Iban migration to the Baram.

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.



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