The Iban acquire jars in foreign land.

The Iban acquire jars in foreign land.

In about 1867 a man named Jamit apai Madu of the Paku was serving as a crew member onboard a Malay sailing ship. During one of his voyages he came to Makassar in the Celebes. From there he went to Java and later to Singapore where he met Insol, a son of OKP Nanang of the Padeh, who was then visiting Singapore.

After Kedit and his followers had successfully returned with a number of jars from Sabah, another young Paku leader named Jungan of Matop, went with his followers by sailing boat to Sabah for the same purpose. There Jugan’s followers bought a number of jars while Jungan and his cousins Ancheh and Busu bought a sergiu jar each. On their arrival home, other young men were surprised to hear of the sergiu jars which Jungan and his cousins had purchased.

Encouraged by Jungan’s successful voyage, another three young warriors proposed to accompany him on another trip to Sabah. They were Budin “Grasi”, Kandau, Ngindang “Kumpang Pali”, and with them went two young Malay chiefs, Abang Tek, a son of Laksamana Amir of Spaoh, and Abang Chek a son of Laksamana Omar of the Rimbas. Before they sailed to Sabah they went to the Kapuas to purchase a valuable guchi jar from the Dayaks of the upper Melawi River. This they purchased at Sintang in the Kapuas, and took it to Sabah to trade. At this time the Brooke Raj extended only as far northwest as the Mukah River in what is today the Third Division of Sarawak, when they arrived at a port called Putatan in Sabah territory they were kindly permitted by Menteri Babu, a Dusun trader, to stay at his house. He owned a lot of old jars which he exchanged for the trader’s guchi jarlet. After each of the crew members had obtained two jars, they returned home happily. The story of their arrival with these jars encouraged more Iban to engage in the same sort of trade in foreign countries.

Shortly after this, Penghulu Minggat of Awik bought a sailing boat from a Malay man and went to Sabah to purchase jars. On this voyage he was accompanied by Sauh apai Ingging, Dampa apai Daong, Gundi, Manang Nyara, Nyanggau anak Mail and many others. At Putatan Minggat sold the guchi jarlet which he had bought from a Melawi Malay trader to Menteri Babu. With money from the sale Minggat bought six valuable jars, while Sauh bought four; the rest also bought a number of jars, according to their individual means. Minggat’s successful trading venture to Sabah greatly interested the Kalaka and Saribas Iban. At this time all young men of the region were fond of talking about Sabah as a place for trading ventures.

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