Iban affairs in the Ulu Paku.

Iban affairs in the Ulu Paku.

When Mawar Tuai was chief of Bangat and the lower Layar regions, Baling was an active warrior in the upper Skrang. In his wars he drove out the Skrang Bukitan to the Kanowit, which caused them to settle in various scattered places along the Ensiling and Mujok streams and in the Sugei of Bulau River.

After Baling died his nephew Nyaru, son of Bakar, attacked the Ulu Paku Bukitans at Nanga Deran.

This raid took place when Uyut “Bedilang Besi” was chief of the lower Paku and Anyut rivers.

At this time the upper Paku watershed was leaderless after the death of Blaki who had been murdered by the Serus.

Blaki’s sons, Bayang and Ugap, were still too young to lead the people.

It was because of this that the decision of Awan of the Padeh to marry young Lada was promptly accepted by Bayang and Ugap and their relatives, including their uncle Uyut “Bedilang Besi”, who felt that the upper Paku region should be defended against attacks from the Serus of Krian.

At this time “Bedilang Besi” had left them to stay with his wife Nangku, a daughter of chief Saang of the lower Paku and Anyut Rivers.

After he had defeated the Nanga Deran Bukitan, Nyaru migrated to the Paku with his son Libau. In this new area Nyaru and Libau were not leaders, until Libau’s son Kaya married Sawai a daughter of Lada and Awan.

Sawai was an heiress of Busu, the father of Uyut “Bedilang Besi”.

Nyaru’s sister Rabiah was the mother Mujah “Buah Raya”, who later migrated from the Paku to become famous chief of the Kanowit people.

After the death of Kaya, his eldest son became chief of the upper Paku.

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

Libau “Buban” was to stay with Jantan at Nanga Samu.

Saing was to build his longhouse at Jukun.

Laus and her husband Lanchang were to live at Nanga Buong, and

Kadir and Langan were to live at Danau.

At the death of Jantan, Libau “Buban” became the senior chief of the upper Paku river. He was not a man of war but was very straight forward in dealing with the affairs of his people.

When Libau was old, Kadir and Langan separated from each other.

Kadir went to live with his followers at Penom, while Danau was taken care of by his son Unchi.

Langan built his longhouse at Meroh, near the source of the Paku river.

At about this tune Libau’s sons Kaya and Ugat married.

Kaya stayed in his father’s house while Ugat, went to live with his wife who was the only daughter of Langan at Meroh.

Their sister Janta married Kadir, a son of Orang Kaya Linggang of the Rimbas.

After her marriage, Janta left her father and went to live in the same longhouse as her uncle Saing, who had moved from Jukun to Batu Genting.

Ugat was a brave warrior who was hostile to the Brunei government, represented by Laksamana Amir who lived at the Malay village of Buling.

Due to his hostility, he defied the Laksamana by slashing a mungut basket, which was used by Brunei tax collectors for collecting padi for the yearly tax from the Dayaks and Malays of the Paku River.

The Laksamana was angry.

Therefore Ugat planned a rebellion which was supported by all the upper Paku Iban.

The Iban who had settled in the Anyut tributary did not support Ugat, since Linggir “Mali Lebu” and his families were very friendly with the Laksamana and his family.

In order to start the revolt, Ugat led his warriors to attack the Beliun in the Sarikei River.

By doing this he could at the same time stop the migrants from the Layar and Skrang rivers from migrating to the Awik, a tributary of the Krian and to Pakan a tributary of the Julau – the places which he and his people intended to occupy after their rebellion was over.

After he had failed to defeat the Beliun of Sarikei, he decided to attack the Serus who had settled below the Embuas rapids in the lower Krian River.

At this time none of the Iban who had migrated from the Rimbas had settled above the Embuas rapids.

The only areas that had been settled by them were the Melupa tributary together with both banks of the middle reaches of the Krian River.

Due to the small number of settlers, the Iban longhouse at Berangan Arang had twice been attacked by Bukitan from the Julau River.

Ugat was told in his dream to hold a gawai kalingkang festival but his chandi uriek ritual pole was too grand for the first stage of Bird festival as informed by Uyu Apai Ikom from Ulu Julau who was invited the master of ceremonies.

So the feast was celebrated in the name of Libau, not of Ugat.

After the feast was over, the Rajah defeated Linggir at the battle of Beting Maru in 1849.

Also it was from Ugat’s house at Nanga Tiang that Kedit “Rindang” went to reinforce Linggir who attacked the Rajah’s advancing flotilla at the battle of Nanga Peka four days after the battle of Beting Maru had been fought.

After Linggir’s defeat at the battle of Beting Maru, the Paku Dayaks submitted themselves officially to the government of Rajah Brooke.

Ugat, who still did not want to be governed by any government, decided to migrate to the Julau so that he and his people could continue to defy the government of the country.

The majority of the people of the upper Paku River followed him to the Julau. But before they reached the Julau they farmed the Ulu Awik lands. The Awik is the right tributary of the Krian.

Shortly after Ugat had migrated to the Ulu Julau, Enchana “Letan” of Linggir’s house at Kerangan Pinggai led the people of the lower Paku and Anyut tributary on migration to the Awik River.

Three years later, they were followed to the Awik by Letan’s brother Minggat who had recently married Jara, a Rimbas woman from Suri.

When Letan and his people from the lower Paku and Anyut were about to settle in the Awik, Ugat and his followers moved to the Julau.

In the season of falling trees (maia nebang) in the first year that they farmed there, Ugat and many others suffered from a pedis parut epidemic. Due to this trouble, Ugat and those who were sick were brought back to the Paku. Shortly after their arrival home, most of them including Ugat died of the disease. Due to Ugat’s death, all of his followers returned to the Paku and the migration was discontinued.



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