Power Struggle in Panggau Libau: Before Keling became the

 

Power Struggle in Panggau Libau:

 

Before Keling became the leader of the Panggau Libau people, his father Si Gundi, the eldest son of Telichai and Dayang Sia Bunsu Kamba, a descendent of Bejie, left his family to marry a Panggau Libau damsel named Laing. Laing was the eldest sister of Sinja (mother of Laja), Nawin (mother of Sempurai), Sinjong (mother of Tutong – chief of Gelong clan), Apai Sabit Bekait and Ribai. They were the most powerful and influential family in the Panggau Libau clan. The Panggau Libau and the Gelong clan were considered semi-god by other people as they were the only people who survived the supernatural disaster and diseases that killed many Dayak people during that time.

 

Si Gundi, being the eldest son of Telichu, is considered half-man and half-demon and the only person brave enough to win the heart of a Panggau Libau damsel. Being the eldest son, he has the leadership quality and trait to win the love, respect and most of all, acceptance by the Panggau Libau people to be their leader, especially his brother-in-laws, Ensing Gima (father of Laja), Si Ganti (father of Sempurai) and Beddang (father of Tutong and Kumang). Soon, Si Gundi was appointed leader of the Panggau Libau people by the council of elders. This, naturally, create jealousy and enmity between Si Gundi and his brothers-in-law, Apai Sabit Bekait, who was the original hereditary leader of Panggau Libau clan and his brother Ribai. As the leadership struggle between the two groups worsened, a war broke out within the clan. Apai Sabit Bekait and his followers attacked and destroyed Si Gundi’s longhouse at Lembang Muang. Si Gundi and Ensing Gima were both killed defending their longhouse, while Beddang was captured by Apai Sabit Bekait’s trusted warrior named Tedang during the raid. For this reason, Apai Sabit Bekait and his followers became the principal enemies of the Panggau People. Ribai and his followers, not wanting to be involved directly in the internal conflict, migrated across the sea. Keling, Laja, Sempurai and Pungga were all away traveling abroad during this time, seeking knowledge and life experience. Many saga-epic (ensera) story of Keling’s adventure were told in many Iban literature and songs. After the attack on Si Gundi’s longhouse, Apai Sabit Bekait quickly escaped to the spiritual world in the sky, between heaven and earth, where he built a strong and tight fortress to prevent any retaliation by Keling and his followers from Panggau Libau and Gelong.

 

On his return from overseas adventures, Keling was immediately appointed the leader of Panggau Libau people, replacing his father. He immediately organized his people to migrate to the spiritual world in order to keep track of Apai Sabit Bekait whereabouts and to exert revenge upon them. But before they left the human world, he taught his uncles and cousins of the human world how to play the percussion gendang rayah music on gongs and drums so that, even after their separation, humankind might continue to summon these spiritual heroes to this world, should they seek assistance from them or inviting them to celebrate the cycle of Gawai festivals. In the course of these rituals, the Orang Panggau act as the ritual hosts and attendants, sending out invitations and receiving the gods on behalf of their human host.

 

 

Keling and Laja were the best known of the Panggau-Gelong heroes. Laja is the principal companion of Keling as well as his second-in-command. His chief task among the heroes is to smoke the trophy heads (nyampu antu pala) which they bring back from the battlefield. The other principal warriors under Keling command were Sempurai and Pungga. By some account Sempurai was said to be of demon ancestry, a descendant of Telichu, hence his violent temper and unpredictable nature. Some tales said that he was the son of the most dreaded demon named Beduru or Nising (an arch enemy of Sengalang Burong – an Iban God of War). He was captured when he was still a baby, in an epic battle led by Sengalang Burong himself, and was adopted by Si Ganti also known as Ngingit Lemai. His adopted mother, Nawin, is a younger sister of Keling’s mother.

 

By some other account, another reason that the orang Panggau and Gelong should leave the human world was to avoid destructive conflict with human kind due to violent behavior of Sempurai. This violent behavior has no match in the human world as he and the Panggau Libau people have the super human magical power and capabilities. As such, they could no longer live side by side with each other.

 

 

After they had become well established in Nanga Sekapat settlement, Sempurai, whose honorific name (julok) was “Bunga Nuing”, became very violent. Sempurai was a trusted warrior, the first cousin of Keling. If he played games with children, he threw them in the air so that they landed far from the play ground. If he happens to pass by a group of damsel, he openly pinched their breasts. If he met a pregnant woman, he would kick her womb. After some time, Sempurai’s bad character was reported to Keling and Laja. They scolded him and told him to curb his aggressiveness. This makes Sempurai’s behavior even more violent. He argued and eventually quarreled openly with his cousin Laja. Laja is also Keling’s first cousin, his most trusted warrior and his second-in-command. He was the son of Ensing Gima who was killed together with Keling’s father in a war with Keling’s uncle and arch enemy, Apai Sabit Bekait. His mother, Sinja, is a younger sister of Keling’s mother.

 

One day, Sempurai and Laja quarreled from morning till dusk. During their argument, a precious charm belonging to Laja was split from the phial (a small glass bottle for keeping liquid medicine) in which it was kept. This caused a damsel named Kelinah or Indai Abang, to become very annoyed. She felt that it was not fitting for men of such status as Sempurai and Laja to show such a bad example to others in the village. She suggested that they must be separated and live elsewhere in order that the people of Nanga Sekapat settlement might no longer be made to fear and witness their fierceness. When Keling heard this, he at once led the migration of his Panggau Libau followers, taking the Batang Panggau Libau river with them into the spiritual world. He replaced the Panggau Libau river with a new one, known as Batang Ketungau, now situated in Northwest Kalimantan border.

 

Seeing that Keling and his followers had migrated, Tutong also led a migration of his Gelong people and followed Keling and the people of Panggau Libau to a spiritual world as he would not want to be left behind when the Panggau people attack Apai Sabit Bekait. Tutong also would not want to be left behind to rescue his father Beddang, who was captured by Apai Sabit Bekait’s trusted warrior, Tedang. Tutong’s sister, Kumang, had also pledge that she would marry anyone who rescue her father from captivity. Tutong similarly took along with them the Batang Gelong river. In their haste to follow Keling and his people, he forgot to bring along a very high hill called Bukit Gelong which is still located in the upper region of the Ketungau River and can clearly be seen from the Kalingkang range on the modern political boundary of Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan.

 

 

After the spirit heroes has separated from the humankind, the Dayak people began to re-organize ourselves under the leadership of the following men: Bui Nasi, Putong Kempat, Litan Lengan, Pulang Belawan, Bejit Manai and Retak Dai (father of Sarapoh). They moved from Nanga Sekapat to Lempa Entaya, where they built a number of longhouses. After they had lived at Lempa Entaya for a number of decades, they migrated to a placed called Sungkong. There they became more developed that their forefathers and progressed in many fields like arts, crafts, medicine, basic tools and utensils. They also increased greatly in numbers.

Power Struggle in Panggau Libau:

Before Keling became the leader of the Panggau Libau people, his father Si Gundi, the eldest son of Telichai and Dayang Sia Bunsu Kamba, a descendent of Bejie, left his family to marry a Panggau Libau damsel named Laing. Laing was the eldest sister of Sinja (mother of Laja), Nawin (mother of Sempurai), Sinjong (mother of Tutong – chief of Gelong clan), Apai Sabit Bekait and Ribai. They were the most powerful and influential family in the Panggau Libau clan. The Panggau Libau and the Gelong clan were considered semi-god by other people as they were the only people who survived the supernatural disaster and diseases that killed many Dayak people during that time.

Si Gundi, being the eldest son of Telichu, is considered half-man and half-demon and the only person brave enough to win the heart of a Panggau Libau damsel. Being the eldest son, he has the leadership quality and trait to win the love, respect and most of all, acceptance by the Panggau Libau people to be their leader, especially his brother-in-laws, Ensing Gima (father of Laja), Si Ganti (father of Sempurai) and Beddang (father of Tutong and Kumang).

Soon, Si Gundi was appointed leader of the Panggau Libau people by the council of elders. This, naturally, create jealousy and enmity between Si Gundi and his brothers-in-law, Apai Sabit Bekait, who was the original hereditary leader of Panggau Libau clan and his brother Ribai.

As the leadership struggle between the two groups worsened, a war broke out within the clan. Apai Sabit Bekait and his followers attacked and destroyed Si Gundi’s longhouse at Lembang Muang. Si Gundi and Ensing Gima were both killed defending their longhouse, while Beddang was captured by Apai Sabit Bekait’s trusted warrior named Tedang during the raid. For this reason, Apai Sabit Bekait and his followers became the principal enemies of the Panggau People.

Ribai and his followers, not wanting to be involved directly in the internal conflict, migrated across the sea.

Keling, Laja, Sempurai and Pungga were all away traveling abroad during this time, seeking knowledge and life experience. Many saga-epic (ensera) story of Keling’s adventure were told in many Iban literature and songs.

After the attack on Si Gundi’s longhouse, Apai Sabit Bekait quickly escaped to the spiritual world in the sky, between heaven and earth, where he built a strong and tight fortress to prevent any retaliation by Keling and his followers from Panggau Libau and Gelong.

On his return from overseas adventures, Keling was immediately appointed the leader of Panggau Libau people, replacing his father. He immediately organized his people to migrate to the spiritual world in order to keep track of Apai Sabit Bekait whereabouts and to exert revenge upon them.

But before they left the human world, he taught his uncles and cousins of the human world how to play the percussion gendang rayah music on gongs and drums so that, even after their separation, humankind might continue to summon these spiritual heroes to this world, should they seek assistance from them or inviting them to celebrate the cycle of Gawai festivals. In the course of these rituals, the Orang Panggau act as the ritual hosts and attendants, sending out invitations and receiving the gods on behalf of their human host.

Keling and Laja were the best known of the Panggau-Gelong heroes. Laja is the principal companion of Keling as well as his second-in-command. His chief task among the heroes is to smoke the trophy heads (nyampu antu pala) which they bring back from the battlefield.

The other principal warriors under Keling command were Sempurai and Pungga. By some account Sempurai was said to be of demon ancestry, a descendant of Telichu, hence his violent temper and unpredictable nature. Some tales said that he was the son of the most dreaded demon named Beduru or Nising (an arch enemy of Sengalang Burong – an Iban God of War). He was captured when he was still a baby, in an epic battle led by Sengalang Burong himself, and was adopted by Si Ganti also known as Ngingit Lemai. His adopted mother, Nawin, is a younger sister of Keling’s mother.

By some other account, another reason that the orang Panggau and Gelong should leave the human world was to avoid destructive conflict with human kind due to violent behavior of Sempurai. This violent behavior has no match in the human world as he and the Panggau Libau people have the super human magical power and capabilities. As such, they could no longer live side by side with each other.

After they had become well established in Nanga Sekapat settlement, Sempurai, whose honorific name (julok) was “Bunga Nuing”, became very violent. Sempurai was a trusted warrior, the first cousin of Keling. If he played games with children, he threw them in the air so that they landed far from the play ground. If he happens to pass by a group of damsel, he openly pinched their breasts. If he met a pregnant woman, he would kick her womb.

After some time, Sempurai’s bad character was reported to Keling and Laja. They scolded him and told him to curb his aggressiveness. This makes Sempurai’s behavior even more violent.

He argued and eventually quarreled openly with his cousin Laja. Laja is also Keling’s first cousin, his most trusted warrior and his second-in-command. He was the son of Ensing Gima who was killed together with Keling’s father in a war with Keling’s uncle and arch enemy, Apai Sabit Bekait. His mother, Sinja, is a younger sister of Keling’s mother.

One day, Sempurai and Laja quarreled from morning till dusk. During their argument, a precious charm belonging to Laja was split from the phial (a small glass bottle for keeping liquid medicine) in which it was kept. This caused a damsel named Kelinah or Indai Abang, to become very annoyed. She felt that it was not fitting for men of such status as Sempurai and Laja to show such a bad example to others in the village. She suggested that they must be separated and live elsewhere in order that the people of Nanga Sekapat settlement might no longer be made to fear and witness their fierceness.

When Keling heard this, he at once led the migration of his Panggau Libau followers, taking the Batang Panggau Libau river with them into the spiritual world. He replaced the Panggau Libau river with a new one, known as Batang Ketungau, now situated in Northwest Kalimantan border.

Seeing that Keling and his followers had migrated, Tutong also led a migration of his Gelong people and followed Keling and the people of Panggau Libau to a spiritual world as he would not want to be left behind when the Panggau people attack Apai Sabit Bekait. Tutong also would not want to be left behind to rescue his father Beddang, who was captured by Apai Sabit Bekait’s trusted warrior, Tedang.

Tutong’s sister, Kumang, had also pledge that she would marry anyone who rescue her father from captivity.

Tutong similarly took along with them the Batang Gelong river. In their haste to follow Keling and his people, he forgot to bring along a very high hill called Bukit Gelong which is still located in the upper region of the Ketungau River and can clearly be seen from the Kalingkang range on the modern political boundary of Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan.

After the spirit heroes has separated from the humankind, the Dayak people began to re-organize ourselves under the leadership of the following men: Bui Nasi, Putong Kempat, Litan Lengan, Pulang Belawan, Bejit Manai and Retak Dai (father of Sarapoh).

They moved from Nanga Sekapat to Lempa Entaya, where they built a number of longhouses. After they had lived at Lempa Entaya for a number of decades, they migrated to a placed called Sungkong. There they became more developed that their forefathers and progressed in many fields like arts, crafts, medicine, basic tools and utensils. They also increased greatly in numbers.

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