The History of the People of Bangkit, Paku, Saribas


This story was related by Joseph anak Achek aged 62 years to the author in 1970. The informant is a Bangkit Iban.

In ancient times in Sebaru, Kalimantan Barat, there was a wellknown noble chief named Sapatu Pejuru Buban, who was also called Ulop Salampor Banan. He married Dayang Bangi and begot Raja Abu. The latter married a woman named Jenua, who was expert in weaving all kinds of first quality Iban blankets (pua kumbu) used by the wives of warriors to receive the new head trophies taken in war by their husbands. Raja Abu and Jenua begot Raja Jejungkat, who was expert in tying the human skulls for the exhibition in the longhouse. Rajah Jejungkat married Lemok, who who was expert in making threads from cotton wool. They begot Sukan Nayan, a man who lived at a village called Kerangan Lansar Nunggang. Sukan Nayan married Anggil and begot lyak Tinchin Betanggi. The latter married Gerunsa, who changed his name to Nunggang owing to illness and begot Endu Dara Entali Bunga, who was a close relative of Endu Sudan Brinjan Bungkong, wife of Singalang Burong.

When Endu Dara Entali Bunga had grown up to matrimonial age, a famous hero named Laja came from tue spiritual world (Panggau Libau) to court her. Laja was a close relative of the heroes Keling and Simpurai and also the cousin of Tutong and Ngelai of Gelong. Gelong was another longhouse situated on the bank of the river of that name not far away from Keling’s house at Panggau Libau.

These heroes in ancient times lived amongst the Ibans but had disappeared from this world because of various disputes and instead lived spiritually in the world of the spirits. From there, according to the Iban belief, they still look after the Iban warriors by presenting charms to them in dreams.

After marriage of Laja and Endu Dara Entali Bunga they begot a son named Tedong, whose nickname was Bujang Chenaga Umbang. But soon after the birth of this son Laja told his wife and her family that he had to return to Panggau Libau and would not return to them again. On hearing this, all of them were sad; they persuaded him to stay in order to look after the welfare of his wife and child. But he insisted that he must return to his own country spiritual world. Before he left them, Laja gave to his young soil various kinds of charms for him to live prosperously in this world. Amongst the many charms, he especially gave him a piece of earth so that his son Bujang Chenaga Umbang and his descendants of all generations would always be successful in planting padi on earth.

2. Tedong “Bujang Chenaga Umbang”

When the time came for Tedong, the only son of hero Laja and Endu Entali Bunga, to marry, he married Endu Rumput, whose other name was Kumpai Berenai Beranyut Ngaki Wong. They begot a son named Ensang. The latter married Cherani and begot a son name Una. Una married Sudan and begot a son named Anji. The latter married Bredai and begot a son named Nyawai.

When Nyawai was chief of a certain Iban group, he led them to migrate from Sebaru in the Kalimantan Barat to Sarawak. In the latter country he finally came to the Bangkit stream, a true left tributary of the Paku river in the Saribas district.

On his arrival at this stream and after he had decided to settle permanently there, he buried a piece of earth (which had been given him by his ancestor Laja of Panggau Libau to his son Tedong) at the tongue of land between Bangkit and Semambu streams. After he had buried it in the ground, he prayed that his descendants of all generations who farmed the Bangkit lands would forever be prosperous. Therefore because of this prayer of Nyawai the Bangkit lands are still very fertile for planting padi till the present day. But the site where that piece of earth was buried could not be stepped upon with human legs. All who stepped on it in ignorance of its significance suffered thereafter from incurable elephantiasis (untut).

3. Temegoh

Nyawai and his wife Ulas begot a son named Temegoh. When Temegoh (dalam rintai tuai disebut betubuh mayuh 30 ngaum pengurang) was nine years of age, his family farmed a piece of land along the spines of Apit hill situated between the Bangkit and Semambu streams.

One day when a band of his father’s slaves were prepared to set fire to the dead shrubs and trees at his family’s farming ground, Temegoh was anxious to accompany them in order to see the flames which were to consume their farm. And owing to his insistence to go with them, those slaves reluctantly took him with them.

When they reached the farming land, the slaves conspired with one another to kill Temegoh with fire. “If we do not kill him now, when he grows older he will bully us worse than his father,” they said. After all of them had agreed to kill him, they sent him to a tiny islet of trees at the middle of the farm which they wished to fire.

Temegoh was left alone at the centre of the farm and the slaves started to fire the dead shrubs and trees. Within minutes the flames everywhere consumed the farmland. Immediately Temegoh found himself completely surrounded by huge pillars of fire. He tried to hide himself but could not as the smoke was very thick indeed and he could no longer see anything.

Finally by chance Temegoh found a huge mushroom near him which contained some water. With this water he cooled his body and eyes which were painfully affected by the smoke.

After the fire had been extinguished, all the slaves hoped that Temegoh had been burnt to death. They did not bother to look for his body but straight away returned home. When they arrived back home, Nyawai asked them where was his son Temegoh? They replied that Temegoh had returned to the house long before them. While they were still talking about Temegoh’s whereabouts, the latter appeared at the entrance of the house. He told his father of how he had been sent by the slaves to stay in a tiny islet of trees at the centre of the farm and of how it was only by chance that he had not been burnt to death.

Hearing this, Nyawai became furious. He swore that from that day onwards he must ill-treat all his slaves according to what they had done to his son Ternegoh.

At the time of weeding grass in the padi field Nyawai and Temegoh cut a long (semambu) cane for them to measure the size of grass plot in the padi field for each slave to weed from morning to noon and from noon to dusk every day. It was because they used the semambu cane to measure these plots of grass in the farm for the slaves to weed that year, the stream where the farm was located was and is called Sungai Semambu.

Among those slaves one of them was Dilang. He was very kind and worked well for Temegob and his family. Dilang had a daughter named Leminda whom Temegoh married after the death of his father. They begot a son named Rantai who married Jintan. The latter begot a daughter named Nani who married Nimong. They begot a son named Nanggar.

4. Nanggar made an Ipit statue

Nanggar was a very brave warrior who had killed many enemies in wars. As a result of his leadership and influence over his people he was able to lead all the bravest warriors under his command to make a strange wooden statue called Apit. But before they felled the tree for anggar asked one of his warriors to call for another brave warrior at Sun in the Rimbas whose name was Ukah and whose nickname‘s Rengas Bisa.

At the arrival of Ukah they started to offer sacrifice to the spirits. They killed a sow which had delivered piglets three times and used its blood to smear the trunk of a kawi tree which grew on the bank of the main Bangkit stream. After they had done this, they cut down that tree.

Then they again killed a sow, who had delivered piglets twice. Her blood was smeared on the tree trunk before it was shaped for the statue, when they began to cut it to a log.

While some were cutting the log, others made a strong shelf on the water at the corner of a certain pool at Bangkit stream close to the stump of a kawi tree they had cut down.

After the log had been cut, they carried it to the shelf where they shaped and carved it for a statue. While shaping and making the statue they did not permit any chips to fill on the ground, as these could cause anyone who stepped on it to suffer incurable illness. The site where this statue was made at the Bangkit stream is called Lubok Kawi, and the corner where the shelf was made is known as Lupak Titi Jabong, as all the knives of the warriors which were heavily decorated with the hairs of the enemy were hung from a tree branch there. This place is about half a mile down stream from the present Bangkit bridge on the Spaoh trunk road in the Paku subdistrict.

Upon completion of the statue all the warriors with Nanggar sent it ceremoniously to the boundary between their land and the lands of the main Paku river. Here they planted it at an islet called Pulau Menawa on the top of a hill called Tinting Apit. Its face was placed towards the lands of their enemies, the Serus and the Beliuns at Tengalat hill on the Krian river.

When they placed this statue here, Nanggar recited his prayers to ask it miraculously to become a demon who could guard his country from the attack of the enemy such as the Serus and Beliuns from the Krian river. He also prayed for it to kill the soul of all his enemies who would try to invade the Bangkit lands.

Some weeks later Nanggar had a strange dream. In it he felt as if he were walking to the Tinting Apit hill. As he came to the hilltop, he saw a small longhouse on it which contained five families. When one of them saw him, he invited him to come to the house and sit at his verendah. So Nanggar went to the house and had a talk with his host.

In the course of their conversation the man told Nanggar that he was the apit statue which they had placed there some times ago, but which had become a demon whose name was Tengajau.

After that the place was and is called Pulau Tengajau, which is not far from the Semambu Iban longhouse in Paku subdistrict, Saribas.

The apit statue is like a human figure complete with face, ears, mouth, teeth, body, hands, and legs and was fully clothed in a man’s dress.

Nanggar married Lantak and begot the following children —

1. Bangkam, “Skelam Sabong Petang”

2. Megong, “Gerijih Ai Marang”.

3. Guroh, “Belemoh Panggau Kumang”

4. Mugok, “Lindong Tiang”

5. Buli, “Bunga Pasang”

6. Mena, mother of Sana, Bala, and Anal

7. Dula, mother of Dayun (f)

8. La “Lambor Mandang”

5. Megong “Gerijih Ai Marang”

Of all these children Bangkam and Megong were born twins. When they were still young, their father died. At this time chief Saang of the lower Paku held a very grand festival called Gawai Diri at Empran Medang on the bank of Paku river. Saang invited all the bravest warriors of the Paku to attend his feast, including the grown up sons of Nanggar of Bangkit.

In the evening at Saang’s house, when many of the guests bathed together in the river, Megong and his brother Bangkam joined them. After he had taken his bath, Megong dressed himself up. But he did not return to the house as he was still being amused by other bathers who were swimming in the river. As he stood looking at those people a certain man was seen by him to open his war charm near him and to place it round his (Megong’s) neck. After he had left his charm on his neck, the man disappeared.

Afterward Megong returned with his friends to Saang’s house. That night as he enjoyed the feast he sat near a man who told him that it was he who left the war charm on his neck. He advised Megong to look after that charm well as it could cause him to become successful in leading the war, niatak kayau. He informed him that his name was Simpurai alias Bunga Nuing of Panggau Libau.

After the harvest a year later Megong led his warriors to attack the Rajang people at the mouth of River Rejang in the present day Sibu Division of Sarawak. They killed many of the enemy. Because of this successful warpath, on his return to Saribas Megong made for himself the nickname of Gerijih Ai Marang. It was due to this nickname that from that day onwards his old name Megong was seldom mentioned by the people. They called him instead the name Gerijih.

Shortly after his victory over the Rejang Gerijih married Benya, a daughter of Kaak and Empiang of Paku. He lived in his wife’s house below Nanga Samu where he made a number of farmlands near his house and up the Anyut stream up to Lubok Getah.

Gerijih’s sister Dula begot a daughter named Dayun, who married a man from Luban named Baring @ Senabong. The latter was a brave warrior and he was loolced after by the same goddess who looked after Gerijih. Owing to his bravery he was given the nickname Senabong Pintu Kuta, Senabong Panggau Dara. He lived in his wife’s house at Bangkit.

Another sister of Gerijih named Mena begot three sons: Sana, Bala, and Anal. They lived in the same longhouse with Senabong and his family.

At one time owing to a number of domestic troubles they separated from one another. Senabong and his followers lived at Tembawai Besai, while Sana, his brothers, and their followers lived at Tembawai Punjong not far from each other’s house.

One day after the separation Sana’s people went to the Pelat wood to poison fish with the tuba roots at the upper Pekasi stream. While they were poisoning the fish, they noticed a lot of bee hives hanging from the branches of a tapang tree nearby. They were pleased on seeing these, as they wanted to collect the honey immediately after the coming full moon. That day they cleared the shrubs and trees around the foot of the tree in order to lay their claim on it.

Two days later the people of Senabong’s house went to Sana’s house to claim the same tapang tree which Sana’s people had already cleared. They told Sana and his brothers that they had found that tree some time ago when they had hunted animals in that area.

Sana and his people could not believe the story of Senabong’s people. They said that if they (Senabong’s people) had really found the tree as they said then they must have cleared the bushes around the tree as required by custom. But Senabong’s people insisted that this tapang tree belonged to them.

After the full moon was over Sana and his people collected the honey from the disputed tapang tree as promised. But they could not collect much as the moon was too bright which caused the collectors to be easily stung by the bees.

Next morning Senabong’s people learned that Sana and his people had collected the honey from the tapang tree which they (Senabong’s people) had claimed as theirs. Therefore Senabong sent sone of his people to inspect that tapang tree. When they reached the place, they found that baskets, ropes, and other equipment of Sana’s people were still lying on the ground around the foot of the tree. They smashed and cut all the equipment.

Some time after this Anal’s daughter died a sudden death. The cause of her death, according to Sana and his people, was the action of Sanabong’s people against them by destroying their equipment around the foot of the tapang tree over a week earlier at the Ulu Pekasi stream. Along with this accusation Sana demanded full compensation from Senabong. But the latter would not agree to compensate Anal as demanded by Sana.

On the day of the funeral of Anal’s daughter Senabong bought a gong from a Malay trader. In order to test its sound, Senabong beat it repeatedly in his house. The beating of gongs and drums were strictly forbidden by Iban customs during the funeral and during the mourning period. Senabong’s action of beating this gong further enraged Anal and his brothers adding to their existing hatred of each other because of the dispute over the tapang tree. They accused him of disrespecting them at the time of their grief over the death of Anal’s daughter.

One day after the funeral Sana went to Senabong’s house. He did not meet him since Senabong was away felling trees in his farm. When Senabong’s mother-in-law, Dula (who was the sister of Sana’s own mother) asked him why he had come to her house, Sana told her that he wanted her to suck his blood from his forehead with a cup. Dula told her nephew that she would do it for him that same afternoom

Sana then asked his aunt where was the gong which they had bought recently? Dula willingly told him that it was at the corner of her room. Sana took it and told his aunt that he wanted to test its sound. But Dula told him not to beat it because of the death of Anal’s daughter. Sana said that he was anxious to hear its sound and therefore wanted to beat it on the ground outside the longhouse. After Sana had taken the gong outside, he told his aunt that he must take it away with him as compensation for Anal’s daughter’s death.

After the seizure of Senabong’s gong by Sana the peoples of the two closely related longhouse were always quarrelling over all sorts of things. Seeing the situation was growing from bad to worse, Senabong led his followers to build a new longhouse further down the stream at Sungai Rian. While they were building the roof of the new house, a cluster of bees incidently perched on the roof beam. Seeing this, all of them said the house was taboo, as it was not usual for bees to perch on any beams of the house. It was due to this unfavourable omen that they left the house to build another. But owing to the incompleteness of the last house that place is called Munggu Balang to this day.

After they had demolished the incomplete house, Senabong led his people to build another at the mouth of Sungai Aur near the Embawang rapid. The engkranji and kemantan fruit trees which Senabong planted at this house site are still grown there to this day.

When he settled at Sungai Aur longhouse, Senabong surveyed all lands along the Pekasi stream from its mouth to the water-shed. All the good trees and rottan vines on both sides of this stream were claimed by him for his people.

6. Land dispute which led to Diving Contest.

Sana and his people would not agree to let Senabong and his followers own the lands, trees, and rottan vines at the Pekasi stream lands. All the things in this area should be owned by them both as they were closely related to one another. But Senabong insisted that only he and the people of his household should own the land in the Pekasi region and not Sana and his followers.

At the height of this dispute Sana suggested to Senabong that they should settle the quarrel by a diving contest, that is, the person who could stay longer in the water should win the case. Senabong agreed and Sana asked his man named Pri to champion his case, while Senahong asked Pebom, an Iban from Babu in the Rimbas, to dive on his behalf. They agreed to dive at the mouth of Rian stream below the mouth of Sungai Pekasi. When they started to dive the tide was high. Eventually when the water began receding, Pebom could no longer dip his face into the water, as his head was stuck on a huge drying log. But Pri who dived in the deeper water was still diving. Seeing. this, Sana and his people declared that Pn had won the contest and therefore pulled him out of the water. As soon as he had been taken out of the water, Pri shouted victoriously that he had actually beaten his opponent Pebom who dived for Senabong and his people.

7. Sena bong and his followers moved out of the Bangkit stream to stay in the main Layar river.

From that day onwards Pebom followed Senabong. The latter was so ashamed at having been defeated by Sana over the land despite that he moved with his followers to live at Tanjong Mangut in the main Layar river.

Bangkam and Guroh, who were closely related with both Sana and Senabong’s wife Dayun, decided to call Senabong back to the Bangkit. They took with them their brother Gerijih of Paku in order to persuade Senabong to carne back to his old place in the Bangkit.

When they came to Senabong at Tanjong Mangut, they told him that they came to fetch him back to Bangkit. They urged him to forget altogether his domestic quarrels with his relatives. To prove their sincerity as arbitrators, they told him that they had brought with them eight jabir (worth $8.00) for them to cool his anger at the past quarels.

In his reply Senabong told his uncles that, since he had moved out from the Bangkit, he would like to think further of what he would do later. “At this moment I have no mind to return to the Bangkit”, he said.

Bangkam and Guroh continued trying to persuade him to return and to settle peacefully in the Bangkit with his relatives and neighbours. Finally Senabong was persuaded, but when his wife’s mother Dula heard this, she strongly rebuked him and opposed her family’s return to Bangkit. She furiously threw to her son-in-law her own jacket asking him to wear it (which meant that she accused Senabong of having the heart of a woman). Because of his mother-in-law’s behaviour Senabong confirmed to his uncles that he would never again return to the Bangkit stream in the Paku subdistrict.

Senabong and his followers were living in the Malay land at Tanjong Mangut which, as his real name was Baring, was called Tanjong Baring and is still so called to this day.

The Malays of that place at that time were under their chief Abang Sidek, who was a descendant of Abang Gudam and Dayang Chi of the Saribas. Abang Sidek came to know that Senabong and his people fled from Bangkit only after Bangkam,Guroh and Gerijih had returned to their respective houses after visiting him. He regretfully told Senabong that as he (Senabong) was in enmity with Sana and his people at Bangkit, he no longer dared to live near him. “If I approve you and your people to live near me,” he said, “I am afraid that Sana and his followers will come to attack us both”. Hearing Abang Sidek’s warning, Senabong promptly left that place and built his house at Pinang Mirab stream near the source and on the right bank of the Batang Lupar between the Lingga and Sibuyau tributaries where he and his people lived amongst the Balau and Sibuyau Dayaks.

Shortly after he had settled at this place, Senabong gathered all his Sibuyau and Balau friends to join him to attack the people of Sana’s longhouse at Bangkit of the Paku subdistrict in Saribas River. These people agreed to join him; so they went up the Saribas and then up its tributary, the Paku. When they reached a place called Brutan, Senabong commanded some of his fighters to spy on Sana’s settlement at Bangkit. These spies came to a certain padi field and they went to a farm hut where they killed a woman named Daong. After they had cut off her head, they brought it to Senabong and his warriors at Brutan.

When Senabong saw the head of Daong, he wept and said that owing to this killing he, after some fighting with the people of Bangkit, would be defeated and himself be killed. This was because during his first war against them a warrior had killed a woman with whom he (Senabong) had had his first sexual inter-course.

Immediately after this he led his warriors to return to his house in the Batang Lupar. But after they had arrived home, the Balau came and said to Senabong that they would not dare to live near him any more as they knew that sooner or later the Bangkit people would certainly revenge the death of Daong.

8. Senabong migrated to Paloh in the Krian River.

Owing to the refusal of the Balaus to live near him, Senabong moved to the Kiran River and built his house at Paloh. Two years after he had settled here, he again returned to the Batang Lupar to build his house at Sungai Pinang Mirah. This time the Balaus liked him, since during the last two years no people from Bangkit had come to attack them.

At Bangkit at this time Sana had collected a number of fighters to join him to revenge Senabong for the death of Daong. On their way down the Saribas river, when they came to a place, Tanjong Kauk, they saw a lot of buntal fish floating in this river. ‘On seeing this they were afraid as, according to the Iban belief, no one while on the way to warpath should see any fish floating in the water. Therefore because of this unfavourable omen Sana and his warriors returned to their house in the Bangkit.

The following year after padi planting season was over Sana again led his people to attack Senabong in the Batang Lupar. At this time, when they came to Tanjong Kauk, they again saw a lot of buntal fish floating in the river. It was due to this that Sana and his warriors returned once again to the Bangkit. But at the end of that year Sana led his warriors for the third time to attack Senabong at the Batang Lupar.

When they came to the mouth of Plassan stream near the mouth of the Saribas river, they noticed many rumpong prawns floating in the water. Seeing this, all of them believed it was wrong to go beyond it. So again Sana and his people returned to their house at Bangkit.

On the way home, when they passed Indai Ukap’s farm hut at Buling, she asked ,whether they had successfully killed Senabong, her brother. Sana said that they had not attacked him yet owing to unfavourable omens. “You can never kill him”, said Indai Ukap, as Senabong is guarded jointly by the goddesses Kumang and Indai Abang of the Gelong spiritual world.

9. Megong “Gerijih Ai Marang” lead the war party.

When they came home, Sana called for all his uncles in the Bangkit to a council of war. At this meeting Bangkam and Guroh said that if only the people of Bangkit alone were to attack Senabong and his people, they could not do it unless they were led by their brother Gerijih. Thus Sana urgently called for Gerijih in the Paku for help.

When Gerijih came, they urged him not only to lead them to fight their enemy Seriabong but also to live permanently with them at Bangkit. They admitted that after Gerijih had left them to marry a woman in the Paku no one in Bangkit had been capable of defending their country from the enemy’s attacks. To prove their willingness in calling Gerijih back, they presented to him one rusa jar covered with a huge tawak gong.

Gerijih said it was very difficult for him to rejoin them as be had no farmlands nor fruit trees in the Bangkit region for his family to live on. Hearing the logic of Gerijih’s argument, Sana assured him that, as he was their close relative, he was also entitled to have the same rights as other members of his father’s (Nanggar’s) family to own lands and fruit trees in the Bangkit region. On hearing his nephew’s assurance regarding his future if he were ever to return to the Bangkit, Gerijih said that he would do so only after he had discussed this request with his wife’s family in the Paku.

On his return home Gerijih discussed the matter with his family and the Paku chiefs such as Saang and Busu. On realizing his relatives’ problems at Bangkit, the Paku chiefs, although reluctantly, approved that Gerijih, his wife, and children should move to Bangkit as soon as they could.

On his arrival at Bangkit Gerijih promptly led the people there to build a big longhouse at a piece of land at Lubok Manok inside the Semambu stream. At this settlement he planted a durian tree which is still growing to this day (1970).

10. Gerijih killed Senabong at Meludam Beach

While he was living at Lubok Manok longhouse, Gerijih built a huge boatshed above the mouth of Pelawa stream on the Paku river for him to keep his first wãrboat. The durian trees which he planted near this shed are still growing to this day.

Shortly after he had prepared for warpath, Gerijih called for a council of war to fight Senabong and his people at Sungai Pinang Mirah in the Batang Lupar river. At this meeting he asked all his warriors to equip themselves with all kinds of weapons, such as swords, shields, and spears. At the same time he also advised them to bring enough provisions for the expedition.

After they had prepared everything for the expedition, they left Nanga Pelawa by the warboat. When they reached Nanga Bangkit, they stopped in order to look for a favourable omen for war in the forest. While Gerijih was looking for this omen, he found the eggs of a ketupong bird laying in a nest. He marked that nest with a stick before he returned to the warboat. On his arrival at the boat he informed his warriors that he had found the eggs of a ketupong bird in a nest. The warriors said that this omen was excellent if they could wait for the eggs to hatch and that they could leave the place after the young birds had been able to fly. They all agreed to wait for this omen, so they stayed at Nanga Bangkit for three months.

When the observation of this omen was ended, Gerijih led his warriors to leave the place. And as they reached the Meludam beach they met a Malay fisherman. Gerijih informed this man that he was on his way to attack Senabong and his people at the Sungai Pinang Mirah stream of the Batang Lupar River. Hearing this, the fisherman told Gerijih that he was very lucky if he was to attack Senabong that day. He instantly pointed with his finger to Senabong’s sail on the sea on his way back from Paloh to his house at Pinang Mirah stream on the Batang Lupar River.

On seeing Senabong’s sail, Gerijih stood up and swung his war charms in the air to pray for the wind to blow Senabong’s boat quickly towards them to the beach. The wind instantly blew strongly and sent Senabong’s boat towards them. As the boat landed, Gerijih said that Senabong, who was his nephew-in-law, was still under God’s curse for having killed the innocent Daong and which now had led a war against himself (Gerijih). At this moment a warrior named Engut speared Senabong with a berayang spear and wounded him on the thigh. Senabong fell down in his boat. He was then beheaded by a warrior named Singa.

Gerijih did not ask any of his warriors to harm Senabong’s son named Uja who accompanied his father. But one of them simply slashed one of his ears with a knife.

After Senabong had died, they took away from his body his war charms which they handed to his son Uja. Gerijih told Uja that he could use those charms to revenge himself for the death of his father Senabong if he would do so. Before Gerijih and his warriors left the Meludam beach with the head of Senabong, he conferred upon Engut a nickname “Rimau Mengkang” for killing Senabong. After this they returned victoriously to the Saribas.

11. lndai Ukap mourned for Senabong’s death

In the Paku tributary of the Saribas as they passed Indai Ukap’s hut at Nanga Penggan which was not far above her former farm hut at Nanga Buling, Indai Ukap asked whether Gerijih’s war expedition had been successful? All the warriors promptly told her that they had successfully killed their arch enemy Senabong. On hearing this, Indai Ukap stood up to see the Kelakuyang pole which was heavily decorated with isang leaves in Gerijih warboat. Then Indai Ukap wept loudly and said, “No doubt that Senabong was killed by Gerijih, as the latter wa looked after by the heroes Keling and Bunga Nuing of the Panggau Libau spiritual world.”

She continued to weep sorrowfully and said : — “Indeed it is a pity that my cub is dead, No longer to roar at the hilltop! Indeed it is a pity that my dragon whose body was striped and died; No longer to crawl along the edge of the sky!”

Gerijih and his warriors then went up the Paku till they reached their landing place above the mouth of the Pelawa stream. From there they walked overland to their house at Semambu in the Bangkit stream.

12. Uja migrated to the Sibuyau tributary of the Batang Lupar. From here he led the attacks against Gerijih.

Shortly after the death of his father at Meludam beach Uja led his followers to move from Sungai Pinang Mirah to build a house inside the Sibuyau tributary on the left bank of the Batang Lupar river.

Soon after he had settled there, he called for the Sibuyau and th Balau people to join his war expedition against his grand-uncle, Gerijih, of Bangkit in the Paku river in the Saribas district, to revenge the death of his lamented father, Senabong.

At this expedition his father’s friend Pebom was appointed chief warrior by Uja. When they reached. Nanga Bakir in the Saribas river, they landed and walked towards th Bakir hill which was situated between the main Saribas river and the upper Pekasi stream of the Bangkit. From there they secretly tracked down towards Gerijih’s long- house which was located at the mouth of the Semambu stream.

Early that night a woman named Renting of Gerijih’s house passed urine at the open verandah of her house. While she was doing this, she was spied upon by Uja nearby and speared with his spear but was missed. Renting quickly caught the spear and got it. She instantly called for a man named Julai and asked him to follow Uja and Pebom with that weapon.

Julai with some others immediately followed the enemies that whole night along the jungle. Next morning at sunrise they encountered their enemies at a place called Rian Selai near Lubok Panchor at the headwater of the Bakir stream. Here they fought and killed Uja’s two warriors. Pebom who was wounded could not run away. He begged his foes not to slay him but ordered them to take his jar at Ambor’s house at Ulu Babu in the Rimbas for the price of his life. Hearing Pebom’ request, Julai asked the opinions of his comrades. His friends begged Julai to wait for Kelukut whose nickname was Batu Galang, as he wa a man of authority, being the son-in-law of Gerijih, the chief and war leader of the Bangkit.

Shortly afterwards Batu Galang came. They told him what Pebom had asked them regarding his life. “If you do not kill him, you let the demon-hunter live,” replied Kelukut. On hearing the words of his chief, Julai stood up and dragged Pebom’s body, which he struck on the buttress of Rian Selai tree. Pebom’s head was broken and the brains came out of his skull. It was due to his bravery and courage at this fight that Julai was given a nickname of Lebor by Kelukut Batu Galang.

* * *

Bangkam the eldest brother of Gerijih married Cherengga and begot a daughter named Rintik. The latter married Berundang and begot a daughter named Renting, who was speared by Uja, son of Senabong, while she was urinating at the open verandah of her house, as fully mentioned above.

After the defeat of Uja and his warriors by the people of Bangkit at Ulu Bakir, the Ibans of the lower Saribas and the Balaus and the Sibuyaus Iban of the lower Batang Lupar were at peace. They were free as in the past to visit each other’s country for many decades afterwards.

Eventually in early 1800 a Malay chief at Lingga named Indra Lila played a double game. Whenever he travelled up the Lingga river, he told the Balaus that the Saribas Ibans were anxious to declare wars. When he was visiting the Saribas river, he encouraged the Ibans of that district to attack the Balaus of the Lingga river.

As a result of being incited by Indra Lila the Balau Ibans went up the Saribas to attack the people of Bangkit in the lower Paku. They landed at a place called Luba Gantang on the main Saribas river. From this place they walked along the virgin forest till they reached a hilltop where they could not see anything as the sky was too foggy. For that reason they returned to Luba Gantang and finally went back to the Batang Lupar River. The hill where they tried to view the Bangkit region later was, and still is called, Bukit Kayau.

Many years after Senabong and his people had gone out of the Bangkit region, Sana, his brothers, and their followers farmed the lands on both banks of the Pekasi stream where the padi would not grow well. It was due to this that they offered sacrifices several times to the dieties of the land by killing pigs and chicken, in order to smear the land with the blood. But still their padi and other crops would not grow well.

On seeing the result, Sana and his brothers went to a Malay chief in the lower Saribas and purchased from him one of his slaves with a gong (tawak) for them to offer to God at the upper Pekasi stream. The name of this slave was Embalu.

When the day came for them to hold the offering ceremony, they took Embalu to the upper Pekasi stream and killed him on a high ground there which was and still is known as Embalu islet. His blood and other offerings were used by them to the land at this place.

After this ceremony and up to the present day those who farmed the Pekasi lands had always been very successful in their work if they worked reasonably hard.

The End


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