EARLY IBAN MIGRATIONS – Part 2 Migration to south-west Sarawak.

Migration to south-west Sarawak.

When a number of Iban had settled along the upper Merakai River in Indonesian Borneo, a chief named Gelungan and his followers moved out from that area and settled in the hills of Balau Ulu situated between the Merakai and Undup watersheds. Following their settlement another chief named Langkup came out of Merakai with his followers to settle in the mid Undup River.


After the arrival of these two groups of Iban in the Undup another chief named Jelian came out of Merakai with his followers and settled at Wong Empangu on the lower Undup. Soon after Jelian and his followers had settled at Wong Empangu, Gelungan and his people left the Balau Ulu hills and moved down the Undup and the Batang Lupar to settle at Balau Hi hill which is situated between the modern town of Simanggang and the Lingga River. Because they had twice lived near hills of the same name, they called themselves the Balau Dayaks, even though they came originally from the same area as other Iban groups in Sarawak.


At this time Langkup migrated down the Undup with his followers. Nothing much is known of this chief other than that he married a woman who was also named Langkup. Due to this coincidence of names, which is forbidden by Iban matrimonial law, Langkup’s wife’s name had to be changed and she was later called Lemok. All of these chiefs were pioneers of the Undup, one of the right tributaries of the Batang Lupar River.


At Balau Ili hill Gelungan married a woman named Sendi, the only daughter of a chief named Dendan of Sebuyau. After this marriage Gelungan led some of his followers down the Batang Lupar to settle at Balu Sebuyau near the mouth of the Batang Lupar River. It was because they settled at this place that they came to call themselves the Sebuyau Dayaks, though they, too, have the same origin as other Iban.


From the Sebuyau tributary, Gelungan again migrated westward with his followers to the lower Sadong river. Finally, after he had lived in various places in the Sadong, Gelungan died of old age. After the death of her husband, Sendi was told in a dream by goddess Kumang to look in the Skrang for a man named Guang to be her husband. Similarly Guang, a widower of the Enteban, Skrang, learned in a dream from the goddess Kumang to accept a wife named Sendi who would come from far away in order to marry him.


After she had had this dream, Sendi went by boat paddled by her slaves to the Skrang to look for Guang. She left her children by Gelungan behind at Sadong. When Sendi married the widower Guang, their marriage violated a prohibition known as Ngemulu Antu and could not take place until they had paid the fines demanded by custom to the local chief to prevent subsequent misfortune.


After Sendi had married Guang of Skrang some of Gelungan’s followers migrated westward from Sadong and settled at Merdang Lumut, Merdang Limau and Merdang Gayam along the Semarahan River. From these places they moved again, settling eventually at Tabuan4 near the modern town of Kuching and at Sungai Tanju.


Some decades before the first visit of James Brooke to Sarawak in 1839, a Sebuyau Chief named Nyambong, due to his enmity with the Saribas Iban, migrated from the Batang Lupar to the Lundu River, not far from the western boundary of Sarawak with Indonesian Borneo at Cape Datu.


After Nyambong’s death he was succeeded as chief of the community by his son Jugah who, from the beginning of Brooke rule in Sarawak, helped the Rajah fight the Saribas and Skrang Iban of the Second Division. During one of these expeditions, in this case against Linggir “Mali Lebu” of the Paku in August, 1849, Jugah lost two of his sons, Bunsi and Tujang.

Source: http://gnmawar.wordpress.com/jerita-lama/iban-migration-peturun-iban/early-iban-migration-part-2/



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