Asal baya takut makai Iban ari Tuai Jimbun

The Story of Chief Jimbun and the Spirit Crocodile:

One day while the Iban were settled at Semitau under the leadership of various chiefs, a chief named Jimbun visited the abode of the crocodile spirits which prey on human, just as the man from Sungkong had visited the abode of the spirit tigers related later in this article. Chief Jimbun was making knife in a hut near the bank of the Kapuas River. While he was doing this, his daughter went to the river to bathe where she was suddenly caught by a crocodile. Hearing a loud splash in the river, Jimbun stood up and look out toward the river where he saw his daughter’s leg appeared on the surface while her body was beneath the surface of the water. Sensing the danger his daughter was in, he immediately jumped into the river and followed the crocodile as far as a place called Tubai Raong pool. There the crocodile had carried the girl into a huge river pocket under an over-hanging bank. This river pocket was a well known abode of crocodiles. Being a very brave man, Jimbun dived deep into the river pocket. There he found to his surprise that he had arrived at a large longhouse. As he walked along its inner passageway, he saw an old man reclining near a hearth to warm himself. This old man was herd grumbling, “It is you who are guilty. You have caught a daughter of a man. Due to your sin, if a man chooses to take revenge on you, you will be justly killed by him”. As Jimbun came nearer, he asked the old man what he had been grumbling about.



“Don’t you hear the noise in that room?” the old man asked. “It is the noise of the people who are eating the daughter of a man whom one of them had caught while she was bathing in the river.”


Jimbun told the old man that it was his daughter who had been caught by a crocodile. He asked whether he could kill a guilty person, who had killed his innocent daughter.



“Don’t do that now as there are too many people in the room. You may kill only those who are guilty, but not the others.” He advised Jimbun to poison the slayer of his daughter with the poisonous bark of a tree which Jimbun must collect at Bukit Bulan, opposite the crocodile longhouse. He directed Jimbun to place several pieces of this bark on the door of the house that night in order to poison the slayer of his daughter as well as those who had taken part in consuming the girl’s flesh.


Jimbun then went out to the Bulan Hill to collect the bark as instructed by the old man. After bringing it back, he hid himself in the bushes outside the longhouse.



Late in the evening, after the people in the longhouse had gone to sleep, Jimbun took the poisonous bark and placed it at the door of the slayer’s apartment. He also placed the bark elsewhere in the house, so that it would be touched by other people who were actually crocodiles. As soon as he had done this, he hid himself again. From his hiding place he heard the growls and cries of many people dying by poison. In the morning, there was a deathly silence in the longhouse. Jimbun went in and saw many bodies lying dead all over the longhouse. After he was satisfied with the result of his revenge, he met the old man, who was still alive. The old man sent him to the road junction which would lead Jimbun back to his own house at Semitau Tuai.


Shortly after he had left the old man, all of a sudden Jimbun found himself miraculously standing on the bank above the bathing place of his longhouse people. His fellow men saw him there and they were very happy for his safe return.


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