kind, it is our duty to come and report it at Sarawak.

” Article 3. The Orang Kaya Pamancha, the headmen and elders, Dyaks, engage, that if people of Serebas or of Sakarran, commit acts of plunder and piracy, which they cannot prevent, we are bound to come to the English, or to the people of Sarawak, to punish the people who so act.

” Article 4. With regard to traders in the Padi river. The trade with them shall be fair and honest, and traders shall be taken care of, and shall not be plundered or molested, or treated improperly. If such people do not choose to trade they shall not be troubled, and if there be debts due to them, they shall be examined into and settled with judgment.

” Article 5. If the Rajah sends people to Padi they will be received, and shall not be troubled or prevented; and if the Rajah sends people to investigate, and see what is doing in Padi, they shall be received and taken care of.

” Article 6. They shall state with sincerity, that they desire peace and friendship and goodwill with all men, and they engage with sincerity that they will never again go out to plunder and pirate as formerly.”

Note: An original local historian source, Bediman Anak Ketit, also a direct descendant of  OKP Dana “Bayang” mentioned that the incident at Tanjong Kauk happens when Dana was still at a very young age. A revised version of OKP Dana story will be published very soon to incorporate this changes based on Bediman Anak Ketit account.

Dana “Bayang” contracted smallpox and died in 1854, with one of his sons named Umpu who also died of the same disease.

After Dana “Bayang’”s death he was succeeded as chief of the Padeh and upper Layar by his third son Aji, who, although younger than Nanang and Luyoh, was braver and showed better leadership than his elder brothers. He ruled only four years and died in the Sungei Langit war in 1858. He was succeeded as chief by Nanang who was promoted to the rank of Orang Kaya Pemancha in 1886.

Mujah “Buah Raya” of the Entabai.

Mujah “Buah Raya” was a famous warleader of the Entabai Iban from the 1840s to the 1860s. Because of his bravery and leadership in war he was given the title of Penglima by Sharif Masahor of Mukah.

Penglima Mujah came from the Skrang. In about 1840 he migrated to the Saribas and lived temporarily at the foot of Sadok Mountain, farming the lands in the upper Spak tributary. When living in the Spak, “Buah Raya” frequently visited the Saribas warleaders, such as Igoh apai Lamban of the upper Layar, Unal “Bulan” of the lower Spak and the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” of the Padeh, where he studied general interpretations of omens and the tactics of war. After he had obtained considerable knowledge of warfare, Mujah “Buah Raya” thought it was no longer worthwhile for him to remain in the Saribas country where a number of warleaders were already living. With this thought in mind he paid a visit to an Iban named Encharang who lived in the upper Anyut tributary of the Paku River. On his arrival very few people in the house recognised him.

That evening the usual gathering to honour a visitor was held for him on Encharang’s communal galley. He stayed in Encharang’s house for several days. During a conversation with Majang (or Balai), the son of Encharang, Mujah told him that the purpose of his visit was to ask for the hand of Andak. Andak was the daughter of Encharang and his wife Belayau, and, of course, the sister of Majang. Encharang said that he would agree to his daughter’s marriage, if Mujah “Buah Raya” and his family moved from the Spak to live with his wife in the same longhouse at a place now called Tembawai Tingkah.

Some time later in his conversation with the people of the Anyut, Mujah “Buah Raya” related to them that the main reason of his migration from the Skrang to the Spak was to extend the territory possessed by the Iban. But instead of being interested in his plan, he said, the chiefs Unal “Bulan” and Igoh apai Lamban were only interested in warfare. They did not care about obtaining more lands for the Iban community to live in. He admitted that he was also interested in warfare, as it was one of an Iban man’s aims to become a warleader or a renowned warrior, but as far as he was concerned at that time he would very much like to become a migration leader to new land outside the areas which the Iban occupied in the Batang Lupar and Saribas rivers.

Therefore he suggested to them that they should follow him to look for new lands in the upper Entabai, a tributary of the Kanowit, which adjoins the upper Layar lands. He said that due to the emptiness of the lands in the upper Entabai and Kanowit rivers, any permanent settlements there would be very safe. With regard to the small numbers of Paku and Krian Bukitan who had settled in the Julau, Mujah “Buah Raya” felt sure that with Iban migration to the country they would no longer wander as nomads as they now did, but would re¬group for safety in one locality in the lower Julau River.

Furthermore, Mujah “Buah Raya” suggested that after they had settled permanently in the new country, the Iban should be friendly with the Bukitan, in order to use them, as they had been used by the Paku chiefs in past centuries, to defend themselves from the hostile Punan, Ukit, Beliun and people of other races along the Rejang and its tributaries.

The people of Anyut could not be persuaded to leave their lands to migrate to the Entabai, nor would any member of Mujah “Buah Raya” wife’s family agree to do so. Not only did his wife Andak refuse to migrate with him but she divorced him. As this separation was not because of a quarrel, but by mutual consent, both Mujah “Buah Raya” and Andak, as custom required, exchanged rings (tinchin kuntu) to prove the sincerity of their sarak sempekat divorce.

After his divorce from Andak, the daughter of Encharang of the Anyut, Mujah “Buah Raya” looked for another Paku girl who was prepared to follow him and be his wife in the upper Makop, a tributary of the Entabai. In spite of Mujah’s bravery, courage and handsome stature, no Paku girl of the lower river and Anyut tributary had the courage to leave her country and travel to the new lands where Mujah wished to settle. At that time all countries west and north of the Saribas were considered far places by the Iban community. So, Mujah “Buah Raya” went to Penom to ask a girl named Mapong to be his wife. But neither she nor her parents would agree, due to the distance of the country to which Mujah “Buah Raya” wished to take her.

During his stay of several years at Ulu Anyut, Mujah “Buah Raya’”s family had success¬fully gathered a great amount of rice which they sold or lent to the needy. A certain poor woman named Jerinah could not pay her debt to Mujah “Buah Raya’”s family before the eve of their departure for Entabai. Under the circumstances, she might have become the slave of her creditor. However to keep her from becoming Mujah “Buah Raya’”s slave, a man named Tamin paid her debt, so that she automatically become a low class member of the latter’s family.

Eventually, after Mujah “Buah Raya” had finished with his preparations to migrate, he led those who would follow him along the Keladan range and on to the range of hills between the source of Ngiau and Jaloh and between Jaloh and Penom. From the later hill they travelled to the hills which separate the sources of the Layar and Entabai rivers. While “Buah Raya” and his followers lived in this locality, they were joined by people from the upper Layar. At this time the Ulu Layar warleaders Igoh apai Lamban and his fighters attacked the Bukitan. Igoh appointed Mujah “Buah Raya” to become joint leader of the expedition, and as a result of this attack the Bukitan who lived in the upper Entabai, Julau, Entaih and Kanowit rivers began to group together in a single locality in the lower Kanowit river.

After the war with the Bukitan was over, Mujah “Buah Raya” decided to move further downriver with his followers. They settled at the mouth of the Engkaup. While they were building their longhouse here, some of the warriors returned to their house in the upper Entabai to look after their women and children. Mujah “Buah Raya” directed that if the enemy attacked the longhouse, these warriors were to take the women and children back to safety in the upper Layar.

After “Buah Raya” and his people had lived at Engkaup for several years, they decided to move further downriver. But before doing this, due to the hospitality of the Bukitan, they first spied out a place called Nanga Namangu where they intended to build their house. The pematau (spies) went down the Entabai in two long canoes. On their arrival at the mouth of Namangu tributary, the spies slept in their boats for fear of a Bukitan ambush.

After they had built the house, they returned upriver to fetch their wives and children. But when they arrived, they found that a lot of newcomers had gathered there, who wished to migrate with them and settle in the new country.

That evening Mujah “Buah Raya” held a meeting in which he criticised the tactics of the Saribas warleaders who had attacked a lot of places southeast of Sarawak towards Pontianak, but had not taken them over for settlement. He warned his people not to copy Saribas tactics while following him. Mujah “Buah Raya” also told his people to build two large warboats in which to fight the enemy in the new country. As he said he had dreamed that if Kumang the goddess did not fail him this new country, the Kanowit district, would be his. Soon after the warboats were completed, Mujah “Buah Raya” and his leading warriors went to the Layar and Paku asking for steel to be made into the sangkoh, berayang, perambut, bujak and berayang betuok spears for war. He explained that with these weapons they could defeat their enemies and get their land. He also said that after the land had been taken over by them, it should be populated by the Layar, Paku, Skrang and Lemanak Iban. Finally, he assured his friends that he was certain to get all the Kanowit lands if during the conquest he did not attack any tribe who lived outside the Kanowit River.

Shortly after he had returned from visiting the Saribas, Uyu apai Ikum of the upper Julau visited him. Uyu was one of Mujah “Buah Raya’”s warrior. He came to ask whether the Iban of this new settlement had any enemies to fight. Mujah “Buah Raya” said that the Bukitan had gone to live together in the upper Sugai tributary and were no longer dangerous to the Iban migrants. Mujah “Buah Raya” told Uyu that only the Bukitan who lived along the main Julau River, in the Binatang, Nyelong and Sarikei rivers could be attacked. On hearing this, Uyu and other warriors repaired their warboats. Early next morning before the force left for war, the woman and maidens rubbed the boats with guru oil and tepus, and long rolls of the sweet scented balong fruits were tied by coloured strings to the top of the boats to encourage the fighting men.

After two nights on the way, they reached the mouth of the Julau River where they raided an unprepared enemy village and killed and captured many of the enemy. But as the raid was completed early in the afternoon, the warriors urged Mujah “Buah Raya” to attack the Segalang and Rajang villages inside the Kanowit River. So they attacked these as well and killed and captured many of the enemy. During these attacks none of Mujah “Buah Raya’”s warriors were killed or even wounded. After their successful raids against these villages, Mujah “Buah Raya” and his fighters returned home to celebrate an enchaboh arong festival in honour of the head trophies they had taken.

After this conquest was over, Mujah “Buah Raya” often led his followers to attack the Lugat, Bukitan, Rajang, Seru and Melanau at, and northwest of, the mouth of the Rejang. It was due to Mujah “Buah Raya’”s successful attacks on these tribes that today the Layar, Lemanak, and Skrang inhabit the Kanowit, Sarikei, Sibu and Binatang districts. Besides this, Mujah “Buah Raya” helped Unggat and Gerinang subdue their enemies in the Rejang and Baleh rivers in order to secure these lands for the Iban migrants who came from the Batang Ai and Batang Kanyau rivers.

Extract from articles originally written by Benedict Sandin & Professor Clifford Sather.
Re-compile for weblog publication by Gregory Nyanggau Mawar.
Published in the Sarawak Musuem Journal, Volume XLVI, titled “Source of Iban Traditional History”, Part 1, 2 & 3.

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Early Iban Migration History – Part 1

Myth and History – Early Migrations and the Origins of Iban Culture

In ancient times, when the island of Borneo was still only sparsely inhabited, those who dwelled there lived in fear of many kinds of demons, dwarfs and spirits. These beings might either look after men or else punish them with death if they broke taboos.

As spirits (antu) were everywhere, men had to be very careful in what they said and did. They could not speak arrogantly when they fished the river or hunted the forests. If they did so, boasting that they could easily obtained fish or game, their efforts would come to nothing. Similarly, an individual was strictly forbidden to mock other living things; if he did so, the spirit would destroy him with kudi, a violent supernatural storm in which a culprit and all his belongings were turned to stone (batu kudi). Houses and human beings believed to have been petrified in the past can still be seen in many places in Sarawak.

Migration from Kapuas River mouth upriver: Where the Ibans meet the Arab Traders.

In these very early times, because of the presence of spirits all around them, settlers in Borneo frequently discussed the nature and dwelling place of the gods and spirits, to find the best way to worship and pay respect to them. The Muslim missionaries had already started to arrive to trade and spread their Islamic teachings to this part of the country. They had already established their foothold in the islands of Sumatra and Java and gradually weakened the Hindu Majapahit Empire. It was at about this time, at a place called Ketapang in Northwest Kalimantan, there lived a very famous Iban ancestor named Bejie. The Muslim missionaries had frequently spoken of the almighty god named Allah whose abode is high in the sky. The people began to believe that this god is living above all other deities of this world. On hearing this, Bejie thought of an idea to visit the almighty Allah in the sky to ask god personally about the best way for his people to worship and pay respect to god. He called for a large meeting of his people to discuss the construction of a stairway, on the tallest enchepong tree in the country, to reach heaven. They all agreed to his proposal hoping that they could reach god’s house in heaven.

The ladder was constructed from ironwood (belian) trunk. The base of the ladder was planted at the base of the enchepong tree branches to reach the next branch. Eventually, after some years, the top of the ladder stood above the cloud. As Bejie and his men, all dressed up to visit almighty Allah in the sky, made a final climb to heaven. As they proceed up the ladder, the enchepong tree unfortunately gave way due to the sheer weight of the ironwood ladder. Its root had been rotten and eaten away by termites throughout the construction period. As the ladder collapsed, Bejie and his followers fell headlong to the earth. The ladders landed on various rivers throughout the west-central Borneo. Any ironwood trunk which may be found inside many rivers, are known as “Tangga Bejie”, and it is a taboo to use it to construct any part of the longhouse as it would bring bad omen to the house owner.

Before the construction of the ladder, Bejie had assigned his brother named Bada to lead his people. Bejie had also begot a son named Nisi whose praised name was “Bunga besi enda semaia makai tulang”. Nisi begot a son named Antu Berembayan Bulu Niti Berang who was the father of Telichu, Telichai and Ragam. Ragam was the mother of Manang Jarai (or Manang Tuai – the first Iban shaman).

After the death of Bejie, their people moved to Kayung. There were other Iban along the coast at the time, especially at Trusan Tanjong Bakong and in general around the mouth of Kapuas River. After Bejie’s descendant had settled there for quite sometime, Arab traders arrived in large sailing ship from Jeddah. They do barter trade with the Ibans exchanging clothes and spices for rice and jungle products. This was the first time the Iban had ever seen woven clothes. Before then, they had only lion clothes and skirts made from barks of trees.

As more Arab traders and Muslim missionary came to trade with the Ibans, many Ibans were converted to this new faith. Soon, divisions began to appear among the Iban leaders between those who adopted the Muslim faith and those who still followed traditional beliefs. Those who chose to follow traditional ways of life began to separate themselves and moved up river in large number. Those who were prepared to accept Islamic teachings, stayed at Kayung. They began to call themselves the Malay of Pontianak, Sampit, Kayung, Sukadana and Sambas. In time, they began to marry new Malays who had come to trade in Kalimantan, especially the traders from Minangkabau in Sumatra.

Due to the tolerances of the Iban people, no reported incidents were recorded in their songs with regards to this manner of separation or with Muslims in particular. This tolerance has been the major factor that contributes to the prosperity and harmony of the Iban people living together with other people of different races and religions to this present day. Infact, the Ibans thrive well under this circumstance because they are hardworking people, a tribute found in the pioneering spirits of their ancestors. Only those who were crazy for power and wealth brought major conflict to this country, not the tolerant and resilient Ibans.

The Ibans then moved further up the Kayung until they reached a place called Ulu Landak. After settling there for sometimes, some of them migrated up the Melawi River. After settling along the banks of Melawi River for three generations, their leaders, Raja Ningkan, Sagan-Agan, Bedali and Jugah called for a large meeting to discuss further migrations. They agreed to migrate and separate from their relatives, and they built many large boats with the help of those who wished to remain behind. It is also to be noted that all the material wealth or properties that the Iban people value today is the same as that which was valued by the people of Malawi in the past, especially the old Chinese jars and brasswares.

From Melawi, they separated and moved to the Sintang River where the passed a large areas of farmland. They looked for the owner of the farmland and were told that the farmland owner had moved to Pontianak and that they could farm there that year only as the informer could not guarantee that the owner would not return to reclaim the land. They started to plant padi that year and had a bountiful harvest. After the harvest, they left the area to live at the mouth of Sintang River for one year.

From Nanga Sintang, the Iban went up the Kapuas where they meet other people. They found that not many people had settled along the right bank of the Kapuas River, as majority of them preferred to live along the more fertile land of the left bank. From the main Kapuas River, they went up the Sakayam tributary. From the mouth of this river, all lands on both banks are owned by the Mualang Dayaks. It took them two full days to reach the first Mualang Dayak Longhouse from its mouth. They stayed only a few nights in the Mualang Dayak Longhouse.

In their conversation with the Mualangs, Jugah and Bedali told the Mualangs the story of their movements since they left the Kayung settlement. They told the Mualangs that they had separated from their relatives who had been converted to Muslims by the Arab missionaries to avoid conflict and religious persecution. They told them that they had lived in the Melawi and had migrated down the Sintang River to look for new lands in which to settle. They asked the Mualangs whether they might give them land to live on. The Mualangs told them that although there was still a lot of virgin forest on both banks of the Sakayam, as the Iban had seen, all the land belongs along both banks had been claimed by them from its mouth up to the settlement they had reached.

The Mualang further told the Iban that all the lands above their settlement belonged to the Chengkang Dayaks, and then further up to Balai Kerangan, the land belonged to the Sebaru Dayaks. All land beyond that belonged to the Remun Dayaks.

The Iban told the Mualang that they did not want to migrate further and wished to settle alongside the Mualang there. The Mualang agree only if the Iban agreed to live in the same longhouse with them. The Iban finally agreed to live in the same longhouse with the Mualang. They lived many years with them, and a great number of them intermarried, becoming Mualang.

After the Iban had greatly multiplied; they separated from the Mualang and moved to the Sanggau River. Here they lived much closed to the Bugau Dayaks. After some years of staying there, the moved to Semitau under their chiefs, Raja Ningkan, Jenua, Jugah, Rawing, Jimbun, Sagan-Agan and Jengkuan. All these chiefs were brave men. Due to their bravery and aggressiveness, all other Dayaks were afraid of them.

The Story of Chief Jimbun and the Spirit Crocodile:

One day while the Iban were settled at Semitau under the leadership of various chiefs, a chief named Jimbun visited the abode of the crocodile spirits which prey on human, just as the man from Sungkong had visited the abode of the spirit tigers related later in this article. Chief Jimbun was making knife in a hut near the bank of the Kapuas River. While he was doing this, his daughter went to the river to bathe where she was suddenly caught by a crocodile. Hearing a loud splash in the river, Jimbun stood up and look out toward the river where he saw his daughter’s leg appeared on the surface while her body was beneath the surface of the water. Sensing the danger his daughter was in, he immediately jumped into the river and followed the crocodile as far as a place called Tubai Raong pool. There the crocodile had carried the girl into a huge river pocket under an over-hanging bank. This river pocket was a well known abode of crocodiles. Being a very brave man, Jimbun dived deep into the river pocket. There he found to his surprise that he had arrived at a large longhouse. As he walked along its inner passageway, he saw an old man reclining near a hearth to warm himself. This old man was herd grumbling, “It is you who are guilty. You have caught a daughter of a man. Due to your sin, if a man chooses to take revenge on you, you will be justly killed by him”. As Jimbun came nearer, he asked the old man what he had been grumbling about.

“Don’t you hear the noise in that room?” the old man asked. “It is the noise of the people who are eating the daughter of a man whom one of them had caught while she was bathing in the river.”

Jimbun told the old man that it was his daughter who had been caught by a crocodile. He asked whether he could kill a guilty person, who had killed his innocent daughter.

“Don’t do that now as there are too many people in the room. You may kill only those who are guilty, but not the others.” He advised Jimbun to poison the slayer of his daughter with the poisonous bark of a tree which Jimbun must collect at Bukit Bulan, opposite the crocodile longhouse. He directed Jimbun to place several pieces of this bark on the door of the house that night in order to poison the slayer of his daughter as well as those who had taken part in consuming the girl’s flesh.

Jimbun then went out to the Bulan Hill to collect the bark as instructed by the old man. After bringing it back, he hid himself in the bushes outside the longhouse.

Late in the evening, after the people in the longhouse had gone to sleep, Jimbun took the poisonous bark and placed it at the door of the slayer’s apartment. He also placed the bark elsewhere in the house, so that it would be touched by other people who were actually crocodiles. As soon as he had done this, he hid himself again. From his hiding place he heard the growls and cries of many people dying by poison. In the morning, there was a deathly silence in the longhouse. Jimbun went in and saw many bodies lying dead all over the longhouse. After he was satisfied with the result of his revenge, he met the old man, who was still alive. The old man sent him to the road junction which would lead Jimbun back to his own house at Semitau Tuai.

Shortly after he had left the old man, all of a sudden Jimbun found himself miraculously standing on the bank above the bathing place of his longhouse people. His fellow men saw him there and they were very happy for his safe return.

Soon after Jimbun’s return, the chiefs named Sera Gindik and Empangai called for a grand conference to plan for a new migration from Semitau to the Batang Ai region in Sarawak border. All those who attended the conference agreed to the migration plan. The Iban living at Semitau then made preparations to move to the Ketungau region, a true right tributary of the Kapuas. It will be from Ketungau region that they will send scouts to the Batang Ai to survey the suitable land for farming. The scouts returned to inform them that there are plenty of land for farming as well as the abundance of fish in the rivers and plenty of game in the forest.

On hearing these reports, the Iban were very pleased. The wasted no more time at the Ketungau region and migrate quickly to this new country. Before their separations, they agreed not to become disunited to avoid being beaten by other tribes like the Bukitans, Seru, Ukit, Kantu and other tribes they encounter in their migration journey.

From the Kapuas, the Iban ascended the Ketungau River to a place called Bila Dua. Here they intended to settle for a time at Tapang Peraja. As they were about to land their boat at Bila Dua, they heard the call of an omen bird, Bejampong (crested jay), from the right hand bank of the river. On hearing this, a council of chiefs was held and it was declared that they should stay there in temporary huts for seven days to honour the call of the omen bird, Bejampong. Afterwards, a second meeting was held to discuss the implications the Bejampong augury. In this meeting, Chief Sagan-Agan assured them that they should not leave that place until they have stayed there for three farming years.

The Story of Telichu:

Telichu and his younger brother Telichai loves to hunt animals for food. They owned a number of dogs they trained for hunting down animals. They were soon became expert hunters and spent many days in the jungle away from the comfort of their longhouse. They do not need to plant rice as they could barter trade their smoked or fresh meat for rice grains with their fellow people.

As the brothers grew into adulthood, Telichu physical appearance became noticeably very strange from that of his brother Telichai. His body had grown to be very hairy and as big as the trunk of a Tapang tree when they hunt in the jungle alone. His eyes were as big as saucers with ears as big as a winnowing basket. His height was as tall as the sibau raras tree. He also began to consume raw meat from the game he caught. Telichai became very frightened as the result of his brother’s strange transformation. It was only when they arrived home from their hunt that Telichu’s appearance began to transformed back to normal again. As time went by, Telichai began to feel the fear of going out hunting with his brother. All these fear were not told to his immediate family and their people. During the night of the full moon or thunderstorm, Telichu became restless and would go out hunting alone.

One full moon night, Telichai decided to follow Telichu on a hunting trip. Before they left, Telichu instructed Telichai to tie a yellow band around his wrist. Telichai asked him the purpose, to which Telichu replied, “With the yellow arm band, I can recognize you from other animals.” Telichai dared not asked any further.

When they left their house and entered the forest, Telichu’s appearance began to change into a hairy demon. They both separated to hunt after agreeing to meet at their base camp after they have caught their game. Telichai caught a wild boar and brought it back to their camp. There, he heard his brother Telichu was already there with his game, sitting in the shadow of full moonlight. Telichai then light up the camp fire to process his kill. It was then that he saw his brother sitting quietly, eating a freshly killed game he had caught. He had fully transformed into a demon huntsman, most feared by the Dayak.

Telichai nervously asked his brother the cause of his strange appearance. He answered that he had turned into an Antu Gerasi, a type of demon that hunts the unfortunate souls of human beings who disobeyed the warnings revealed to them in dreams and omens. He also told them that he could no longer live with them. He also taught Telichai how to protect themselves from these demon huntsmen by burning the bark of a lukai tree during the night of full moon and during thunderstorm. It is during these nights that the demon would come out to roam the earth and feed on souls of the unfortunate human.

Before they went their separate ways, they divide their hunting dogs equally. Those that followed Telichu into the demons’ world turned into a type of lizard called Pasun. The Ibans believed that, if they hear this Pasun lizard nearby, a demon huntsman is not far away and they should quickly abandon their work activity and return home to burn lukai bark. It was because of this incident that the Iban people believe that the present day Antu Gerasi is the descendants of Telichu.

After losing his brother, Telichai married to Endu Dara Sia Bunsu Kamba, the inheritor of a Tajau Rusa Jar. She came from a marshy country full of maram palms. They begot Si Gundi, Berenai Sugi, Lalak Pala, Kurong Mayang and Retak Dai. Si Gundi also known as Gila Gundi, migrated to his wife’s family at Panggau Libau and begot a son named Keling who became the greatest hero of the Panggau Libau and the most legendary hero to the Iban people. Retak Dai married to Kelitak Darah Menyadi, a sister of Lemambang Sampang Gading, and begot a son named Serapoh, under whom the Iban cultural heritage developed further.

Serapoh learn the correct rules of mourning:

It was while they settled at Bila Dua that a chief named Serapoh started a war with the Kantu tribe. Serapoh, as mentioned earlier was the son of Retak Dai and Kelitak Darah Menyadi. Retak Dai was a direct descendant of Bejie through Telichai, whose story was mentioned earlier. Serapoh was also a first cousin of Keling, whose father, Si Gundi or Gila Gundi married, settled and eventually became leader of the Panggau People.

The war with Kantu tribe came in the following manner. At the death of his parents, Serapoh buried them in their burial ground. Misfortune soon followed, for shortly after the burial many more deaths took place in the longhouse. During this period, a stranger from an unknown country arrived at their longhouse and asked them why they looked so sad and discontented. They told the stranger that it was because of so many deaths, which caused them much despair. The stranger then asked them how they paid respect to the bodies of their dead when they buried them. They told him the things that they had done and the rules they had followed.

“It is not surprising that many of you have died, as you have no proper rules to observe mourning and burying the dead.” the stranger told them.

He said that he was a spirit named Apai Puntang Raga, and he advised them of the proper way to pay respect to the dead and the rules which they should follow in future in connection with burial and mourning. These rules, attributed to Apai Puntang Raga, are as follows:

1. Immediately after death, the corpse must be properly washed and dressed in its best dress. After this its forehead is marked with three yellow spot of turmeric, and finally the corpse is moved to the gallery (ruai), where it is placed inside an enclosure of woven blanket called “sapat”.

2. On the next day, before the funeral takes place, food must be offered to the coffin before it is placed inside a coffin. At the cemetery, the coffin must be buried deep underneath the earth.

3. When people return from the burial ground, the windows in the deceased’s room must be kept close particularly at night; for it is said that while it is dark in this world, it is light in the after world and vice versa. At the same time, a sacred mourning jar is tied up by a senior lady of the longhouse, selected for this purpose.

4. That same evening, a ritual fire must be lit in a special hut where food is placed for each of three evenings. The reason for this is fear that the dead person might stray up to the longhouse and disturb the souls of the living.

5. For the same three days, an old woman will be appointed to eat black rice (asi chelum), for black rice in this world is white in the other world (sebayan).

6. The sacred mourning jar is not to be opened except by a warrior who has managed to obtain a head; or by any man who can present a human head which he obtained in a duel; or by a man who has returned from a sojourn in enemy country.

7. After the mourning period expires, a special feast known as the Gawai Rugan or Gawai Antu must be held as the last ritual for the dead.

8. During the whole period of mourning right up to the Gawai Antu festival, no widow or widower may remarry or anoint themselves with perfumes and colored powder, or dressed themselves with colored garments. If such things happen, the offender will be brought before their respective chief and fined of being disrespectful to the relatives of the deceased.

Having thus advised them, Apai Puntang Raga vanished, and Serapoh began to observe the burial procedures and mourning rules as instructed by the spirit Apai Puntang Raga. He also began to worry about obtaining a human head so that they can perform the ritual to end the mourning period. With that in mind, Serapoh decided to go to other Dayak country in the region. He took with him a menaga jar in order to stake a wager with any man who might wish to engage him in a death combat for it. The search for challenger was fruitless as there was no one who would accept his menaga jar and the challenge. In those days, there were no enmity between the Iban people and the other Dayak tribes he visited.

Finally, Serapoh reached a certain country belonging to the Kantu tribe, where he met a man and his son. He enquired from the father whether he would be willing to exchange his son for the jar. To this suggestion the man blindly agreed, and Serapoh happily returned to his country with the young boy on his back.

On his arrival, while still some distance from his longhouse, Serapoh killed the boy. After burying the body in the forest, Serapoh went up the ladder of the longhouse and shouted victoriously, while holding the boy’s head on one hand and pointing his sword skyward with the other hand. The longhouse resident woke up to rejoice the opening of mourning jar and to mark the end of mourning period. There was no more despair due to death caused sickness or supernatural calamity or disaster. Very soon, unknown to Serapoh, he was to suffer from the fate of losing his three sons in a war he already waged with the Kantu tribe.

Dayak War with Kantu Tribe:

When the Kantu people heard of what Serapoh did to a Kantu boy he had adopted in exchange for a valuable menaga jar, they got very agitated by the act and at once gathered themselves to form a troop to invade the Iban country and take their revenge on Serapoh. At this time, the Iban were in the middle of their farming season and Serapoh farm had been badly damaged by wild boar. He ordered his three sons, Chundau, Sampaok and Bada to go out to the farm to assess the damage. At first all his sons refused to go out to the farm and told their father that they had bad dreams the previous night. Their father was adamant to their excuses and ordered them to their farm at once. His three sons did as their father had instructed and proceed to the family farm. While they were inspecting the padi field along the edge of the farm, the Kantu warriors who had laid an ambush fell upon them and none escape.

When the brothers did not return for midday lunch, his father sent her daughter named Remi to take food to her brothers. As she came to the edge of the farm, she called for them, but no one answered. She went to the top of the hill and found the corpse of one lying headless. She ran on down the hill and midway, she found another corpse lying headless. From there she ran down to the bottom of the valley and found the last one lying headless. She then went home in terror to tell her father of the tragedy. The longhouse resident then sounded an alarm by beating brass gongs to warn the other longhouse member who were working in their respective farm of the intruders. When they have all returned home, Serapoh organized a search party to bring his three dead sons back and to track where the intruders had came from. Once they knew that the intruders had come from a Kantu territory, they returned home to organize a funeral for the three slain brothers.

During the funeral that evening, Remi took a nyabor sword and climbed to the roof of their longhouse. In her sorrow, she sat there and wailed out calling for her brothers as follows:

“Oh! Indeed it is sad that my elder brother Chundau was killed and is lost; he will no doubt turn into a great nabau snake, whose back is piebald!”

“Oh! Indeed it is sad that my elder brother Sempaok was killed, whose legs had sunk in the mud; he will no doubt take the form of a gibbon (empliau arang)!”

“Oh! Indeed it is sad that my brother Bada was killed, he will soon become a crocodile which opens its wide mouth!”

That night when everyone was quiet and asleep, a man came quietly to Remi’s bed and woke her. In surprise, Remi asked who the stranger was. She felt that his hair was as sharp as the quill of a porcupine; his nails were as sharp as knives, and his legs were as strong as a weaver’s beam. The stranger told her that his name is Damu (“hairy in the nostril”), and that his nickname was Rukok (“cobweb in the hollow of a bamboo”), a spirit that inhibits the sugar cane plant, whose smell is that of sinang. “I am Bujang, a great leader on the war path. I am also called Bujang Bula who carries his belongings in a basong basket; also known as mischievous bachelor who often goes first at the head of warriors. I came here because I heard you crying inconsolably late in the night.” (Damu ke bebulu idong nensang ka lubang, Rukok ke bejulok apok papong tengkiong, nempuah bau sinang, Bujang pasak jalu, pematak bala nyerang)

In her soft, gentle voice, Remi replied, “I am bound to weep sorrowfully, since I am now left helpless after the death of my three brothers who were killed in a raid by the Kantu people.”

“Oh! You need not worry about it,” said Rukok. “I am here in order to marry you, if you will consent.”

“How can I marry you when I am in sorrow,” replied Remi.

After a long conversation, Remi told the man that if he wished to marry her, he must seek permission from her father. Rukok then went outside to the gallery (ruai) where he waited for the aged Serapoh to come out from his room. In the early dawn, Serapoh came out and lit a fire at his fireplace on the gallery to warm himself. Rukok moved over and sat close to the old man, who immediately asked him who he was and the purpose of his visit. Rukok told him that he had came to ask permission to marry his daughter Remi. This request surprised Serapoh very much.

He immediately related to Rukok his sorrow after the death of his three sons. “If you are willing to pay me an honorable bride-wealth, then I will consent to your marriage with my daughter,” Serapoh said.

Rukok then asked Serapoh what should be an honorable bride-wealth for the marriage. Serapoh then said that he would give his consent to the marriage after he had collected as many Kantu head as possible. Hearing this, Rukok told Serapoh not to worry, as he is obliged to fulfill his wishes.

A few days later, Rukok set out with his brother-in-law named Sampar, the only surviving brother of Remi, and a few selected warriors to attack the Kantu people. Under Rukok leadership, the Iban successfully defeated the Kantu tribe and looted their country. The enemy heads were presented to Serapoh and with it the ritual to end the mourning period for his sons were performed and thereafter, Rukok and Remi’s marriage were solemnized.

After a very successful first raid, Rukok led three more major raids to other Kantu longhouses. Besides these wars, he also led numerous kayau anak, or smaller scale raids, against other tribe who allied themselves to the Kantu people. The Kantu, as well as their neighboring allies, were subjugate by Serapoh’s men and surrendered.

After the submission of the Kantu tribe, Rukok then started to teach Sampar on the proper conduct of war by a war leader as follows:

1. If a war leader leads a party on an expedition, he must not allow his warrior to fight a guiltless tribe which has no quarrel with them.

2. If the enemy surrenders he may not take their lives, lest his army be unsuccessful in future warfare, fighting empty handed war raids (balang kayau).

3. The first time that a warrior takes a head or captures a prisoner, he must present the head or captive to the war leader in acknowledgement of the latter’s leadership.

4. If a warrior takes two heads or two captives, or more, one of each must be given to the war leader; the remainder belongs to the killer or captor.

5. The war leader must be honest with his followers in order that in future wars he may not be defeated (alah bunoh)

When Rukok had finished giving those instructions to Sampar, he presented him with various charms for war expeditions.

Some days afterward, Remi gave birth to a son whom they named Menggin or Meng. Immediately after the birth of their son, Rukok told his family that he wished to return to his own homeland, because all of their enemies had surrendered. He told them that Sampar was old enough to become their leader in his place. Before he left them, he taught the Iban to observe strictly the following rules:

1. No one is allowed to commit adultery

2. If a man commits adultery with the wife of a war leader, he is to be fined fourteen jabir, which is equivalent to $14.00 and the woman is to be fined the same.

3. If a man commits adultery with a well known warrior’s wife (bini manok sabong) he and the woman are to be fined 12 jabir, which is equivalent to $12.00 each.

4. After a person’s death, the wife or husband of the deceased is to be known as balu, widow or widower.

5. If a person has sexual intercourse with a widow or widower it is a great sin called butang antu. The offenders are to be fined in accordance with customary law.

6. No widow ar widower may remarry until after his or her deceased spouse has been honoured by the payment of a small fine made to the relatives of the deceased, later given back, in a ritual called ngambi tebalu mata’ within about six months; or ngambi tebalu mansau after the feast of Gawai Rugan or Gawai Antu.

7. If a widow has sexual intercourse with a widower, it is a great sin, berangkat antu. The offenders are to be fined in accordance with customary law.

8. Any person marrying a widow or a widower is also committing a great sin, also called berangkat antu. They are to be fined heavily too.

9. If a widower marries a widow within the tungkun api period, that is within a week after the death of their partner, this union is called berangkat tulang, which is the greatest of all matrimonial sins. The offenders are to be fined heavily.

10. When a man marries a woman, her family must always demand a marriage fee from him, called the bunga pinang.

Before he finally left for his own homeland in the spiritual world, he then begged them to look after his son as he was growing up. Menggin grew up, half-human half-demon, during the peaceful era after the Kantu-Iban war. He was an adventurous person and known to be able to travel between human world and the domain of Iban God of War, Sengalang Burong, at Tansang Kenyalang, a daughter whom he met and married and begot a son named Sera Gunting. Their adventures will be told in another chapter of this article.

Story of Menggin or Meng:

When Menggin, son of Remi and the spirit Rukok, was growing up, he never went on any war expeditions, since the enemy had all surrendered to his father and his uncle Sampar. He was very fond of playing and developed great skill in shooting with his blow pipe. This particular skill would soon changed his life forever; first, an adventure with his blowpipe led to his marriage to a daughter of Sengalang Burong; secondly, he enjoyed a long life span that lasted for seven generations after he won a blow pipe shooting contest with the spirit that owned a stone charm with a power to make a person an immortal being.

One fine day, as he sat on the open verandah (tanju) of the house, he saw a very beautiful bird flying nearby. It was not like any other birds he had seen in his life before. Its feather was glittered in golden color and its bill shone like a pelaga bead. Its eyes were bright as glass, shining against the leaves of the tree. Instinctively, Menggin would not miss such a rare opportunity to own such a bird. He immediately took up his favorite blowpipe and went in pursuit of the bird. As he was within shooting range of the bird sitting on top of sibau tree, he shot at the bird but missed it. The bird flew away and perched on the top of a durian tree. He followed it again and took a shot at it, but this time it just grazes its leg. The bird flew again and this time it perched on top of a rembai tree which grew near the path leading to the landing place of their longhouse. This time his shot hit the bird and he saw the bird fell to the ground.

Menggin hurriedly ran to the spot to pick up the bird. As he arrived, he was surprised to discover a piece of kain kerabaya, a fine quality clothes used as a woman’s sarong. The bird was nowhere to be seen. He picked it up, folded it and kept it in his bamboo dart case (temilah) for safe keeping. He did not tell anyone about what had happened.

Three day afterwards, people saw a very lovely lady taking her bath at the landing place. Hey had never seen such a beautiful girl before. After she had bath, she walked to the longhouse and her beauty glittered the path she passed by. On her way along the gallery, she was invited to enter the apartment she passed by, but she refused until she reached Menggin’s apartment which is in the middle of the longhouse. Menggin’s mother Remi invited her in. She too was astonished by her beauty as she could not recall anyone’s daughter who was as beautiful as her guest. Her only suspicion, judging from her beauty and good manner, the lady guest could only be coming from an aristocrat family.

As she sat in conversation with Menggin’s mother, she enquired where Menggin was. Remi replied that Menggin was sitting at his accustomed place on his gallery outside. She went to their door and called Menggin to come in as the lady visitor wished to meet him. As Menggin entered the apartment, she straightaway asked him where her sarong was. Astonished by the lady’s asking, Menggin replied that he did not know anything about the sarong she had asked for.

“Certainly you know about it,” the lady insisted.

Then Menggin remembered a piece of finely woven cloth he had found three days earlier and which he had kept inside his temilah. He took out his temilah and drew out a piece of cloth and handed it to the lady. After she received the cloth, she went to their dressing compartment and put on the cloth. After she had dressed herself, she sat on a beautiful mat which Menggin’s mother had spread out for her and started a conversation with Menggin’s mother.

Later that evening after dinner, everyone in the longhouse came over to Menggin’s room to entertain the beautiful lady visitor as is customary practice of the longhouse resident. When the people asked her about her visit, she told them that she came from a far away country to look for her cloth, which had been taken away by Menggin a few days earlier. She further said that she would like to marry Menggin if he agreed. “If not,” she said, “I will go back to my father’s longhouse tomorrow”.

On hearing this, Menggin’s mother was very happy and pleased to give her consent if Menggin wanted to marry the lady. She immediately called Menggin to come in and asked him what he thought about the lady’s request. Menggin said he would be delighted to marry the lady if his mother and his uncle approved.

His uncle, Sampar, gave his approval, saying” It is in this same manner Menggin’s father came to us from a unknown country to marry Remi. Their marriage has given us peace and prosperity, for all our enemies had surrendered to us under his leadership. Such a marriage must be lucky and a fate by god.”

They were solemnized that very same night in a simple marriage ceremony (melah pinang). She also told Menggin’s family that her name was Endu Dara Tinchin Temaga, Endu Cherebok Mangkok China, and that she was the eldest daughter of Sengalang Burong. They lived together happily and in due course, their baby boy was born whom they called Sera Gunting or Surong Gunting. This man, born of human, demon and god parentage grew up to be the most famous of all Iban pioneer leaders in history, for instituting the Incest Law of Sengalang Burong, The Iban System of Augury and the procedure of celebrating the Iban Bird Festival.

Six months after his birth, while the child was sleeping during the day, his mother laid him in a cradle and wrapped him in a beautiful woven blanket called a pua labor api. As the child slept soundly, Dara Tinchin Temaga told her husband that she wished to come down to the river to bathe. But when she had gone for quite sometime, the child began to cry. He cried inconsolably, which worried his father very much.

When Menggin tried to amuse him, the child cried the more, and at the same time pointed his tiny finger towards the river. Menggin then took up the child and carried him in the direction in which he pointed. When they reached the bathing place by the river, his mother was nowhere to be seen. The child continued to cry and pointed his finger towards the path, which Menggin followed. At night fall, they stopped traveling and Menggin built a temporary hut for their shelter. The next day they set on their journey again following the direction his son is pointing.

Early on the third day, they came upon a shore of a very huge lake. The thought of crossing it troubled Menggin even more. He did not know how they could cross the lake without using a boat. But his son kept pointing across the lake. While thinking of what to do, he stepped down to the lake to test its depth, and to his surprise, he found that it was only knee deep. He quickly picked his son in his arm and walked through the lake until they reached the opposite bank.

At the other side of the lake, the child is still pointing his finger down the path until they finally came to a very fine wide road along which they walked. After some time, they reached a landing place where they saw many people taking their bathes. Among the bathers, Menggin saw his wife, Dara Tinchin Temaga, and he happily handed her their weeping child. She immediately gave bath to Sera Gunting in the river. After bathing, she breast fed him and and at the same time she advised Menggin what they should do while living in her father longhouse. She told Menggin the following thing:

1. He and their child should not sit down until they reached the part of the gallery where there were many smoked heads (antu pala) hanging from the beam.

2. They should not sit close to the old man with grey hair, because he often grew annoyed with people whom he did not know. She explained that the old man is accustomed to sit on a hanging seat made of tree bark, and that he was her father, Sengalang Burong himself.

3. At dinner time, when they come into the room, they must follow a fly, which would direct them to their food and plates.

4. They should know that all the people who would eat with them were all Sengalang Burong’s slaves.

5. At bedtime, they should follow a firefly into the room which would direct them into their mosquito nets.

After she had given him these instructions, Dara Tinchin Temaga went first to the house. Her husband and child came after and took their seat as she had directed them to. Sengalang Burong watched them sitting there and looked fiercely at Menggin. He thought Menggin resembled a man searching for padi grain, as he looked so thin. Sengalang Burong then ordered one of his slaves to bring out betel nut and sireh leaves for the visitor to chew.

Through the evening, Menggin talked with Sengalang Burong’s slave on the gallery. When the time for dinner came, he and his son went into the room and followed a fly which showed the way to their food and plates. Likewise at bed time, they followed a firefly which showed them to their mosquito net. They did this routine throughout their stay at Tansang Kenyalang. From the day of their arrival until the day he returned to his own country, Sengalang Burong never spoke one word to him. Menggin helped his wife and her family on the farm while he lived with them.

During the farming season, Menggin observed that whenever Sengalang Burong slave met with an animal such as slow Loris (bengkang) or tarsier (ingkat) on the farm, they said that the animal was a slave of Raja Simpulang Gana, who had come to help them. When this happens, they stopped work for one day in honour of Raja Simpulang Gana, the deity of the earth and agriculture.

By this time, Sera Gunting was beginning to walk and talk. One day he climbed to his grandfather’s seat. Surprised, Sengalang Burong asked how he dared to come to his place. The boy replied that it was because he was his grandson and asked why he would not speak a word to him or to his father. Sengalang Burong took him in his arms, but would not admit hat the boy was his grandson. Sera Gunting told him that he really was his grandson, the son of his eldest daughter and Menggin.

The Trials of Sera Gunting by Sengalang Burong:

After Sera Gunting told Sengalang Burong that he was indeed his grandson, he could not believed his ears, even though he had grown to be very fond of the child. This bond had grown into special affection for the child as the child had kept him accompanied and happy through out their stay. But still he refused to believe Sea Gunting. He said to Sera Gunting, “If you are really my grandson, you will have no trouble with the various trials which I will ask you to perform.”

For the first trial, Sengalang Burong poured a potful of millet grain from his seat through the spaces in the floor to the ground below and asked Sera Gunting to pick them up. Sera Gunting went beneath the house and picked every single grain and took them back to his grandfather.

Still not satisfied with that, Sengalang Burong poured onto the ground a bottle full of kepayang oil and asked Sera Gunting to gather every drop of it again, filling the bottle to the brim. Sera Gunting went down as ordered by his grandfather and recovered all of the oil. He gave the bottle full of kepayang oil back to Sengalang Burong. Even with this, the old man would still not accept the boy as his grandson. So he sharpened a nyabor sword and place it on the ground with its sharp edges facing upward.

He ordered Sera Gunting to step and walked on the sharp edges of the sword. The boy jumped on it and walked unharmed to the amazement of the old man. But still the old man was not convinced by his feat, so he set up a final trial for the boy. This time he ordered Sera Gunting to climb a very tall tapang tree at midday to collect honeycomb from one of its branches. The boy climbed the tree and took the honeycomb as ordered. Even when he received the honeycomb brought back by Sera Gunting, Sengalang Burong still would not bring himself to believe that the boy was his grandson. Sera Gunting then decided punish the old man for his stubbornness. He summoned the bees down from the tapang tree and commanded them to attack and sting his grandfather.

The bees flew into the house and stung the old man. He ran to hide in his loft, but still the bees followed him there. After he had be stung thoroughly by the bees, and no where else to escape, Sengalang Burong decided give in to Sera Gunting and formally admitted that the boy was truly his grandson. At this submission, Sera Gunting happily commanded the bees to return to their hives on the branches of the tapang tree.

From that day onward, Sera Gunting dared to approach Sengalang Burong and talked to him as grandson and grandfather. There are definitely a lot of things the old man had wanted his grandson to learn, but he was still much too young for understand the ways of life. Unfortunately, some days later, a cannon fire was heard from a distance, marking the return of Ketupong from a trading expedition overseas. When they heard this, Dara Tinchin Temaga talked to Menggin and begged him and their son to return to their human world, as her true husband had returned home. She also told Menggin that they will never be able to meet again in his life time. She also told him that their son will be the only person from the human world to know the path to his grandfather longhouse.

Early next morning, before the arrival of Ketupong at their landing place, Menggin and Sera Gunting left Tansang Kenyalang. When they arrived home, they found that Remi and Sampar had been very worried about them because they had been missing for a very long time. They told them that they had been living in Sengalang Burong’s longhouse, the father of Dara Tinchin Temaga. When they heard of this strange country and people, Remi and Sampar were extremely happy for their son and grandson to be blessed with such a rare opportunity to live very close to God.

That night the whole household began to celebrate the return of Menggin and Sera Gunting, because they had thought that they were lost and had died. Almost every evening afterwards they gathered to hear the stories of their experience in the house of Sengalang Burong. They began to live their normal life in the world of human.

Sera Gunting Second Visit to Sengalang Burong Longhouse:

Soon Sera Gunting reached young manhood and learned to do various kind of man’s work. He also carries the burden of shouldering a title which was naturally being accorded to him as the grandson of God Sengalang Burong. Of course, he cannot perform the same feat in the human world as what he had easily done in the spiritual world. As time goes by, he found that in many ways he was unsuccessful in a lot of ventures that he pursued. Due to this, his fellow men began to criticize him and label him unworthy of being a grandson of Sengalang Burong.

As Sera Gunting pondered these criticisms, he began to believe that he had been unfortunate in all his ventures because he had not been given any charms by his grandfather, Sengalang Burong. One day he told his father, granduncle and grandmother that he wished to make another visit to Tansang Kenyalang and asked for those charms from his grandfather. Except for his father Menggin, who knew that only Sera Gunting can actually travel to Tansang Kenyalang from the human world, his grandfather Sampar and grandmother Remi, were reluctant to give their consent.

“There were a lot of strange things I observed during our first visit to your grandfather longhouse,” Menggin said in their family conversation that evening, “but I failed to ask for an explanation. This visit by Sera Gunting would be a good opportunity for him to learn directly from his grandfather all the knowledge he needed to be successful in life and to lead our people in this world. Don’t worry about us here as I can still look after your grandmother and support your granduncle.”

Hearing his father’s assurance and encouragement, Sera Gunting was very happy and made preparations to go for a long journey. His grandmother was still concerned about his safety in his journey and asked him to behave himself as he travel and lives with the people of Tansang Kenyalang.

In his travel, Sera Gunting met a spirit of a dead branch of a tree who asked him why he would not fall to the ground. Sera Gunting replied that he was on his way to visit his grandfather Sengalang Burong and would ask him for an answer to his question. He traveled on and came upon a payan bamboo spirit who complained to him that it cannot bear any shoot and would remained single forever. He told the payan bamboo spirit that he came to visit his grandfather Sengalang Burong and promised to seek for an answer to his plight. He journeyed on until he came to a huge lake. There he met the spirit of the lake who told him that it could not flow to the sea. Sera Gunting told spirit of the lake that he is on his way to his grandfather Sengalang Burong longhouse. He promised to seek an answer to his plight too.

From thence he walked again. Presently he met the spirit of a senior sister of the seven stars known as the Bunsu Bintang Banyak (Pleiades). She begged him to stay for a while. While there, she asked Sera Gunting the purpose of his travel. He said, “I am visiting my grandfather, Sengalang Burong”, he said, “to seek answers to my luckless life. When I farm, I am unable to obtain enough rice grain to feed myself, and when I go to an expedition, I never succeed in taking an enemy’s head. This has brought shame to me for I failed to live up to my name”.

Hearing his plight, the spirit of the Bunsu Bintang Banyak began to teach Sera Gunting how to observe the celestial sign and recognize the correct timing to start padi farming season. She taught Sera Gunting how to be guided by the location of the Pleiades stars as it travels in the sky. “If you see that our position is inside the centre of the sky in the early dawn, human must start sowing immediately. If you start later when we are located outside the central halo in the sky, your farm will not grow properly.” Sera Gunting was happy to have learned the star sign to guide their farming season and will bring this knowledge to humankind when he returned to earth.

Sera Gunting then came to a dwelling place of the spirit Bintang Tiga (The Orion). Sera Gunting stayed there for a while. In their conversation, Sera Gunting again told the Spirit of Bintang Tiga the purpose of his travel as he had done at Bunsu Bintang Banyak place. There the spirit of the Bintang Tiga told him that if humankind cannot follow the location of Bintang Banyak due to various reasons, they could still start their farming season when Bintang Tiga is at the central halo in the sky. This is because Bintang Tiga is always traveling fifteen days after Bintang Banyak. Sera Gunting was again very pleased with the knowledge imparted by the Bintang Tiga spirit to him.

From the place of Bintang Tiga, Sera Gunting traveled on until he reached the dwelling place of the spirit moon. During his short stay there, Sera Gunting similarly relate the purpose of his travel and what he had learned previously from other celestial spirits to the spirit of the moon. The spirit of the moon then gave Sera Gunting another piece of celestial advice that humankind must learn about the moon. He said, “The moon lived and die temporarily every month. If the moon dies during a start of your planting season, you must stop work for two days in honour of the moon’s death. But if it is full moon, you only need to stay away from work for one day only. This observance is known as pernama rerak rumpang. Should anyone not cease their work during these time, a member of their family will die, which is known as berumpang ruang bilik”. Due to this injunction, Iban to this day still observe these edicts.

After he had received these instructions from the spirit of the moon, Sera Gunting continued his journey towards Tansang Kenyalang, which is located in the dome of the sky. When he arrived at their landing place, he saw many people taking their bathe. He joined them and everyone gazed at him for they did not know where he had come from. After he had dressed himself up, he went up to the house. As he reached his grandfather’s gallery, he straight away went to embrace the old man who was sitting in his usual hanging seat. Surprised at this, Sengalang Burong furiously asked who this young stranger is, who dared to show such behavior in his house. Sera Gunting then told him that he was his grandson coming to pay him a visit. Sengalang Burong was very happy to have met Sera Gunting again as he had missed him so much after such a long period of time. Hearing this excitement from her room, his mother, Dara Tinchin Temaga, came out to meet him. She too felt happy to see him again as he had grown to be a handsome young man. She then made arrangement that Sera Gunting must stay with his grandfather and aunt Endu Chempaka Tempurong Alang, Sengalang Burong’s youngest daughter, who was then still unmarried. Sera Gunting begged his mother not to worry about him for he had come to acquire some knowledge from the old man.

Sengalang Burong grew to like Sera Gunting, and as he wished to have a very long personal conversation with him, they even ate their meal together all the time. In their private conversation, Sengalang Burong asked Sera Gunting what he intended to learn from him this time. Sera Gunting then related all his misfortunes and troubles he faced in the human world.

“Grandfather, if I joined a war expedition,” he said, “I’m unable to take an enemy head. During farming season, I failed to obtain enough rice grain to feed our family. Because of all these, I’m ridiculed by everyone. They say that I am your grandson for nothing. I am ashamed as I have not lived up to your name. It is my hope that this visit would enlighten me with all the knowledge I hope to learn so as to live a successful and respected life in human world”. He also told his grandfather about the plights of the dead branch, payan bamboo and the lake he encountered on his journey. In reply, Sengalang Burong explained to him their plights as follows:

1. The dead branch cannot fall to the ground because a huge jar is stuck beneath it. If this jar is removed, the dead branch will fall easily.

2. The payan bamboo cannot produce shoots because a large gong was placed above it. If this gong is removed, then it’s shoot can easily comes out.

3. The lake cannot flow down to the sea because its huge root is obstructing its mouth. If this root is cut away, then the water can easily flow down to the sea.

Having been told all these things, Sera Gunting then asked his grandfather for charms to ensure success in all his future undertakings. Sengalang Burong did not reply, but instead, asked Sera Gunting whether his people observed the calls of the omen birds. “If you never listen to the call of omen birds, no amount of charms will make your work prosper”, said Sengalang Burong, “and these omen birds are all my son-in-laws; Ketupong (Rufous Piculet), Bejampong (Crested Jay), Embuas (Banded Kingfisher), Pangkas (Maroon Woodpecker), Beragai (Scarlet-Rumped Trogon), Kelabu Papau (Diards Trogon), Burong Malam (literally means night bird but is actually a cricket) and Nendak (White-Rumped Shama).

Only when you draw water from the river (nyauk), you need not harkens to the omen birds – because the river will never dry up”, he said.

Then Sengalang Burong explains the system of augury to Sera Gunting. “Look!” said his grandfather, “that gallery on the right closest to mine belongs to your uncle Ketupong, the next belongs to your uncle Beragai and next is that of your uncle Pangkas. On my left side, closest to mine is the gallery of your uncle Bejampong, followed by your uncle Embuas and your uncle Kelabu Papau. Attached to Kelabu Papau’s apartment is your uncle Nendak’s dwelling place. The call of your uncle Nendak is not as effective as your other uncles. His call is only good as traveling omen and need not be observed unless this bird flies across the road”. Nendak is a poor client who lives in a room without a verandah attached to Kelabu Papau’s apartment.

“Before you start farming”, continued Sengalang Burong, “you must go out to seek a tambak burong. This is a twig or plant you plucked out with your hand the moment you hear the call of an omen bird. This plant is then brought to the land where you wish to farm that season to be used in a ritual like manggol”.

Sengalang Burong then relate the basic guidelines on how to apply omen birds in farming, as below:

1. When you start to farm, listen to the call of Ketupong, which must be followed by the call of Beragai. This omen foretells that you will obtain a plentiful harvest that farming season and great happiness will ensue.

2. If you start to farm with the call of Embuas and followed by Bejampong, it foretells that your farm that season will be undisturbed and its results plentiful.

3. If you start to farm with the call of Bejampong, it must be followed by the call of Embuas, it signifies that your farm will be properly burnt.

4. If you start to farm with a call of Ketupong and later followed by a call from Bejampong, it foretells a very bad luck for that season and it is called burong busong, as my son in laws have disrespectfully spoken across my gallery.

5. If you start to farm with a call of Beragai and later you hear a call from Bejampong, it also signifies bad luck as it brings sorrow to your family in that season.

6. If you start with a call of Embuas and later you hear a call of Pangkas, this is known as dua matahari (two suns), which means death will occur within the family.

7. If you start to farm with a call of Beragai, and later you hear a call of Kelabu Papau, it also signifies that death will soon come to your family.

8. After you have finished your work of ngundang panggol (visiting the offering made at the preliminary clearing stage of a farming season) you may hear a call of Kelabu Papau which signifies that evil spirit will not bring you bad luck; rather your farm will be safe from their attack.

9. Within the period of seven days during ngundang panggol, you must not hear the call of any omen birds, other than Nendak, which is not very harmful.

10. If during the nebas and nebang (clearing and felling) you hear or meet a mouse deer, barking deer, ingkat, bengkang or belengkiang (lizard), it means that the slaves of Simpulang Gana will assist you in your work.

11. Any animal seen approaching from the front, while a person is working his land is called a laba, which means good luck is coming. But if any animal approach from behind, it is known as burong nyubok and it brings bad omen most unexpectedly.

Sengalang Burong also told Sera Gunting that all omens observed during a farming season would also signify future success in war, marriages, obtaining wealth and reputation. He adjured Sera Gunting to remember all the auguries he had explained.

Sera Gunting Joins a War Expedition:

Sometime during his stay at Sengalang Burong’s longhouse, his uncle Ketupong held a meeting to plan a foray. After it had been agreed that an expedition would take place, Sengalang Burong told Sera Gunting to join his uncles in order to study the omens that warriors observed while on an expedition. In addition to that, Sengalang Burong lent Sera Gunting his own charms called Pengaroh Mali Balang Kayau, the most effective charms for a war expedition. Besides this, he also gave him a boar tusk charm (taring babi), a sugar cane shoot stone (batu tebu) and a deer horn (rajut tandok). Having equipped Sera Gunting with these charms, Sengalang Burong gave him his most ancient “nyabor” sword of which he said, “no one who has ever used this sword before has failed to obtain an enemy head”.

So with these charms, and his grandfather’s weapon, the young Sera Gunting joined his uncles to learn the proper conduct of a war expedition. A short time after they have left the house, he saw his uncle Beragai step off to the right side of the path, where he laughed and return. Responding to this, Ketupong commanded their warriors to halt and perform ngusok rituals (chewing betel nut). This omen is called sandik belantan chawit and signifies that enemies will be struck with a sword from the left hand side to the right hand side of the body similar to the manner fine clothes are worn over a left shoulder.

From there they walked rapidly until they reached a place where they would spend the first night of their expedition. This practiced is called langsi malam diau sahari, literally means “vigilant by night, silent by day”.

On the third day, they walked on again until they reached a place where they would spend the night and waited another two days to observe langsi dua hari. After the two days halt, Pangkas went to the right side of the path where he uttered a war cry. The warriors said that Pangkas is respecting the langsi. After he had shouted, the warriors were very happy as it signifies that their expedition would be a successful one. With this assurance, the warriors marched on rapidly to the enemy country.

Near the enemy country, Bejampong stepped to the left side of the path to give a war cry and returned to the main. Sera Gunting was told that this is a very good omen as it weakens the enemy.

They then continued their march into the enemy territory and at about noon, Embuas stepped to the left path and started to weep and returned to the main path again. Sera Gunting was again told that this is a very good omen as it signifies the weeping cry of the enemies over their dead warriors.

From there they journeyed again until Kelabu Papau jumped to the left side of the path and coughed and rejoined the warriors again. Sera Gunting was told that this omen signifies that the enemies would not be able to see them when they attacked, because Kelabu action would blind them, which is called madam ka suloh mata munsoh (literally means, switching off the visions of the enemies).

Early in the evening, they reached the enemy longhouse where they halted and observed their enemies until midnight. At midnight they moved in and surrounded the enemy longhouse. Finally, at dawn they attacked, while most of the inhabitants were still sleeping. Sera Gunting killed three enemies within a very short time. After the enemies had surrendered, the warriors looted the house and returned home victorious.

After Sera Gunting had returned from this successful expedition, Sengalang Burong told him that it was not necessary to teach him about the omens of war. “You have seen and learnt enough about these omens used in war expeditions,” he said. This war omens which Sera Gunting learned have been observed by successive generations of Dayak war leaders.

Sera Gunting learned the Incest Law:

During this second visit by Sera Gunting to his grandfather Sengalang Burong longhouse, he stayed with his grandfather and his youngest aunt, Endu Dara Chempaka Tempurong Alang, and not with his mother. As they were of the same age, they played, ate and worked together. Living in this manner, they began to have strong affection for each other and began to fall in love. Sengalang Burong warned them that, as they were aunt and nephew, they must not live as man and wife, which they appeared to be doing in the old man’s eyes and which they strongly denied. A month later, Endu Dara Chempaka Tempurong Alang was found to be pregnant which alarmed the whole of Sengalang Burong’s household.

On hearing this, Sengalang Burong summoned a large meeting in order to enquire into the case. At the meeting, he told those present that his daughter had conceived and that the man responsible was his grandson, Sera Gunting. He told his audience that this is a serious misconduct and strictly forbidden by the rule of Iban law called Pemali Ngudi Menoa.

He asked everyone’s opinion as to what would be a just decision. All present replied that it was for him to judge, because he had settled all similar matters in the past. Sengalang Burong said that according to the law, both transgressors should be put to death.

“But in this case”, he continued, “As Sera Gunting was a complete stranger to us, their lives may be spared. But the child to be born must be killed in order to wipe away the wrath (kudi) of God and the universal spirits.”

Sengalang Burong went on to explain the reason why we would not have them killed by “pantang enggau aur”, or impalement by bamboo spikes, which is the prescribed punishment. This was because, “if they were killed, Sera Gunting would not be able to pass on to mankind how a future crime of this kind should be settled.”

He then went on to explain the rules of incest and marriage as stated below:

First cousin is permitted to marry, and so are cousins of same generation. Besides father and daughter, nephew and aunt, niece and uncle, mother and son, brother and sister, grandchildren and in-laws, an incestuous relationship, which is totally forbidden, the following persons of different generations (see table below) are NOT permitted to marry unless they undergo the besapat ka ai and other related ceremonies depending on seriousness of the offence:

1. A and P are first cousin
2. B and Q are children of A and P
3. C and R are children of B and Q
4. D and S are children of C and R
5. E and T are children of S and S
6. F and U are children of E and T

If a man and woman in categories 1 and 2 wish to marry (e.g A marry Q or P marry B), they must each produce half of the following items:

1. Eight pigs of medium size
2. Eight nyabor sword
3. A fine of sigi rusa – equivalent to eight ringgit
4. Eight beads, axes, plates, bowl.
5. One woven blanket (pua kumbu)
6. One fathom of calico for a spiritual rail
7. Eight ranki (shell armlets)
8. One kebok (jar) known as a cage for the soul of the bride and bridegroom.

If the man and woman have lived together before paying the above fines due to poverty, they are not permitted to marry. But if they continue to live together, they will incur the penalty of death by bamboo spikes. If, however, the fines are subsequently paid, they must partake in a ceremony known as besapat ka ai, in which they are dipped in the river, which has been spilt with the blood of four of the eight pigs. These four pigs are killed immediately upstream from where the couple is dipped. The blood of the remaining four pigs is for pelasi menoa, purification of the land.

When a man and woman in categories 2 and 3 wish to marry (e.g. B marry R or Q marry C), they are ordered to produce one each of the items mentioned for categories 1 and 2 above. One of the pigs is to be killed as an offering to the water spirit (antu ai), while the other is to be killed on land as offering to the spirits of the earth, hills and sky. This ceremony is known as bekalih di darat.

When a man and woman in categories 3 and 4 wish to marry (i.e. C marry S or R marry D), they must produce one fowl and two knives. During the marriage ceremony, after the fowl is killed, the bride and her groom must bite a piece of iron to strengthen their souls.

When a man and woman in categories 4 and 5 wish to marry (i.e. D marry T or S marry E), each must bite a piece of salt during the ceremony to strengthen their soul.

For categories 5 and 6, the man and woman at their marriage must each fell a fruit tree in order to wipe away the bad fortune that might otherwise disturb their future lives.

For category 6, the child of a man or woman belonging to this category at the ceremony, both must have a fighting cock waved over their heads and bite a piece of steel to strengthen their souls. This is the least and the last of the taboos of incest for inter-generational marriage.

Sengalang Burong went on to warn Sera Gunting that if the incestuous persons are not dealt with according to these rules, very heavy rain will fall, the rivers flood, and pests will destroy the farms and plantation and landslides will occur.

Before he pronounced his final judgment on Sera Gunting and his aunt, Sengalang Burong ruled that no one should mention the proper names of his or her parents-in-law. “Anyone guilty of this,” he said, “will be cursed and be unfortunate in all his deeds, all the days of his life”.

After he had finished teaching Sera Gunting the laws of incest, Sengalang Burong demanded that the child born of Endu Dara Chempaka Tempurong Alang be killed at birth and that Sera Gunting must return to the world of men in order to tell his people what they should do in cases of incest. Sengalang Burong also told Sera Gunting about the various stages of the Gawai Burong festival which war leaders should hold in order to invite him and his people to attend.

Sera Gunting returned home shortly after this. On his journey home, he passed by the lake and cut its huge root which had prevented its’ water to flow to the sea. Then he passed by a payan bamboo and took a huge gong, which had prevented its shoot to grow. After that he passed by a dead branch and removes a large jar that had prevented it from falling to the ground. All these items he took back home with him.

When Sera Gunting arrived home, all were surprised to see him carrying laden with a jar and a gong. His family was very happy to see that he has returned home safely from Sengalang Burong longhouse. That night they summoned everyone to come to their gallery to hear what he had to tell them. After they had gathered together, he told them his journey to his grandfather longhouse, what he encountered and what he had learned from the Spirit of the Bintang Banyak (Pleiades), the spirit of the Bintang Tiga (The Orion) and the spirit of the moon. He also told them the commandment of his grandfather, the system of augury and omen birds used for farming and used in war expedition, the incest law and the procedure of conducting the bird festival.

After he finished propounding all the laws and regulations he had received from Sengalang Burong, he asked everyone present whether they accepted these commandment. Everyone all consented to live harmoniously under these laws. “If you agree to obey the laws of my grandfather, I will lead you accordingly,” said Sera Gunting.

Shortly after this, Sera Gunting married to his fourth cousin, Seri Ngiang, the daughter of Laja and Endu Tali Bunga. They begot a son they named Sera Kempat.

Soon after the birth of his son, Sera Gunting celebrated the first stage of Gawai Burong, or Bird Festival, called Enchaboh Arong. Enchaboh arong is an initial festival used by Iban to celebrate the newly acquired head trophies, the spoils of wars or profits from business ventures. As the years went on, he celebrated various stages of the Bird Festival. The detail articles of the Iban Bird Festival Procedures are written separately in an article named Gawai Burong and Pengap Gawai Burong.

Sera Gunting became the most notable leader of Iban adat, religious practices, pioneering and migration activities. After celebrating the last stage of Gawai Burong, the Gerasi Papa stage, the house in which the feast was held must be abandoned after the festival is over and before the leaves decorations used in the festival had withered. The reason for this was for fear of evil spirit which might haunt the soul of the living. For this reason, this last stage of Gawai Burong must be held in an old longhouse. The statue of the Gerasi papa demon must be removed from the open air verandah to the ground immediately after the feast is over. Failure to do so, will results in a massacre of the inhabitants by the Gerasi Papa demon.

Sera Gunting began to lead his followers to migrate to the Batang Lupar territory. He left Merakai and build his commanding longhouse on the spine of Tiang Laju mountain, between the head waters of Undup and Kumpang rivers, a few miles south of present-day Engkelili town. Sera Gunting died here in the ripeness of old age and was succeeded as chief by his son Sera Kempat.

Menggin Meets the Antu Gayu:

While his son Sera Gunting was away at Sengalang Burong’s house, Menggin often went to hunt in the forest, with his favorite blow pipe. There were many things in his mind as he set out on his hunting trip. He would be more cautious about the birds he would shoot down learning from his past adventure. He was also thinking about his son’s journey to his grandfather house. He knows he well looked after there for he had seen their affection for each other when they there before. He was also thinking if he would live long enough to see his son’s return and to be able to know what’s their future would be. He also ponders if he would ever meet his lovely wife again in his life time. He never wished to remarry after his separation with Dara Tinchin Temaga. A hunting trip would give him a chance to escape daily life activity and allows him to ponder the uncertainties in his life. His only companion was his favorite blow pipe he had used when he first met his wife a very long time ago. He would always ask his blow pipe, “What would you bring me today. I wish it’s something for my worried mind.”

One day, as he was searching for game in the forest he met a man who, like himself, was armed with a blow pipe. In the course of their conversation, each man claimed to be more skilled with his blowpipe than the other. After a vehement argument, they agreed to settle their argument with a blow pipe shooting contest, in which each person would shoot seven darts each onto a nearby rock. Whoever failed to make his dart penetrate and stick onto the rock was to be killed by the winner.

Menggin was extremely worried least he should be the loser. As they were preparing to shoot, he noticed a pudu tree a few yards away, and there upon asked his opponent to wait while he eased himself nearby to urinate. He approached the foot of the pudu tree and secretly pricked its bark with the end of his dart to let the latex out. He then applied the latex from the tree to all the points of each of his seven darts. He then rejoined his opponent to start the contest. They both shot at the rock and all Menggin’s seven darts stuck to the stone while his opponent’s dart fell to the ground. Seeing that none of his opponent’s dart stuck to the stone, Menggin drew out his knife to kill the stranger as they had agreed earlier. The stranger at once protested as he had taken the agreement as a joke.

He was kneeling on the ground to beg Menggin to spare his life in exchange for valuable jars and brass gongs. Menggin then asked the stranger what his name was. He told Menggin that he is the spirit of longevity, Antu Gayu. On hearing this, Menggin said that he would only spare the stranger his life if he would give him his prized possession, a charm that possessed the power of longevity. The stranger at first protested that he does not possess such a charm, but Menggin threatened to kill the stranger first and search his belonging later. Hearing this, the stranger finally agreed to hand over his prized possession to him to save his own life. The stranger then told Menggin that the charm is called ubat buah dilah tanah, literally means a “charm of the fruit of the land tongue”.

After receiving the charm, which was as big as a hen’s egg, Menggin tasted it and found that it was very bitter, so he spat it out. He tasted it for the second time, and found it to be very sweet and spat it out again. The third time he tasted it, he found the taste to be sour. The stranger then told Menggin that as long as he never reveals to anybody the reason for his longevity, he will never die. The Antu Gayu then disappeared into the forest with his blowpipe.

Menggin continued his hunt for game in the forest to be brought home with his favorite blowpipe. He knows very well that he will still be alive to see his son’s return from the house of Sengalang Burong. His favorite blowpipe will always be with him as long as he lives.

Menggin lived to such a great age that span seven generations. Every generation consistently asked him the reason for his longevity, but he refused to satisfy their curiosity. Finally, he told them the story. As he spoke, he grew weaker and weaker, appeared to be aging quickly and his body became smaller and smaller. Before he disappeared, he decreed that when he died, no mourning period need to be observed for anybody who lived exceeding fourth generations of living descendant. The stone which the Antu Gayu gave to Menggin is still in the possession of Santap’s grand-children in Bugau territory to this day. At the time of his death, Menggin was living with Berdai family, the wife of another famous Iban Chief and War leader named Betie “Bujang Brauh Gumbang”.

The arrival of the Orang Panggau and Orang Gelong:

The orang Panggau and Gelong were believed to have been coming from the island of Java. The island of Java had seen the expansion and development of three major religious empires; the Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic Empire. It is only natural that the social, cultural and religious development of the Javanese people had been very much influenced by this religious diversity. They were more organized, civilized, cultured and their way of life was more structured than the other indigenous people in Borneo at that time. It is no wonder that they were well known for their weaving skill and the very fine materials they used in weaving clothes. They have the appreciation of materials wealth like owning brassware and jars as a symbol of social status and wealth. They were more advance in iron work compared to other Dayak group in the area. They have a proper social structure, a council of elders for decision making body, code of conduct and many more attributes which is not found in other Dayak group. They came under the leadership of their chief named Tambai Ciri Aka’ Ati Nabau Besirang. He was the father of Apai Sabit Bekait, the hereditary leader of the orang Panggau. They migrated eventually to Kalimantan Borneo, possibly to escape persecution by Muslim rulers, towards the end of Majapahit era. There they started living together with other Sea Dayak group who was under the leadership of Telichai, a descendant of Bejie. They settled first at Semitau Tuai on the banks of Kapuas river. Much later, they moved further upriver to a place called Semitau Lempa where they lived for many decades. Eventually, as their number multiplied, they migrated to a place called Tampun Juak. Many fruit trees that they planted at this site are said to be still growing there to this day.

While they lived at Tampun Juak, the Dayak people suffered many misfortunes. First, they were disturbed by the magical appearance of large quantities of dung or excrement which scattered everywhere in the country. This caused disease to spread amongst the Dayak population, from which many died. Those who survived the epidemic were largely the hero people of Panggau Libau and Gelong, who know how to look after their hygiene and health better than other Dayak group in their time.

Shortly after this disaster, other strange things happened. A great number of tortoises came out of the water and attacked the Dayak people, killing a great many of them. Some months later, many kenyulong or garfish shoot out of the water and attacked the Dayak people, again killing many people.

Shortly after these strange attacks, some of the inhabitants of Tampun Juak were killed by sharp needles (duri /thorn /jarum). No one knew where these needles came from. They could only guess that they must have been thrown by God to kill human beings. As a result of all these troubles (penusah tu), the chiefs Keling and Tutong led a further migration to Nanga Sekapat, a true left tributary of the Kapuas River.

The People of Tansang Kenyalang:

Another group that arrived in Kalimantan during the period was the Raja Durong’s group. They too were thought to have escaped persecution in the hand of Muslim rulers at the end of Majapahit era. They migrated from Sumatra, bringing along with them the Hindu tradition practiced during the Majapahit era, like religion and method of worshiping, agricultural knowledge and methodology, shamanism, the conduct of war, established social order, council of elders for major decision making body, all of which were later adopted and followed by the Iban people of Borneo. These traditions are still being practiced in the Iban Gawai Burong and some other rituals today.

Raja Durong married to Endu Cherembang Chermin Bintang and begot a son named Raja Jembu. Raja Jembu was married to Endu Endat Baku Kansat and begot seven children. Sengalang Burong was the eldest son of Raja Jembu and Endu Endat Baku Kansat.

This group settled at a place called Nanga Nuyan, which was soon became the centre and melting pot of all major Dayak Iban group, including the orang Panggau Libau, Gelong and the Bejie groups. Social, political and economic interaction occurred and their population multiplied quickly. With large population, conflicts and divisions began to appear in an egalitarian society which led to splits, power struggle, enmity, war and further migrations. One such enmity was between Sengalang Burong, the hereditary chief of Raja Durong’s group, and a legendary demon named Nising or Beduru. It ended in a war where the “demon” Nising was slain and his people defeated. This saga-epic (ensera) is always mentioned and narrated in the chants by the bards during the grand Gawai Burong festival.

After the war, Sengalang Burong then moved to Bukit Tutop where he died of old age. He left behind a legacy of a system of augury, bird festival procedure and instituting the incest law to the Iban people, through his grandson, Sera Gunting. From Tutop Hill his followers migrated to a place called Tansang Kenyalang, a heavenly place located at the dome of the sky. He was regarded as the God of War and is still worshiped by the traditional Ibans to this day.

Detail articles on Sengalang Burong have been written in two books called Raja Durong and Gawai Burong by Benedict Sandin.

Power Struggle in Panggau Libau:

Before Keling became the leader of the Panggau Libau people, his father Si Gundi, the eldest son of Telichai and Dayang Sia Bunsu Kamba, a descendent of Bejie, left his family to marry a Panggau Libau damsel named Laing. Laing was the eldest sister of Sinja (mother of Laja), Nawin (mother of Sempurai), Sinjong (mother of Tutong – chief of Gelong clan), Apai Sabit Bekait and Ribai. They were the most powerful and influential family in the Panggau Libau clan. The Panggau Libau and the Gelong clan were considered semi-god by other people as they were the only people who survived the supernatural disaster and diseases that killed many Dayak people during that time.

Si Gundi, being the eldest son of Telichu, is considered half-man and half-demon and the only person brave enough to win the heart of a Panggau Libau damsel. Being the eldest son, he has the leadership quality and trait to win the love, respect and most of all, acceptance by the Panggau Libau people to be their leader, especially his brother-in-laws, Ensing Gima (father of Laja), Si Ganti (father of Sempurai) and Beddang (father of Tutong and Kumang). Soon, Si Gundi was appointed leader of the Panggau Libau people by the council of elders. This, naturally, create jealousy and enmity between Si Gundi and his brothers-in-law, Apai Sabit Bekait, who was the original hereditary leader of Panggau Libau clan and his brother Ribai. As the leadership struggle between the two groups worsened, a war broke out within the clan. Apai Sabit Bekait and his followers attacked and destroyed Si Gundi’s longhouse at Lembang Muang. Si Gundi and Ensing Gima were both killed defending their longhouse, while Beddang was captured by Apai Sabit Bekait’s trusted warrior named Tedang during the raid. For this reason, Apai Sabit Bekait and his followers became the principal enemies of the Panggau People. Ribai and his followers, not wanting to be involved directly in the internal conflict, migrated across the sea. Keling, Laja, Sempurai and Pungga were all away traveling abroad during this time, seeking knowledge and life experience. Many saga-epic (ensera) story of Keling’s adventure were told in many Iban literature and songs. After the attack on Si Gundi’s longhouse, Apai Sabit Bekait quickly escaped to the spiritual world in the sky, between heaven and earth, where he built a strong and tight fortress to prevent any retaliation by Keling and his followers from Panggau Libau and Gelong.

On his return from overseas adventures, Keling was immediately appointed the leader of Panggau Libau people, replacing his father. He immediately organized his people to migrate to the spiritual world in order to keep track of Apai Sabit Bekait whereabouts and to exert revenge upon them. But before they left the human world, he taught his uncles and cousins of the human world how to play the percussion gendang rayah music on gongs and drums so that, even after their separation, humankind might continue to summon these spiritual heroes to this world, should they seek assistance from them or inviting them to celebrate the cycle of Gawai festivals. In the course of these rituals, the Orang Panggau act as the ritual hosts and attendants, sending out invitations and receiving the gods on behalf of their human host.

Keling and Laja were the best known of the Panggau-Gelong heroes. Laja is the principal companion of Keling as well as his second-in-command. His chief task among the heroes is to smoke the trophy heads (nyampu antu pala) which they bring back from the battlefield. The other principal warriors under Keling command were Sempurai and Pungga. By some account Sempurai was said to be of demon ancestry, a descendant of Telichu, hence his violent temper and unpredictable nature. Some tales said that he was the son of the most dreaded demon named Beduru or Nising (an arch enemy of Sengalang Burong – an Iban God of War). He was captured when he was still a baby, in an epic battle led by Sengalang Burong himself, and was adopted by Si Ganti also known as Ngingit Lemai. His adopted mother, Nawin, is a younger sister of Keling’s mother.

By some other account, another reason that the orang Panggau and Gelong should leave the human world was to avoid destructive conflict with human kind due to violent behavior of Sempurai. This violent behavior has no match in the human world as he and the Panggau Libau people have the super human magical power and capabilities. As such, they could no longer live side by side with each other.

After they had become well established in Nanga Sekapat settlement, Sempurai, whose honorific name (julok) was “Bunga Nuing”, became very violent. Sempurai was a trusted warrior, the first cousin of Keling. If he played games with children, he threw them in the air so that they landed far from the play ground. If he happens to pass by a group of damsel, he openly pinched their breasts. If he met a pregnant woman, he would kick her womb. After some time, Sempurai’s bad character was reported to Keling and Laja. They scolded him and told him to curb his aggressiveness. This makes Sempurai’s behavior even more violent. He argued and eventually quarreled openly with his cousin Laja. Laja is also Keling’s first cousin, his most trusted warrior and his second-in-command. He was the son of Ensing Gima who was killed together with Keling’s father in a war with Keling’s uncle and arch enemy, Apai Sabit Bekait. His mother, Sinja, is a younger sister of Keling’s mother.

One day, Sempurai and Laja quarreled from morning till dusk. During their argument, a precious charm belonging to Laja was split from the phial (a small glass bottle for keeping liquid medicine) in which it was kept. This caused a damsel named Kelinah or Indai Abang, to become very annoyed. She felt that it was not fitting for men of such status as Sempurai and Laja to show such a bad example to others in the village. She suggested that they must be separated and live elsewhere in order that the people of Nanga Sekapat settlement might no longer be made to fear and witness their fierceness. When Keling heard this, he at once led the migration of his Panggau Libau followers, taking the Batang Panggau Libau river with them into the spiritual world. He replaced the Panggau Libau river with a new one, known as Batang Ketungau, now situated in Northwest Kalimantan border.

Seeing that Keling and his followers had migrated, Tutong also led a migration of his Gelong people and followed Keling and the people of Panggau Libau to a spiritual world as he would not want to be left behind when the Panggau people attack Apai Sabit Bekait. Tutong also would not want to be left behind to rescue his father Beddang, who was captured by Apai Sabit Bekait’s trusted warrior, Tedang. Tutong’s sister, Kumang, had also pledge that she would marry anyone who rescue her father from captivity. Tutong similarly took along with them the Batang Gelong river. In their haste to follow Keling and his people, he forgot to bring along a very high hill called Bukit Gelong which is still located in the upper region of the Ketungau River and can clearly be seen from the Kalingkang range on the modern political boundary of Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan.

After the spirit heroes has separated from the humankind, the Dayak people began to re-organize ourselves under the leadership of the following men: Bui Nasi, Putong Kempat, Litan Lengan, Pulang Belawan, Bejit Manai and Retak Dai (father of Sarapoh). They moved from Nanga Sekapat to Lempa Entaya, where they built a number of longhouses. After they had lived at Lempa Entaya for a number of decades, they migrated to a placed called Sungkong. There they became more developed that their forefathers and progressed in many fields like arts, crafts, medicine, basic tools and utensils. They also increased greatly in numbers.

The Iban and The Spirit Tiger:

One day, an incident happens to a man from Sungkong, which would lead to a better understanding with nature and the development of poison as tools for hunting. While the children were playing and roaming over the ground around the village, a girl was caught and carried off by an unknown kind of animal. This incident troubled the Dayaks as non of them dared to pursue and kill the animal that had carried off the girl.

Next day, moved by sorrow for his missing daughter, the girl’s father went into the forest to track down the animal that had carried his daughter by following drops of blood left by his lost child. He brought along an ipoh plant poison with him. Ipoh latex is extracted from an upas tree and is usd by the Ibans to poison the tips of blowpipe darts. The trail of blood finally led to the mouth of a small cave. Standing there, he wondered how he was to get into a very narrow passageway. Finally, he crept in and moved painfully until he reached the other end of the tunnel where it came out into an open space. There he saw an open pathway which he followed until he reached a longhouse. In order not to be seen, he hid himself in the bushes in the bushes near the path waiting for nightfall. From his hiding place, he observed that the resident there behaved in a human like manner even though their appearances were like tigers.

After dusk, he crept slowly and carefully beneath the longhouse and hid inside a chicken coop. As he sat there, he overheard the conversation of a group of youth in the longhouse. They said that they would go again the next day to hunt the children of men.

“We need not worry,” they said. “Men can never find our whereabouts as they will never be able to come to our settlement”.

An old man spoke in reply, “You must not kill the children of men again. Be satisfied with the one you have slain”. He warned them further, “if you slay their children again, you will be made to account for your sin.”

The group of young men then argued with the old man. They said, “We still want to slay a man’s child again, for we are sure that they have no means to take revenge on us. Even if they happen to see us, we can easily flee away from one mountain to another. We are sure that men cannot chase after us, who are as fast as lightning in the forest.”

“You must not do it again,” insisted an old man, “for both human and us lived by the mercy of God. Perhaps they cannot harm us with their knives and spears, but we cannot escape death if they kill us with poisons which grow in a far away place as the upper Kembayan River.”

The young men replied, “We are much stronger than men, yet we cannot get this plant which grows on the steep hill at the source of Kembayan river.”

“You must not think that way,” warned the old man. “You cannot predict what will happen to you if you disobey what I said.”

The young men then laughed cynically and said, “if men can bring the ipoh poison to us here, it would be a very valuable present”. The old man stopped arguing with them, so they dispersed and went to bed.

At dawn, the men who had hidden in the chicken coop, took out the ipoh poison he had brought with him. He wiped it along the gallery of the longhouse and over anything that might be touched by hand. As daylight broke, the old man who had seen the soul of man through his batu ilau (magic crystal), shouted to all the people in the longhouse and warned them of the unavoidable death. Batu ilau and batu Karas (translucent stone) are used by Iban shamans (manang) to detect the conditions and whereabouts of the human soul (samengat).

“Now, where are all of you who have claimed to be brave? Come out and face death!!!”

But none of the young men could rise up as they were already dead caused by the ipoh poison placed by the man who had sought revenge for the death of his daughter.

After all the young people in the longhouse had died, the old man spoke to a pregnant woman who was the only other survivor. “Now all the young people of this longhouse have been killed by human poison except for you. In the future, if the children of me who do not first do wrong to us, we must not hurt them. You see what has happened to us because we had killed them first. All of our people had been killed in revenge”. After he had finished speaking these words, the old man committed suicide by touching the poison that had killed the young men. After all the tigers had been killed, except for the one who was pregnant, the man whose daughter had been killed by the tigers, returned home. The pregnant tiger gave birth to the last tiger found in Borneo and had lived a very solitary life. He is known as “Bujang Lembau” (literally meant “Reluctant Bachelor”) or “Bunsu Remaung” and was believed to have lived in the spiritual world amongst the spiritual heroes. He was also known to be a guardian spirit for some past Iban warriors.

The Land Dayak Separated From The Sea Dayak:

After these events, the Dayaks of Sungkong multiplied greatly. Due to their numbers, an urgent meeting was called by their leaders and it was agreed that they should divide into two groups. One group should migrate to Sungai Beduai and the other to Sungai Kembayan. But as they would leave their villages on different days, whoever arrived at Nanga Beduai first must erect a tall sign or marker to tell the others the direction they had taken.

A short while later, when the first group had reached Nanga Beduai, they erected a marker-sign pointing up-river and stayed there for a night. That evening a man had caught a huge snake which they cooked and eaten for food. Later that night, a heavy rain fell and the river rose in flood, which turned the marker-sign to point downriver. The next day the first group continues to move upriver as planned and forgot the marker-sign as it was still under water submerged by the flood water. Several weeks later, the second group arrived at Nanga Beduai. When they looked for the marker-sign, they found that it was pointing downriver which they unsuspectingly followed and believed to be the true direction that the first group had taken.

Because of this incident, the group that had gone upriver became Land Dayaks and the group that went downriver from Nanga Beduai, became the Sea Dayak. However, some studies suggest this separation came as early as their migration at the mouth of the Kapuas River.

The Sea Dayaks paddled down the Kembayan River to its mouth at the main Kapuas river. From there they went up the Kapuas River and enter the Labuyan River. There they settled at a place called Panchor Aji and another place they called Tapang Punti. At these two settlements, the Sea Dayaks felled the jungle and cleared land for planting rice and other crops. They lived there for many decades and some of them began to subdivide from one another and migrated elsewhere while many others remain settled there permanently. Those who migrated continued up the Labuyan river and on to Emperan to settle at Batang Embaloh. Other entered Sarawak via the Undup and Kumpang river.

Early Migrations Westward:
The Remun Dayak Migrated To the Sadong.

One of the earliest Iban groups to move into Sarawak was the Remun, who now lived east of Serian town along the upper Sadong River in the First division.

The Remun went up the Labuyan River on their way to the upper Batang Ai. They settled at Lubang Baya and at Tapang Peraja. After they had lived there for many years, they became restless and went down the Batang Ai until they reached Temudok hill, a few miles southeast of present Simanggang town. They lived at Temudok hill for many years led by their chiefs named Engkabi, Kekai, Bah and Banteh. They later migrated westward and those who were left behind became the peoples of Undup, Dau and Balau.

In their search for new territory, the Remun people walked along the foot of Kalingkang range for about 60 miles, until they came to a place they named Sungai Krang, a true left tributary of the Sungai Sadong, located in First Division, Sarawak. From the Sungai Krang settlement, Bah, Bateh and their followers split from the main group and moved to a place called Melikin. There they built a longhouse near a fruit groove known as Tembawai Munggang. On this fruit grove, they discovered an abundance of huge durian fruits so big that its skin could be used as a boat by their children. When the fruits fell at night, it would be a heavy task to dig them out of the ground due to their size and weight. If someone found the fruit, he simply blacken it with smoke from his torch, to mark his claim before coming back to dig it up.

After Bah and Bateh’s group had lived in Melikin for some years, their friends, Kekai and Engkabi and their followers, who they had parted with at the foot of Kalingkang range, joined them. When they arrived, they were invited by Bah and Banteh to live with them at Tembawai Munggang, which they did.

During one of the fruit seasons, the children of the first-comers were cheated by the children of the newcomers when they went to collect durian fruit. On hearing this, their parents were angered and cursed the children of the newcomers. This put strain in the relationship of the two groups and the council of elders decided that they should live separately from each other. Before that, Kekai and Engkabi decided to scout for suitable place to settle down. On their way to reconnoiter, they came to Nanga Kedup where they met Damu and Panjang, two men who lived by trapping animals and both were the followers of Bah and Banteh. Kekai and Engkabi asked them if anyone had ventured beyond that part of the country before. Damu and Panjang told them that no one had traveled into that part of Sadong before.

Leaving behind the trappers, they walked towards Bukit Semuja. When they reached Semuja hill, they heard the sound of waterfall. This waterfall, later known as Panchor Asu, is located in the upper Remun stream. Then they climbed up Remun hill and proceed to a grove known as Salapak, where fruit trees grown in abundance. Among the numerous fruit trees, they found a certain durian tree which bore fruits with skins of thirty different colours. After they had rested for a while, they began to clear the undergrowth around the base of these trees and at the same time claimed them as their everlasting possession.

After they had cleared the undergrowth, they decided that they would settle permanently at the place. The scouting group then returned homeward to Tembawai Munggang. As they passed by the Panchor Asu waterfall on their homeward journey, they stopped by and cut many pieces of light pundang tree so that its chips would drift along the stream and they could find out where its mouth was located. Having done this, they let drift along the same stream, a very precious knife, the handle which was inlaid with gold.

A few days after they had returned to their longhouse at Tembawai Munggang, they held a meeting and informed their followers and friends that they now wished to move to another place not very far away.

Some days later, when all the preparations were finished, Kekai and Engkabi led their followers by boat to the new land. They proceeded down the Melikin and Krang streams. As they reached Nanga Engkuan, they found a few pieces of pundang tree chips that had drifted downriver. On seeing this, they went up the Engkuan stream until they reach Nanga Remun. As they reached the Nanga Remun, they saw that a creeper, which was lying across the stream, was shaking in the flowing water. As they looked at the shaking creeper, one of them saw that their precious knife with gold inlaid handle was caught in it. Engkabi and Kekai were very happy as this confirmed that they have come up the right stream.

As they paddled up the Remun stream, they found more pieces of pundang wood. They continue to track them until they reached the landing place at the foot of the Remun hill where they halted. As they rested there, they heard the sound of a bird on the tree top, saying: “Remun, Remun, Remun”. When the children heard this, they scared the bird away. It flew away, but returned to the same spot again on top of the tree shortly afterwards. It was for the call of the this bird that the stream and the hill was named Sungai Remun and Bukit Remun respectively. Ultimately, they called themselves Dayak Remun to this day. Even the type of tree on which the bird perched was called Remun tree. From this place, the Remun Dayak walked to the spot that the reconnoitering party had identified for their longhouse site and built their longhouse there.

After having lived for some years at that place, Kekai and Engkabi journeyed in the direction of the Samarahan area to examine the land. After returning from this trip, Kekai died on the top of Kekai hill and was buried there. Subsequently, the hill was named after him in his honour.

As the Remun Dayak had already owned this land, the Bukar Land Dayaks, whenever they wanted to make use of the land, had first to ask the Remun Dayak Chiefs permission. This custom continued for quite sometimes until the times of Orang Kaya Baga.

Some years after the death of Kekai, Bah and Banteh migrated with their followers from Tembawai Munggang to a place called Salapak, where they lived together with Engkabi. Years later, they moved down the Sadong to look for new country to occupy. At the end of this journey, they settled at a place called Ensika. Some took their followers to live at Tebelu, an area between the mouth of Sadong and the Batang Lupar Rivers. After they had lived at Tebelu for some time, many of them returned to settle along the Batang Sadong. Those who settled permanently at Tebelu married with Sebuyaus and became Sebuyau Dayaks.

Those who left Ensika once again migrated with some who had returned from Tebelu up the Sadong. For some years, they lived at Sejanggil and Empadai, above the modern town of Simunjan. It was from these places that they moved upriver and settled again around Remun hill.

Story Of Remun Chief Named Numpi:

One famous Remun Iban Chief named Numpi, was one person who settled permanently at Tebelu. He owned 30 slaves, who worked for him when he was left an orphan after his parent died while he was still very young. Only two of these slaves were good to him, while the rest plotted to kill him as his parents had been cruel to them.

One day, when Numpi’s two favorite slaves went out to fish for him, the rest of the slaves held a secret meeting to discuss ways of killing the boy. They decided to do it during the burning season of the padi planting cycle. Eventually, when the burning season came, they took Numpi with them to the farm. At the same time, they had requested Numpi’s two favorite slaves to go out fishing at the nearby river. As they reached the farm, they quickly placed Numpi in the middle of the farm near the foot of an ijok palm. The set the field on fire and ran to the edge of the farm to stay away a safe distance from the raging fire that burn the dry trees and bushes they cut earlier. The burning fire created a strong wind, which make the Ijok palm leaves to swing violently, splashing water from the nearby pool into Numpi’s tiny body, which saved him from being burnt or hurt by the flames and heat.

The ijok palm (Arenga pinnata) is a plant capable of yielding a small amount of edible flour (tepong mulong). Its trunk is covered with a coarse hair-like fiber (bulu) which serves as a valuable source of cordage, particularly for rope making. This useful palm also yields sugar and occasionally toddy (tuak ijok).

At the river side, while casting their net, the two loyal slaves saw a thick smoke in the direction of their farm from their boat. Sensing something wrong, they rushed home and found Numpi was not there. Worried about his safety in the hands of the other slaves who dislike their young master, the two loyal slaves immediately rushed to their farm. When they reached the paddy field, they found that the fire had already burned itself out. They also notice that Numpi was not together with them at their temporary hut on the edge of the field. They began to search for Numpi while mentioning that they would kill the other slaves personally if Numpi is found dead. Fearing for their lives, the other slaves left the field immediately while the two loyal slaves searched for their master.

As the two men searched for the child at the centre of the burnt out field, they heard a faint weeping sound of their master. Thus they knew that their master is still alive. When they saw him, they found that he had been miraculously cooled by the water splashed by the ijok palm leaves. Seeing the miracle, the two slaves made a vow, “since this ijok palm has saved our master, the people of our race must no longer eats its shoot, forever and ever”. It was and is because of this that the Remun Dayak does not eat the shoot of the ijok palm even to this very day. It is thought that anyone who eats it by mistake will be afflicted with boils (pisa).

The two slaves took their young master back to the house where they scented him with perfumed mambong leaves and the bark of the lukai tree in order to restore his health. They also urged him, when he was grown up, to kill all the disloyal slaves who had plotted to kill him. These words were overheard by some of the slaves, who still live close by, and they held an urgent meeting. Desiring to escape from their master’s retaliation, they secretly fled to the Batang Ai, Skrang and Saribas Rivers.

Mambong plant (blumea balsamifera) is a flowering shrub; commonly grow on newly abandoned farms (jerami). It is an important ritual and medicinal plant. Dried mambong leaves are burned, particularly at sunset, to repel malevolent spirits. Lukai is a small tree and its dried bark is also burnt to drive away both spirits and insect.

When Numpi had grown up, the two slaves had died of old age. So he lived alone and became very sad. There were a lot of other people living up and the Sadong River not very far from him, but as a man of very high rank, he felt ashamed of leaving his house and lived with them. Due to his loneliness, one day he decided to leave his house and settled on the sea coast. Here he lived by fishing. One day, while fishing, his net caught a bamboo. After he took the bamboo out of his net, he threw it back to the sea again. He paddled to another spot to cast his net. This time his net caught the bamboo again. He threw the bamboo back into the sea again and paddled to another spot to cast his net. At the new spot, he cast his net again. When he drew it out of the water, it has again caught a bamboo piece again. Seeing this repeated occurrence, he became puzzled and he decided to place a mark on the bamboo before he threw the bamboo piece towards the shore.

He paddled to another spot where he cast his net for the fourth time. This time it again caught on something. As he drew it up, he was surprised to see the same bamboo get caught in his net. This time, he placed it on his canoe. Numpi continued to fish and after some time, he caught enough fish for his food. As he reached his landing place, he brought the fish and bamboo to his house. As he carried the bamboo to his house, he heard strange noise coming from inside the bamboo node. At his home, he carefully split open the bamboo and found an egg inside. He placed the egg on a chupai basket and took it inside his room. He then went outside to dress himself on the gallery.

After he had dressed, he again heard a noise in the room, which he completely ignored. Shortly afterwards as he was looking towards the room, he saw a lovely young lady cleaning the fish which he had left in the basket. He thought to himself, “Maybe the egg has miraculously turned into this woman”.

Numpi then went back to the room. Before he could ask a question, the lady spoke to him. “Numpi, I have been asked by my brothers and sisters to follow you, in order to marry you, if you agree to become my husband”.

“Of course I want to marry you, if you agree and your family gives their consent”, replied Numpi.

The lady then told Numpi that she had tried many times to come to him when he fished in the sea. “It was I who was caught by your net in the sea. My name is Rambia Bunsu Betong. If you threw me away as you had so often done, my brothers and sisters might not agree to my marriage with you.”

They were married that evening and after a year had passed, they begot a son who they named Maar.

Eventually, when the child was growing into boyhood, his mother told Numpi that she must return to her spiritual world and could no longer live as husband and wife. However, she advised Numpi not to worry about the divorce as she promised to give Numpi another woman for his wife. After she had finished spoken, she disappeared from the sight of Numpi and their son.

One day, Numpi went out fishing in the sea again. This time he caught a huge patin catfish. He then started off to take his catch back to his home. As he paddled homeward, he happened to pass by a Sebuyau Dayak longhouse where a feast was being celebrated. When some of these people saw Numpi, they begged him to join them. He, at first refused their invitation as he is in a hurry to bring back the fish he had caught to his son at home. The Sebuyaus urged him to come in for a short time in order to taste their tuak (rice wine) and the delicious food they had prepared. On hearing this, and knowing that it is a taboo (puni) to refuse an invitation to taste the food, Numpi went up to the longhouse after securing his boat on their landing place. At the longhouse, he was served food and drinks by the host and joined in their merry makings. Very soon afterward, he began to forget about the patin fish he had left on the boat. Quite sometime later, when he remembers about the fish he left on the boat, he asked a boy to fetch it from his boat to be cooked for the feast. The boy then went out to fetch the fish from the boat and saw a young lady sitting there. When the boy asked the lady for the fish, she ignored him completely. Seeing this, the boy returned to the house and told Numpi what happens and what he saw on the boat.

On hearing the boy’s story, Numpi became suspicious and returned instantly to his boat at the landing place. As soon as he reached the landing place, he saw a beautiful lady sitting inside the boat. He quietly untie the boat and paddled away, too shy to speak to the young lady at the time.

As Numpi paddled the boat, the lady spoke to him. She said, “You are a strange man, Numpi. Why should you leave your son alone at home without anyone to look after him?” Numpi then guiltily asked the lady where she had come from. The lady told him that she was the patin fish that he had caught and her name is Rambia Bunsu Patin. Knowing that she was the lady his first wife had promised to send him before, they were married that evening.

They lived together as husband and wife and soon she gave birth to a son, whom they named Lau Moa. One day after the boy had grown to boyhood, his wife told Numpi that she cannot live with them in the human world any longer as she had come from their spiritual world. She advised Numpi that none of their descendants should eat the patin fish (heliocophagus). She too disappeared from their sight and Numpi was heartbroken again. He was happy that he was blessed with the two sons from the two marriages he had.

His sons grew up to be the leaders of their people. Maar was married to a woman named Riu, a daughter of Orang Kaya Saja of the Remun country. The descendent of Maar became chief of the Remun Dayaks, who lived between the other Sea Dayak (Sebuyaus) and the Land Dayak in the First Division, Sarawak. His brother, Lau Moa, moved to Batang Skrang, a tributary of Batang Lupar, and lived with his wife’s family there. He is most remembered as the first Iban pioneer to settle at Nanga Skrang. He was the father of the famous Iban bards Geringu, Sumbang, Sudok and Malang, who were believed to have been taught the correct wording of the Gawai Burong chants (Pengap Gawai Burong), by Sengalang Burong’s own bard, Sampang Gading. Most of his descendent still live in Skrang, Saribas and Kalaka region to this day.

Gupi’s marriage to Belang Pinggang:

After the death of Sera Gunting, he was succeeded as chief by his son Sera Kempat, who, according to Iban genealogies, begot Ridoh, who married Bada and begot Gupi.

When Gupi reached the age of fourteen her parents ceremonially secluded her in a special place in the loft, a practice called the ngumbong anak. Here she was attended by a band of female slaves. No male above the age of ten was permitted to see her; and the girl herself was not allowed to come down to the floor below, to prevent her from seeing any man. She was required to stay in the loft until the day of her marriage. All her wishes during her seclusion were attended to by her slaves.

After Gupi had been secluded in the loft for many months, her mother noticed that the girl was pregnant. On seeing this, she became exceedingly worried. She informed her husband, Bada, who was also very worried, as this had never before happened to a daughter kept in seclusion.

In their ignorance, they inquired from the slaves whether they had ever seen a man come to visit Gupi. All of the slaves replied that they had not. They asked Gupi herself. She told them that she had never spoken to any man since her stay in the loft. Being unable to ascertain what had happened, they ordered Gupi to come down to live with them as an ordinary child. She packed all her belongings and came to live with her parents like an ordinary girl of her age.

As time went on, Gupi’s pregnancy grew bigger and her parents observed the custom called bepenti to safeguard her life during delivery. She was forbidden to see any dying animal, or to eat tortoise, nor was she allowed to tie anything.

It happened that in the eighth month of Gupi’s pregnancy that her father woke up early one morning. In stepping out onto the communal gallery, he saw that someone had left a pile of logs in front of his family’s apartment. He and his family could not guess who had put them there. That morning he asked everyone in the house, whether any of them had put the logs on his gallery. But no one admitted they had. Bada was very puzzled, but kept quiet. A few nights later, ginger and smoked fish were placed by an unknown person inside the family room. Still Gupi’s parents kept quiet, because they could not guess who had put them there.

Early in the morning after Gupi had delivered her child, a man was seen sitting at Bada’s gallery. He was a very handsome young man and Bada asked where he came from. The young man said that he had come from a far country to be with Gupi when she gave birth to her child. Besides telling Bada this, he said that it was he who had sent them the ginger, fish and logs for Gupi’s use during her confinement. Bada in turn told him that he and his wife had gotten a bad reputation because of their daughter’s pregnancy and their ignorance of the man responsible.

“You need not worry about that”, said the stranger, “for the child is mine, and accordingly Gupi is my wife, for she has made use of the things I sent her”.

“This is very good news to us,” said Bada, “for if you are really the child’s father, we are indeed very much relieved and happy”.

Bada straightaway asked the young man if the marriage feast (melah pinang) could be held as soon as possible. The young man agreed to marry Gupi in the proper way provided that they present him the following articles:

1. Bunga pinang, literally the “areca flower”.

2. A brass cannon, which represents a bridge to cross the many rivers from his far country to that of his wife.

3. A blowpipe which represents the rail of the bridge.

He explained to Bada and his wife why he requested these articles:

1. The marriage feast will be known as melah pinang which means to split the areca-nut. If the areca-tree has no flowers, the marriage will not be successful.

2. A bridge is needed, because a young man coming from a far country must cross many rivers. Without a bridge he cannot cross them and his guiding spirit will not be with him.

3. The bridge must be railed because without it, his guiding spirit will be afraid to cross.

After his explanation, Bada and Ridoh agreed to give the young man the things he requested. Next day Bada gathered the people together in order to celebrate the marriage of his daughter Gupi with the young stranger.

After the marriage, Gupi’s husband became a popular man among his father-in-law’s people. He liked to work, play and joke with his friends. The only thing which puzzled them was that he carefully avoided being seen by anyone when he bathed.

At the bathing place, it was his custom to bathe alone behind a huge boulder just below the others in the river. This boulder was called the “Batu Belang Pinggang” and is situated in the Skrang River, a branch of Batang Lupar.

After Gupi’s husband had lived for many years with her family, a certain person spoke to Gupi, asking her why her husband bathed secretly. Gupi said that she knew nothing about it and would not bother her husband to ask such a thing.

“If you want to know”, she said, “Speak to him yourself.”

But after this Gupi became curious. One afternoon at bathing time, she hid herself fairly close to the place where he usually took his bath. Eventually when he bathed, Gupi saw that the skin round his waist was quite white. She kept still and when he had finished bathing he returned to the house.

That night after the evening meal, the stranger told Gupi and her parents that he could no longer live with them since his secret had been discovered by Gupi. She strongly denied this. But her husband through the inspiration of his guiding spirits, knew that Gupi had seen the very thing on his body which should not be seen by any person born of human parents. Gupi and her family tried hard to stop him from returning to his country. Gupi apologized for the wrong she had committed, but her husband told them it would no longer be possible for him to stay, since the hour had come for him to return to his father’s house.

They spoke long that night. He thanked them for the kindness they had shown him all the years he had lived among them. At last be told them that his name was Gerasi Belang Pinggang and that he belonged to a demon family whose dwelling place is far away at the edge of the sky.

Just before he returned home, Gerasi Belang Pinggang bestowed on his son Geraman the affectionate nickname of “Ensoh”, because Geraman breathed hard whenever he spoke, an action called ngesoh in Iban. He also urged his wife and her parents to look after the boy properly. He wanted him to be well-versed in the rules given by Puntang Raga to Serapoh, by Sengalang Burong to Sera Gunting, as well as by himself to all of those who had heard him. He wished his son to follow his advice. Thus, from this time onward, an Iban wishing to marry a woman from another river should demand from his bride’s parents the articles representing the spiritual rail and bridge.

Later, after his father had gone, Geraman succeeded his grandfather as chief of the Iban community. He memorized all the customs and family trees of his people, so that the observances connected with them could be properly followed.

How Jelenggai married Bintang Banyak:

Long ago, during the generations that followed Sera Gunting, there lived an ancestor named Jelenggai. In those days everyone believed that a man would enjoy luck, should he obtain a certain fruit called the “Pauh Laba”. The tree on which this fruit appeared was said to grow from the navel of the waters, somewhere far away in the wide seas.

Jelenggai was anxious to get this fruit. So one day he built for himself a sailing boat of considerable size. When he had completed it, he sailed aimlessly over the waters.

After he had been sailing for some months his boat was suddenly wrecked. It was swallowed by the great whirlpool at the navel of the waters. Jelenggai looked here and there and at last saw a huge tree growing from the very centre of the whirlpool. As his boat sank he jumped into the water and swam against the strong current to the tree trunk. Having reached it, he climbed the tree until he came to a low branch. There he sat. After sometime he saw a huge bird perched on the top of the tree. Its curved spurs were as big around as one’s thigh. So he climbed again in order to take hold of one of the bird’s spurs. He thought that if he held onto it and the bird flew away, it would eventually alight somewhere on land.

The bird felt nothing as he held onto its spur. After some time the bird flew across the sea until it came to a field of grazing land. As it came it swooped on a cow. Jelenggai jumped free and landed safely on the ground.

Immediately after landing, he started to walk along a cleared track without knowing where he was going. He walked on and on, until eventually he came to a house. On arrival, he was politely invited by a girl to come in. He entered and was given food by the girl. The girl told him that she had six sisters, who were then planting rice on their farm. Jelenggai stayed in the house with the girl and chatted about the miraculous way he had arrived. In the evening the six sisters came home from the farm. After they had taken their food, they all talked with Jelenggai. They told him that they were seven sisters.

“The youngest,” they said, “stays at home to look after the house, while the rest of us plant rice on our farm”.

Early the next day, they asked Jelenggai to stay with their youngest sister in the house, while they themselves went to work in the field. Jelenggai stayed at home with the girl as her sisters requested.

After they had lived that way for some time the girl came to tell Jelenggai that she loved him dearly. She told Jelenggai that if he wanted to marry her, he could. At first Jelenggai could not give her a decision. He simply said he would think the matter over.

Later in the evening, after the family had eaten, the youngest sister publicly informed the others of her feelings towards the stranger. Upon hearing what their youngest sister said, the other sisters asked Jelenggai if he intended to marry her. Jelenggai said he would, if they approved. The rest of the sisters said that they would be very pleased if he would marry their sister in order to produce a child for the family.

Jelenggai thus agreed and a marriage ceremony was held. Afterwards, the sisters told him that his wife’s name was Bunsu Bintang Banyak, the youngest of the Pleiades.

Three years after he had married Bunsu Bintang Banyak, the latter bore Jelenggai a son, whom they named Selamuda. As he was the only child of the family, they were all very fond of him. They arranged that he be looked after by his father during the day, while the rest of the family went out to work in their padi field. From that day onward the father looked after his son during the absence of the other members of the family. Each day the child’s mother warned Jelenggai not to open the lid of their only jar, called tajau pengajih.

Jelenggai obeyed her. He never attempted to open the jar’s lid. But after her repeated warnings, he became curious. He thought that there must be something inside the jar to cause his wife to forbid him to open it.

One day while he and his son were alone in the house, he opened the lid of the jar. It was then the season in which farmers plant their padi. When he opened the lid, he saw through the mouth of the jar that there were thousands of men on the earth below planting their rice. Upon seeing this, he realized that he was in heaven, for all the men he saw appeared far below him. Unfortunately after this he became very worried. He kept on thinking of his own people on the earth below. Through worry, his face turned pale. As usual, late in the evening, his wife and sisters-in-law came home. When the meal was ready they invited Jelenggai and his son to eat together with them. Both Jelenggai and his son took very little food and Jelenggai looked sad and worried. Upon seeing them in this state, Bunsu Bintang Banyak asked Jelenggai whether he had opened the lid of the forbidden jar. He replied that he had, because he was anxious to see what was inside which she had forbidden him to see.

Hearing this Bunsu Bintang Banyak wept sorrowfully. “Because of what you have done, Jelenggai”, she said, “You and our son will no longer be able to live with us”. She held her son and wept loudly as if she mourned the dead. “I never thought that we would be separated from each other; the more I think of it the more sorrowful I shall be when I am separated from you, my dearest child.” She wept inconsolably.

The next day all the sisters wept. They eventually lowered Jelenggai and his son down from heaven to the earth below. Immediately, before they lowered them, Bunsu Bintang Banyak said, “Jelenggai, we are the seven stars who must be heeded by farmers on earth. If you see us sitting at the centre of the sky, you must at once start to plant your padi. If we have passed the centre of the sky when you plant your padi, your farm will be useless. Since the first day you came to stay with us, you have seen that, not for one day, have we remained at home without work to do. This is because we must move according to the season, so that men below may look to us for guidance in their farming.”

Bunsu Bintang Banyak commanded Jelenggai to remember her advice, and to tell thek son Selamuda that the location of the Pleiades should forever be an example to the sons of men as they farm on earth.

After Jelenggai and his son had returned to earth, all marveled at them, for they knew not who they were. Jelenggai related to them the story of how he had started his adventure beginning with the time he had sailed in search of the “Pauh Laba” fruit, to the time when he came to the sky and married the youngest of the Pleiades.

They believed him and from that time onwards all Dayak farmers have commenced planting padi when the Pleiades are sitting in the middle of the sky, following Bunsu Bintang Banyak’s advice to Jelenggai.

Eventually, after the death of Jelenggai, Selamuda, his son, married the daughter of Bunsu Landak. Through this marriage, Selamuda left his father’s house to live with his wife and her parents.

In the year that followed his marriage, Selamuda’s father-in-law’s farm was constantly despoiled by troops of wild boars. In the end, Selamuda and his wife were compelled by his wife’s parents to guard the farm day and night. Even so, the wild boars took no notice of their shouts or the things they beat upon to frighten them away. Even while they ate their meals at night, the boars came to feed upon the crops around them.

One night Selamuda speared the boars with sharp bamboo spears. He killed a few, but even this did not frighten the others. Though he did this night after night, still more wild boars came. One day he decided to fetch his father-in-law’s only iron spear. He did not tell him, for he knew if he told him, his father-in-law would surely have stopped him.

Selamuda and his wife ate their food early that night, for they had heard the grunts of pigs coming towards their farm from the nearby woods. Having finished, Selamuda went outside the hut to wait for the boars with the spear in his hand. A very large boar, leading his followers, came out of the forest and entered the farm. Selamuda stood quietly behind a tree stump. As the pig leader approached to pass him, he struck it with his spear. The pig immediately fled with Selamuda’s spear stuck into his body. Selamuda followed the wounded boar. After a time he could no longer see the trail of blood as the night grew very dark. At last he gave up following the pig. The rest of the night he slept in the woods, and early the next morning he followed the trail again until he came to the junction of seven main ways.

He was puzzled. He did not know which path he should take. After a while, he heard the sound of voices coming towards him. When they reached him, Selamuda asked the travelers their destination. They told him that they were seven wizards who had been invited by the Bunsu Babi to cure his father who was very sick. As he followed them, the trail of blood could still be seen along the path. When they came to a house the seven wizards warned him not to go with them into the house. So he waited outside.

After sometime, a person came from the house and asked Selamuda whether be had any knowledge of curing. Selamuda replied that he would try, “for in the past”, he said, “I was invited several times to cure sick persons”.

Upon hearing his words, the man invited Selamuda to enter the house at once, in order that he might do something for the sick man.

On his arrival, the sick man declared that if any of the medicine men could cure him, he would allow the man to marry any one of his seven daughters. The seven medicine men then started to perform their pelian over the sick man. But their incantations brought no improvement; instead the sick man cried louder and louder from his pain.

Finally, Selamuda came into the room from the communal gallery outside. He saw at once that all in the room were pigs. He also saw a spear, invisible to the pigs, stuck into the sick man’s chest. Its shaft was brushed from time to time by the wizards, causing the wounded boar to scream loudly.

Upon seeing this, Selamuda knew that the spear was his. He reasoned that the wounded boar must be the one he had speared when it led its followers to despoil his father-in-law’s farm. He also realized that these were the boars who frequented the farms of men in human world.

Before he pulled the spear out of the boar’s wound, he asked that entemut (turmeric) be pounded into pulp. When this was done, he pulled the spear out of the boar’s chest, and at the same time applied the entemut pulp to the wound. When he pulled the spear out of the wound, the boar screamed, “adoh mak”, as it was very painful indeed.

After this he advised the boar to rest. In the morning when he came into the room, the boar smiled and told him that he was very much better. Selamuda was pleased when he heard this and again advised him to rest further until he was fully recovered.

After his recovery, the boar asked Selamuda to choose for his wife one of his seven daughters. He chose the youngest, named Dayang Manis Muka.

Some years after their marriage, Dayang Manis Muka bore a son whom she and Selamuda named Begeri. While Begeri was still a child, his grandfather held a great feast. He invited all the beasts, birds and creeping things. After they had drank so much wine that everyone was drunk, the python who was the longest of the serpents vomited. His vomit was licked up by other serpents which made them poisonous. The poor ular bunga, who came later, was left nothing to lick up, which left it non-poisonous to this day. In this way, too, the python lost its venom.

During the feast, the flying fox (semawa’), also vomited. In his vomit all sorts of seeds could be seen. Upon seeing these, the animals realized that the fruit trees in the world were bearing fruit. After the feast was over, the boars announced that now they must go in search of fruit. They agreed to invite an old lady named Ini’ Manang to be their guide. They walked for days and nights. During the day they used their ordinary eyes, but at night they changed to their night eyes. In this way they walked throughout the forests. As they roamed they finally came to a place called Tanjong Munong. At this place they all changed their mouths in order to wear munong, or bristles. From here they roamed again until they reached a place called Tunjing. At Tunjing they all donned hooves.

Leaving Tunjing they came to a place where they found abundant durian fruit. As they ate, Ini Manang was struck by the buloh menangkin, a trap set by men to spear boars. She died in due course, and after her death all the pigs, except for Dayang Manis Muka, fled away.

Selamuda and his son Begeri now wished to return to this world. Before she fled Dayang Manis Muka told Selamuda that she and her family and all the rest of the people in her house were pigs. She explained that she could no longer live with him, but must go home to her father’s house. She advised Selamuda that in the future whenever men wish to see their fate, either during sickness or in hopes of obtaining riches, they should kill a pig in order to divine with its liver. She also advised him to see that their son Begeri was brought up to be a good man and to remember the tradition of liver divination.

After she had finished her advice, she left them to follow the rest of the pigs who fled home before her.

Discovery of Derris poison (Tubai):

Around this time, after the belated, long-delayed death of Menggin, there lived a man named Rakup Beliang. This man was also very fond of shooting the blowpipe. One day in the forest he was seized from behind by a female maias (orang-utan) and though he fought bard to escape, the maias succeeded in carrying him off to her nest at the top of a tall bee tree (tapang). Here she kept a close and constant watch over him. In time, the maias and Rakup Beliang had sexual relations and she bore him a daughter. Some three years after his capture, while the maias was one day taking her bath in a nearby river, he managed to escape from the nest by lowering himself to the ground by a vine. He grabbed the child and ran off, pursued by the maias who had seen his escape. But she could not overtake them. When Rakup Beliang and his daughter reached the river they found an over¬hanging bank and hid themselves under it. Just afterwards along came the maias, who started to search for them, but without success. Eventually, from his hiding place Rakup Beliang saw her collecting the root of a tree which she pounded on a stone in the water. She then dipped the remains of the root into the river and he heard her call out, “If you are still living, Rakup Beliang, you must come out of the water now.” But as his head was above the water he felt nothing. After waiting for some time the maias again called loudly, begging Rakup Beliang, if he could hear her, to care well for the child and to name her Suri. She then went away weeping.

In due course Rakup Beliang came out from under the bank with his daughter and crossed the river, but on looking back he was puzzled to see many dead fish floating on the surface of the water. He therefore examined the remains of the root and found that it was a tubai (Denis) vine. Thus he realised that these roots could be used to poison fish, a method which is still used to this day. Tubai fishing is now a well-known practice and is regulated by the Government.

The healing of Bunyau:

In the days of Geraman, Sera Gunting’s great-great-great grandson Ambau migrated eastward from the Tiang Laju range and built his longhouse at Pangkalan Tabau, two miles above the present town of Lubok Antu. Ambau was one of the chiefs who had participated in discussions to settle amicably the strife between Kanyong of Rantau Merarang and Semalanjat of Bungkap. For his fairness and bravery in war, his name survives to this day in Dayak songs. At this time there also lived a man named Buyau who suffered from open sores which covered his body. He was shunned by all and was confined to a hut adjoining his family’s open verandah.

One day the people of Bunyau’s house were invited to a nearby longhouse to attend a feast. As Bunyau sat alone in his hut he heard the sound of someone approaching, and looking through a hole in the wall, he saw two young men who had just sat down on the deserted communal gallery. He was too ashamed because of his sores to go out to welcome the visitors. Soon one of them called him to come out and talk to them, but he refused, saying “I am here because I am sick, and I cannot sit with you.”

He suggested that the strangers should help themselves to his family’s rice wine (tuak) in the room, but they only agreed to this on the condition that he himself would fetch the tuak for them.

“No,” replied Bunyau, “if I touched the wine with my diseased hands, I am sure you wouldn’t drink it.” But the visitors reassured him that they certainly would if only he would fetch the wine himself.

At last Bunyau emerged, trembling, and brought a jar full of wine which he offered to them. After they had drunk all the wine, Bunyau’s sores began to disappear and after he fetched another jar, which the young men consumed, he found that his sores had completely healed. The strangers then told Bunyau that they had come to invite him to their father-in-law’s feast which was to be celebrated the following day, but Bunyau was reluctant to go, being still sick and weak.

“Your sickness will be healed if you come with us,” they said.

He finally agreed when they told that their father-in-law’s feast would not be held unless he came with them. They also urged him not to worry about dress, as their father-in-law would lend him clothes for the occasion.

As Bunyau walked with them, he felt himself growing stronger, and finally bathing at his host’s landing stage he found that even the marks of his sores had completely disappeared.

Arriving in the house, Bunyau sat down at the end of the communal gallery in front of the second room (bilek), where he was politely entertained by his host, and in due course was invited by a man carrying a cock to come and sit on the verandah of his father-in-law, Sengalang Burong. This man was Ketupong, Sengalang Burong’s eldest son-in-law. Bunyau agreed to go, but continued to converse with his host, until another son-in-law named Beragai came carrying a cock and repeated the invitation, at the same time waving the cock over Bunyau’s head, as was the custom when receiving guests. Bunyau finally accompanied Beragai to Sengalang Burong’s gallery in the middle of the longhouse. There he was again saluted with a cock waved over his head and was invited to sit close to Sengalang Burong himself at the outer-most section of the gallery. When he was seated, the feast began. From the outset he was accorded by Sengalang Burong the honour of sitting close to a decorated platform full of human heads and offerings at the centre of the communal gallery, this being the traditional honour paid to the most esteemed of all guests present. At the conclusion of the feast, Sengalang Burong taught Bunyau many things concerning the Bird Festival traditions supplementing the information he had given Sera Gunting. He also commanded Bunyau that, immediately after he returned to his own house, he must celebrate exactly the same feast with another man also named Bunyau.

Three days later Bunyau returned home, and went directly to the other Bunyau’s gallery at the opposite end of his longhouse, instead of returning to his own gallery as was customary. He sat telling his friends the whole stories of his visit to Singalang Burong’s longhouse, where he had witnessed a Bird Festival and of how he had been advised to hold the same kind of feast as soon as possible in their own longhouse, and how the second Bunyau must follow exactly the same procedure for this feast. Then they were interrupted by the entry of Bunyau’s youngest child, who rushed in weeping to his father and embraced him, calling him “father”. Bunyau took his son to comfort him on his lap while the child continued to weep and called him father. Hearing her son crying, Bunyau’s wife left her cooking and came out to fetch the child. She teased him for daring to approach the stranger in such a manner.

“Aren’t you ashamed,” she said, “to claim the visitor as your father?”

But her son continued to cry bitterly, until his mother slapped him, scolding him for his behavior towards a stranger.

“Your father is sick and we are ashamed of him,” she said, and took the child with her to her room, where he continued to cry.

Bunyau then returned to sit on his own gallery, still unrecognized by his wife who had not been to see whether her husband was in his hut.

That night, as a matter of course, Bunyau went to the room to sleep with his wife, but as he opened the mosquito net his wife protested saying that a stranger should not behave in such a way to a married woman, and that however ill her husband might be she must remain faithful to him.

“Although he is now sick,” she said, “he is as good and devoted as any husband.”

When Bunyau heard this assurance of his wife’s devotion, he declared that he was indeed Bunyau, but she still would not believe him and ran out to the hut to see whether Bunyau was there.

Finding the hut empty, she returned to her room very worried and puzzled. Again Bunyau gently reassured her and told her how he had attended Sengalang Burong’s feast and been miraculously healed. As he finished his story his wife wept for joy, and embraced him marveling at his cure. He then told her of Sengalang Burong’s instructions and asked her to prepare as much glutinous rice as possible for the festival. Joyfully she agreed, as she was naturally most anxious to thank the gods and spirits for curing him.

Accordingly, a few days later when all was ready Bunyau celebrated his Bird Festival. When his many guests had arrived, Bunyau greeted them by waving a cock over their heads. He then called loudly three times for Sengalang Burong and his people to come to his feast, and immediately after this a number of those present, both hosts and guests, fell unconscious as the spirit of Sengalang Burong arrived among them.

From that day onwards, Bunyau grew mightier and became a skilled and vigorous leader in war. The other Bunyau also became one of his bravest warriors, and did much to assist the progress of his people in their new country in the Batang Ai.

Iban-Kantu enmity is resolved:

Jelian was born at Merakai in West Kalimantan. He was descended from the famous ancestor, Serapoh, whose story we have already told, and was a very tall and handsome man. From his boyhood days he was restless. He was fond of visiting people and of talking about wars with the older warriors.

One day Jelian told his mother that he wanted her to look for a girl for him to marry. His mother said that she wanted him to marry Tiong, the daughter of a Kantu chief named Beti, whose praise-name was “Merebai”. She said that Tiong was very fair and was a secluded girl, anak umbong, attended by her family’s female slaves.

“The only difficulty about your winning her,” she said, “is that her people have not yet made peace with us. They became our enemies in the days of our ancestor Serapoh.”

Jelian was anxious to meet Tiong personally. So he went to her house. When he reached the house, he hesitated to go up to it; therefore he climbed a jack-fruit tree which grew at the back of Tiong’s family room. From its branches he hoped to see Tiong when she came out to bathe in the nearby river.

That night after the people had gone to sleep, Jelian crept into Tiong’s room from a tree branch to the hole in the roof which lighted the sleeping section. From there he walked carefully towards Tiong’s bed in the loft.

When he entered he woke Tiong and she asked him who he was. He told her that he was Jelian who had been asked by his mother to court her for his wife. Tiong told him that her mother too had spoken of him to her.

“But your people are demons, antu gerasi and tuak tuie, so how can I bring myself to discuss marriage with you,” said Tiong.

She could not forget that Jelian was the worst enemy of her people, so she gave him the name of the cannibal spirits. Jelian told her again that his visit was according to the wish of his mother, who wanted him to marry her.

Hearing this, Tiong woke her father and informed him that Jelian was with her in her bed. She told him all that Jelian had said to her. Her father Merebai approved Jelian’s suit, for Jelian’s mother had often spoken to him secretly, proposing the union of her son Jelian with his daughter Tiong, ever since the girl was in her mother’s womb. After approval had been granted, Merebai invited the people of the Batang Empanang, Kantu, Merakai and Kedumpai rivers, to attend the marriage ceremony of Jelian and his daughter Tiong which would be held in three days’ time. Over a hundred people were invited to the wedding and two large pigs were slaughtered for the occasion.

When the time came for Merebai to speak to those who had gathered for the wedding, he said, “I must tell you that I have caught a demon, an antu gerasi, tuak tuie, who I have placed inside a cage. I disliked him most as it was he who killed my nephew Numpang quite some time ago in an attack against the Kantu of Merakai.”

When the Kantu heard this, they demanded that the man be brought to them instantly, so that they might kill him. But Beti said, “Nevertheless I have approved in your presence the marriage of my beloved daughter Tiong and Jelian, a chief and my enemy of yesterday.”

On hearing this wise decision of Beti, all his friends were happy to see that the enmity between the Kantu and Iban, which had lasted so long, was now to be put aside by marriage.

The longhouse kitchen rules:

Shortly after their marriage, Jelian migrated westward and settled at Wong Empangu on the Undup river. Other Iban who moved there were Gelungan at Bukit Balau Ulu, and Langkup in the middle Undup. While Jelian lived at Wong Empangu, he and his people farmed lands far from their longhouse. Due to this, they lived in farm huts to make it easier for them to look after their fields.

One day while all the fanners were busy weeding, some of the women went to the longhouse to pound rice. As they approached the house, they heard strange noises which frightened them so much that they ran back to the padi fields to inform their husbands.

When Jelian and the others heard this, they went without hesitation to the house. As they came near to the building they heard noises from everywhere. But once they were in the house, the noises were heard coming from the loft. While looking for the source of the noise, they heard a spirit’s voice telling them that these noises were coming from the cold kitchens of the house. Jelian asked why this had happened, and the spirit told him that this was because Jelian and his people had not cooked for a long time in their kitchens. The spirit further advised Jelian that from that day onwards, he and his people must make use of their longhouse kitchens for cooking at least twice a month, at full moon and before the appearance of the new moon.

“If you fail to do this,” said the spirit, “the spirit of the kitchen (antu dapor) will harm the lives of the inhabitants of this longhouse.”

Continuing, the spirit instruct Jelian of the following rules.

1. If a man has completed building his house kitchen, and does not cook food on the hearth he has made, he must produce one knife, an adze and two chickens. Beside these, he must pay a fine of one Jabir, which is equivalent to a dollar, and one jarlet.

2. If a man has completed his house, but has not yet made a kitchen according to customary law, his negligence may cause the members of the longhouse ill-fortune. He will be fined one panding, which is equivalent to two dollars, plus one knife, one chicken and one jarlet.

3. All kitchens in the longhouse must be used for cooking rice at least twice a month, at full moon and at the appearance of the new moon.

4. If any member of the longhouse does not obey the kitchen rules, he or she shall be fined two chickens, one knife and one adze.

5. Should anyone in the longhouse fall sick because someone has not cooked in his or her kitchen, as required by customary law, the offender must kill a sow that has once given birth to piglets, and must produce one nyabor knife and one jarlet.

Having heard the kitchen spirit’s advice, the men returned to their padi fields. The following night, Jelian called the farmers and their families to an emergency meeting at his farm hut. There he explained to them the rules which they must follow. After Jelian had related to his people all of the kitchen rules that the spirit had commanded them to observe, all solemnly swore to abide by these rules, and they are still observed by the Iban in their longhouses to the present-day.

Padang is cursed by the Pleiades:

Sagan-Agan, a well known leader in the time of Sera Gunting, lived with his followers in the upper Ketungau. His son Jenua departed from the upper Ketungau and migrated to the slope of Kenyandang hill, between the headwaters of the Sanggau and the Ulu Strap Rivers. Jenua’s son, Ratih, lived separately at Longgong Kumpang hill, at the headwaters of the Kumpang River.

While Jenua lived at Kenyandang hill, a chief from the lower Ketungau named Jengkuan, with Padang and his father Ligam, came to live with their followers in the upper Bayan rivers. From this place they moved again to the mouth of the Merakai river. At this settlement they lived miserably. The land was not fertile enough to produce sufficient food for them. During their stay, one of them was caught by a crocodile and as a result they moved to Bukit Tapang Peraja which was situated between Saih and the main Ketungau River.

After staying there for quite some time, they observed the calls of “Pangkas Kanan” (right-hand calls of the Pangkas bird) for seven days and seven nights, as required by tradition, before they moved to Kenyandang hill, which is situated south of the Kalingkang range on the modern boundary between Sarawak and Kalimantan. The Pangkas was believed to have the effect of weakening all the enemies they might encounter along their migration route to the country of the Sebaru Dayaks.

Padang and his people were very satisfied with the lands they farmed at Kenyandang hill and they made their stay there a permanent one.

At this time a man of Padang’s house named Jengkuan and his wife Genali went to work on their farm. When they reached their farm hut, they found a lot of ripe pingan fruit lying on the floor. They ate some of these fruit and later went to weed grass in their padi field.

As he was weeding, Jengkuan’s eye was blinded by the ashes he stirred up. So he told his wife that he was going to the stream to clean his eye with water. After he had washed his eye, Jengkuan returned to weed the grass again.

But when he came to the spot where he had left his wife, he was surprised to find blood stains both on the ground and on the padi leaves. He called for his wife but she was nowhere to be found. He then followed the drops of blood which led him to the mouth of a great cave, and he entered it. After he had been in the cave for two nights looking for his wife, he came to a bathing place where he met a lovely girl who was bathing in the river. On seeing him, the girl told him to follow her to her longhouse. As they walked along the path, the girl told Jengkuan that the people of her house were celebrating an enchaboh arong festival in order to receive the fresh head of an enemy who had been killed by her brother, a punishment for eating his pingan fruit-bait.

As they entered the house, Jengkuan saw many people holding a skull, singing their songs for it. Seeing his arrival, a man called out loudly and said, “Welcome Balu Pingan,” which meant the one made a widower by pingan fruit. He handed to him the skull so that Jengkuan could sing his song to it. Jengkuan took it and sang his song. After this he was invited to perform the rayah dance around a group of ritual cordyline plants which were placed at the middle of the open gallery. He danced round and round, and when a man waved a cock to terminate the ceremony, Jengkuan returned to the main building and slipped into the room to see the girl whom he had met at the bathing place.

As they talked, she told him that it was her brother who had killed his wife. She informed him that this longhouse was the home of tigers and all its inhabitants were tigers. She told him that his wife had eaten the pingan fruit which had been used as bait (taju) by her brother, and that this was why she had been slain by him.

The girl said to Jengkuan that he had the right to avenge his wife’s death. “If you want to kill my brother, you must not slash him with your knife, but with his own knife instead, so that he cannot easily cut you down,” she said.

On hearing this, Jengkuan went out of the room to the communal gallery and mingled with the people gathered there. After he had sat a long time with the people, he invited the girl’s brother to bathe with him in the river. He agreed and took his knife. Jengkuan who followed him also took his own knife.

On the way to the river they passed a sugar cane plantation, and the tiger asked Jengkuan whether he would like to drink sugar cane juice. Jengkuan said that he would, as he was very thirsty. So they stopped to collect cane. When Jengkuan removed the sheath of the cane, he cut it with the blunt side of his knife. When the tiger saw that it took him so long to skin the cane, he lent him his knife, as Jengkuan received the tiger’s knife, he struck him with it and killed him with a single blow. He took the tiger’s head and immediately carried it home.

When he came to his own house at Kenyandang hill, he showed to the people the head of the tiger that had killed his wife while they were weeding in their padi field. Padang and all the people were very pleased to receive the head.

In order to thank the gods and universal spirits for Jengkuan’s victory over the slayer of his wife, Padang and his people held an enchaboh arong festival. A great number of guests came and at the height of the celebration, one of Padang’s men killed a guest who claimed to be the son of Bunsu Bintang Banyak, youngest of the Pleiades sisters. During the night after the feast was over, Padang had a dream in which he met Bunsu Bintang Banyak who warned him that due to the death of her son, Padang and his people and their descendants down to seven generations would hardly eat any rice.

Padang’s migration to the Strap River:

Padang informed the people of his dream, which made them all very sad. From that year onwards none of them could get enough rice for food. Due to this they divided up and Padang went to Ulu Strap and settled at Munggu Embawang, while others either joined the Sebarus or lived elsewhere along the foot of the Kalingkang range on both sides of the modern Sarawak-Kalimantan border.

Here Padang and his people suffered miserably. They ate only wild leaves for a number of years, later they gradually moved down to Strap and farmed at temporary settlements in various places. Finally they reached the main Lingga River where they stayed and farmed for many years. Despite their hard work they still could not get sufficient rice for food.

Finally they left the Lingga to live at a place called Pinang Mirah, midway to the Sebuyau River. Here they also found insufficient rice. One night in his sleep, Padang dreamed that he met the Swine Goddess who advised him to leave the Batang Lupar and migrate to the Saribas River; there he should find in the Rimbas sago palm groves at Tanjong Banan. In the morning Padang told the people about his dream. They all agreed to go to the Saribas.

After they had found the sago palms at Tanjong Banan they lived and farmed at Paloh and Pusa. They did not dare to go to the upper Rimbas, for fear of the Seru and Bukitan people. It was at Pusa that Jenua and his son Ratih died. After their death, Padang sent his son Gunggu accompanied by Pajih to the Skrang and Undup rivers to consult Jelian about the way and time to plant padi and other things in the farm. At this time Padang and his people explored the Undai stream, a right tributary of the Rimbas near Pusa. They found that this stream was full of large tree trunks which obstructed its passage. Due to this difficulty, he could only go up as far as a big pool called Letong Beluchok, where they went to live a month later.

There were then abundant fish in the Undai stream, including a number of huge catfish (tapah). According to old sayings, the size of these catfish varied from as long as a wooden mortar to as long as a medium-sized boat. While living there they often met friendly Serus who gave them padi seed to plant in their small clearings. At this time they depended only on sago and fish for food.

The Seru were a Melanau tribe. The Melanaus depended on sago for food and it was due to this that sago palms had been planted at Tanjong Banan in the Rimbas River.

One day when the water in the Undai stream was low, Padang and his people poisoned fish with tubai roots. Padang saw a huge catfish whose whiskers were yellow as gold and speared it with a spear which was tied to his wrist. The wounded catfish leaped away dragging Padang into the river and drowned him. His body was drawn by the fish down the Undai to the Rimbas and from there down to the main Saribas River; then up the Saribas to Lubok Sedebu, and finally down¬river again to the end of Lilin cape near the modern town of Beladin. Because of this the people of the Rimbas claimed as theirs all land on both banks of the Saribas from Tanjong Lilin to Lubok Sedebu. The yellow whiskers of the catfish which drowned Padang are also mentioned in the ritual chants:

Padang apai Duyah pen udah datai ditu,
Parai ditaban ka dungan ikan tapah,
Bejanggut mirah ka jadam mau gempanang.

(Padang the father of Duyah has also come here,
Dragged to his death by a catfish,
Whose whiskers were yellow like gold. )

After Padang’s death, his son Gunggu led his friends to meet a Seru chief at Nanga Tawai. They told the chief that the Iban would like to live near him and his people. The Seru chief said that he would accept the Iban but ordered them to live apart on the bank of the Rimbas river opposite Nanga Tawai. He asked the Iban to come as soon as possible, so that they could plant padi at the same time as the Seru.

Gunggu returned to Letong Beluok, and told his people that the Seru had agreed to allow them to live near them. All the Iban were happy and Gunggu arranged that his son Garrai with most of the Iban would live with the Seru at Tawai, while he (Gunggu) and his followers would settle at Nanga Jerai.

When the Iban population had multiplied, the Rimbas Seru began to move to the Krian and settled round the foot of Tengalat hill below the mouth of the Melupa tributary.

Munan left the land in the lower Rimbas and went up that river to live at Nanga Luop. The first year he lived there, he and his followers farmed a large piece of land at the mouth of the Babu stream. One evening when Munan had finished his day’s work he returned to his longhouse. On the way home he encountered a large python which had uprooted many medium-sized trees, showing its great strength. Munan asked his friends to kill the snake, but none of them had sufficient courage to do so alone. So it was that Munan ordered all of them as a group, to kill the snake.

After they had killed the huge python, Munan and the others became worried, for they did not know what this strange sign might predict. They had heard that a man named Apai Paau of upper Skrang was very good at explaining omens. So Munan asked two of his men to consult Apai Paau in order to find out the omen’s meaning. While these men were still away in Skrang Munan ordered that no one should work his farm.

After Munan’s men had told Apai Paau the story of the huge python they had killed on their way home from their farms, Apai Paau said that this omen was not dangerous.

“It will not take your life; it is to redeem you from the curse of the Pleiades, whose son your people killed and which has caused you to suffer hunger these past six generations,” he said.

He taught them to honour the omen with seven days of abstention from work and, at the same time, with seven trays of offering to the gods, which were to be smeared with the blood of seven sows who had seven times given birth to piglets.

“After Munan had done these things, your people will lead a prosperous life,” Apai Paau said.

The two men returned to the Rimbas and told Munan what Apai Paau had directed him to do to respect the omen.

After Munan had offered these sacrifices to the gods according to the direction of Apai Paau of the Skrang, he and all his people became very prosperous in their farming. But later they quarreled with the Krian Seru and took their land. Munan and all his people then moved to the northwest and settled at Melupa, a left tributary of the Krian River.

The Incest Laws are modified:

Geraman, son of Gupi married Tebari and begot a son Chundau, who married Beragai. The latter begot a son named Beti, who was also called Berauh Ngumbang.

In the days of Beti “Berauh Ngumbang”, a man named Abang committed incest with Tali Bunga, who was his first cousin’s daughter. In due course, Beti ordered the couple to pay a fine, as fixed by Sengalang Burong, but as the couples were very poor, they could not afford to do so. Beti and the other leaders therefore ordered that they should be put to death by impalement on bamboo spikes.

On the next day, after a special place had been prepared for the execution, Beti assembled all the people to witness the killing. Immediately before the execution, Beti called loudly in prayer the names of the gods and the spirits to witness how he would deal justly with the malefactors in accordance with the teachings of Sengalang Burong.

Suddenly, when the executioners were about to lay hands on the transgressors, a voice was heard calling, “Beti! Beti! Why would you kill these human beings in such a cruel manner?”

Beti explained the reason why he was about to do this. “If they cannot pay such heavy fines, you must not kill them in this way,” the voice continued.

“What must I do then?” asked Beti.

“In future, if such a case should occur, you must ask the guilty parties to wash in the blood of a medium-sized pig, which you have killed in the river. Another pig should be killed on land in order to wipe away the wrath of the spirits who will otherwise destroy your farms and plantations.”

This is known as besapat ka ai’, a modification of Sengalang Burong’s original code of law. Besides killing two pigs, the voice asked that the following things be produced by the parties to be used during the ceremony of besapat ka ai’:

1. Pedang panjang kena ngerandang remang rarat.
2. Beliong lajong kena mungga urat lensat.
3. Sumpit tapang kena ngerejang lubang kilat.
4. Kumbu rayong kena nyerayong tekuyong dalam ungkap.
5. Kain beragi kena miau moa-hari sarat bebuat.
6. Pinggai besai kena nyekat tanah rarat.
7. Besi panti landi ke alai kaki betakat.
8. Rangki siti kena nasih ai ngambi enda beriap.
9. Tepayan endor nyimpan samengat.

This means:
1. A long sword to separate the moving clouds.
2. An adze used for cutting the root of the lensat tree.
3. A blow-pipe of tapang wood for blocking the holes of lightning.
4. A kumbu rayong blanket for covering the overhanging banks of the river to prevent snails from emerging.
5. A coloured cloth for wiping away thick clouds.
6. A large bowl for obstructing erosion.
7. An iron step for the legs to stand fast.
8. A shell armlet as a fee to prevent the water of the river from rippling.
9. A jar in which to keep the souls safely.

So Beti “Berauh Ngumbang” and his companions did not kill Abang and Tali Bunga. Instead the couples were ordered to undergo the besapat ka ai ceremony. The voice said that incest of a brother and sister was still punishable according to the law given by Sengalang Burong to Sera Gunting. The new law starts with first cousins. The sons and daughters of first cousins committing incest with members of the adjacent generation should incur fines of ten jabir (now equivalent to ten dollars). The fine is to be divided amongst all persons attending the ceremony.

In the next category, the fine was eight jabir. The parties involved in this category must undergo the ceremony of being washed in the blood of a pig, besapat ka ai’. In the last category the fine is two Jabir, but only one pig is to be killed on land and the ceremony of kalih di darat performed. Those who have taken part in the kalih di darat ceremony must continue to follow the laws of Sengalang Burong.

It happened that in the days of Kaya, a descendant five generations after Beti, a man named Bukol committed incest with his classificatory aunt, Brenyan, in a manner similar to that of Abang and Tali Bunga.

Kaya ordered them put to death according to the old laws of Sengalang Burong. The night after they were killed, heavy rain fell and a great wind blew, destroying Kaya’s house at Sungai Letong in the Paku. The remaining bamboos (buloh aur) used for this impaling are still growing at the present-day, at Nanga Selamoi, opposite Kaya’s longhouse site not far from the modern longhouse at Sungai Pelandok. Kaya’s longhouse was destroyed because he disobeyed the law given by the spirits to Beti.

The Dau Iban:

Migrations of Iban from the Kapuas into Sarawak have continued down to relatively recent times. Nine generations ago a group of Iban under Chief Telu Aur lived near the mouth of the Kapuas. From there Telu Aur led his people further upriver. They settled at the middle of the Kapuas where Telu Aur died.

He was succeeded by his son Demong Suran, who took his people to live in the upper Kapuas River where he in his turn died of old age. After Demong Suran had passed away, his son Ambau (not Pateh Ambau) became chief. While he was the leader of his group, Ambau took his followers from the Kapuas basin to the Batang Ai and settled at Seram. Later he moved to Pangkalan Tabau, above the present town of Lubok Antu.

From Pangkalan Tabau, Ambau moved upriver and lived temporarily at Lubang Baya. From there he returned again to Pangkalan Tabau, where he died, murdered by his slaves who purposely capsized his boat at the Wong Mutan rapids.

At the death of Ambau, his son Liang became chief. Liang lived at Lubang Baya tributary near the source of the Batang Ai. He was a brave warrior who fought the Punans in the upper river.

When Liang died he was succeeded as chief by his son Bayang. It was this chief who led his people from Lubang Baya down the Batang Ai and up the Undup tributary in the Batang Lupar to settle at Klasin. After Bayang and his people had lived at Klasin for many years, they moved westward to Sungai Raya, a left tributary of the Undup. From this locality they moved to Rijang not far away from the present town of Simanggang, east of the Undup region. Bayang died at Rijang and was succeeded as chief by his son Nyanggau.

When he was chief, Nyanggau moved his longhouse to Lemas where he and his followers settled for several years, till they were attacked and defeated by Indra Lela and his forces from the Skrang. Due to this defeat, Nyanggau and his people fled away to settle at Dau, in Indonesian Borneo.

After they had lived at Dau in what was then Dutch territory for about a decade, Nyanggau and his followers were called back to Sarawak by Mr. Brereton, then the Resident at Skrang. When they returned, they settled at Embawang in the Dor stream, instead of resetting at Lemas. But because they had lived at Dau in Dutch Borneo after their defeat by Indra Lela of Skrang, they have continued to be called the Dau Iban to the present-day. On their arrival in Sarawak from Dau, the Dau Iban community divided up and settled at Embawang, Klauh, Melugu, Gua, Nyelan, Engkeramut, Selepong and Puak Ai where their descendants still live to the present-day.

After some years at Embawang, Nyanggau and his people moved to Lemas as previously arranged by Mr. Brereton. Nyanggau died at this settlement and was succeeded as chief by his son Gaong. When Gaong was chief, he led his followers from Lemas to Klauh where they settled for many decades. After Gaong had died he was succeeded by his son Lansam who also died at Klauh. After Lansam, his son Gendang became chief. At Gendang’s death, succession passed to his nephew Junau, who, at the time of writing, continues to live at Klauh.

Extracted from articles originally written by Benedict Sandin & Professor Clifford Sather.
Re-compile for weblog publication by Gregory Nyanggau Mawar.
Published in the Sarawak Museum Journal, Volume XLVI, titled “Source of Iban Traditional History”, Part 1, 2 & 3.

Ditulis : GNMawar

Source: gnmawar.wordpress.com