Iban’s trouble with the Mualang Dayak.

Trouble with the Mualang Dayak.

Shortly after the Sadok war was over, the young warriors of the Saribas turned their attention from warfare to trade, as the Tuan Muda had advised them to do. Saribas leader named Kedit of the Paku went to work wild rubber at Sadong. He was accompanied by Kalanang, Usin, Tumbing, Manggi and Sagoh apai Basok of the Paku. This took place in about 1868. From Simunjan, they went up the Kraang tributary, but were unable to find enough wild rubber there to be worth working. The types of wild rubber they were looking for were nyatu puteh, nyatu rian, beringin, sebang, semalam, kubal tusu, gubi, kerik and perapat. Finding few of these trees in the Kraang, they traveled towards the upper Bayan, in Kalimantan. The Bayan is a tributary of the Ketungau River and is occupied by Mualang Dayak. At Ulu Bayan they built a temporary hut where they could stay while working the forests. After they had settled in the hut, one morning Usin, Tumbing, Manggi and Sagoh went into the forest to look for wild rubber, while Kedit and Kalanang went along a different route. Chupong stayed behind to look after the hut. While Chupong was alone in the hut, several Mualang Dayak came and attacked him with spears. He was wounded slightly on the knee, but was able to run away and hide safely in the forest.

Usin and all those who had gone with him to look for wild rubber were murdered by the Mualangs while they ate lunch in a Mualang longhouse, some miles from their hut.

In the evening when Kedit and Kalanang arrived back at the hut, they called for Chupong. But he had hidden himself and did not reply. However, as they were looking for him they noticed small drops of blood on dead leaves near the hut. They became worried and looked for him further from the hut. As they did this Chupong emerged, and told them that they had been attacked by a number of hostile Mualang and wounded by a spear in his knee. Because of this trouble, they thought they should leave the place as soon as they could, but because of their friends’ absence, Kedit decided to wait that night to see if they would return to the hut. Next morning, finding that Usin and his friends had not returned, Kedit and Kalanang took the wounded Chupong back to their boat at the upper Kraang in order to return to the Saribas. Kedit thought it unlikely that he would find his lost friends, and decided they would have to prepare to fight the Mualang.

On their arrival home they immediately reported what had occurred to chiefs Linggir “Mali Lebu” and Luwi of the upper Paku. On receiving the news of the death of his people, Luwi called upon Linggir and his warriors to take revenge on the Mualang for the death of Usin, Manggi, Tumbing and Sagoh. Linggir promptly agreed to lead his fighters against the Mualang. While the force was at its langkau burong hut, awaiting favorable omens for the war, a message was received from Simanggang, which forbade them to continue with their proposed war expedition. This message displeased Linggir and his warriors. So Linggir led a delegation from the Paku to meet Minggat at the Awik in order to ask him to help them apply to the Rajah in Kuching for approval for a war against the Mualang. On their way to the Awik, they happened to meet Minggat shopping in Saratok. After he had learned that Linggir and other leaders of the Paku were on the way to visit his house, Minggat told them to stay the night at Saratok, as he was completely unprepared to receive such an important group of influential men at his house. So Linggir and his followers stayed that night in Saratok. Next morning with the tide Linggir and his friends went up to Awik. On arrival at Minggat’s longhouse landing place, they bathed and dressed, and then Munan, the eldest son of Minggat, came down to invite them up to the house. When the Pakus reached it, they found that the longhouse was already full of guests from the Sabelak, Sebetan, Melupa, Krian and the Awik itself.

That night after dinner, Minggat called all the people to his ruai to discuss with the Pakus the reason for this visit by nearly all their important leaders. Linggir told Minggat that he had come for a very important reason, and a sorrowful one, He said that four of his people (anak biak) under Kedit had recently been cruelly killed by the Mualang Dayaks, while exploring for wild rubber in that people’s country at the upper Bay an, a tributary of the Ketungau. He said that Kedit had reported the matter to him, and that he and others had decided that the murders must be promptly revenged. But when they prepared for war, a message was received from Simanggang forbidding their proposed expedition. Disturbed by this intervention, Linggir said that he and all the leaders of the Paku were very dis¬appointed as they felt it was senseless not to take revenge upon the enemy, who had willfully killed their people without any prior quarrel.

“For this reason,” said Linggir, “we have come to you so that you may help us to apply for approval from the Rajah to attack the Mualang.”

In his reply, Minggat said that he personally very much regretted the incident. He assured Linggir that it meant as much to him as if his own people of the Awik had been the victims.

“But this problem is difficult,” he continued. “If our people had been killed by the Mualang inside our own territory, then it would be easier for us to ask permission from the Rajah to attack them. But as they were killed inside Kalimantan, the Mualang could say that they had been attacked by our people and so were forced to defend themselves,” said Minggat.

He then concluded that he would agree to go to Kuching with Linggir, if he would ask the Rajah to bring the matter to a court of law, rather than by fighting to avenge the death of these men. Linggir said that he could not agree with Minggat. He insisted that blood had to be repaid in blood. Hearing this Minggat told his Paku friends that the Rajah would certainly not approve of a war against the Mualang. Early next morning, the Pakus left the Awik. When they came to the mouth of the Kalaka, they paddled directly to the Sarawak River to meet the Rajah in Kuching.

When Linggir met the Rajah, he was told that he must not take the law into his own hands. The Rajah said that he would settle the matter by negotiation with the Dutch government so that the Dutch would persuade the murderers of Linggir’s men to pay the pati nyawa compensation to the heirs of the deceased. Shortly after this, Linggir died of old age in the Paku in 1874. Some years after his death, the compensation paid by the Mualang for the death of his people was officially given to their heirs at Simanggang in the presence of various government chiefs, including Penghulu Garran who had succeeded his uncle Linggir as chief of the Paku Iban.



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