Mujah “Buah Raya” of the Entabai

Mujah “Buah Raya” of the Entabai.

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

Penglima Mujah came from the Skrang. In about 1840 he migrated to the Saribas and lived temporarily at the foot of Sadok Mountain, farming the lands in the upper Spak tributary.

When living in the Spak, “Buah Raya” frequently visited the Saribas warleaders, such as Igoh apai Lamban of the upper Layar, Unal “Bulan” of the lower Spak and the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana “Bayang” of the Padeh, where he studied general interpretations of omens and the tactics of war.

After he had obtained considerable knowledge of warfare, Mujah “Buah Raya” thought it was no longer worthwhile for him to remain in the Saribas country where a number of warleaders were already living.

With this thought in mind he paid a visit to an Iban named Encharang who lived in the upper Anyut tributary of the Paku River. Mujah married Andak, the daughter of Echarang but divorced due to her refusal to  migrate with him to Entabai.

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

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

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

Shortly after he had returned from visiting the Saribas, Uyu apai Ikum of the upper Julau visited him. Uyu was one of Mujah “Buah Raya’”s warrior. He came to ask whether the Iban of this new settlement had any enemies to fight. Mujah “Buah Raya” said that the Bukitan had gone to live together in the upper Sugai tributary and were no longer dangerous to the Iban migrants. Mujah “Buah Raya” told Uyu that only the Bukitan who lived along the main Julau River, in the Binatang, Nyelong and Sarikei rivers could be attacked. On hearing this, Uyu and other warriors repaired their warboats.

After two nights on the way, they reached the mouth of the Julau River where they raided an unprepared enemy village and killed and captured many of the enemy. But as the raid was completed early in the afternoon, the warriors urged Mujah “Buah Raya” to attack the Segalang and Rajang villages inside the Kanowit River. So they attacked these as well and killed and captured many of the enemy.



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