Sunday, 20 July 2008

Early Iban Migration 6

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.