Iban early migrations after separation from people of Panggau Libau and Gelong, and Tansang Kenyalang

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.

The Iban takes revenge on the Spirit Tiger using ipoh latex pison to leave behind Bunsu Remaung:

One day, an incident happens to a man from Sungkong, which would lead to a better understanding with nature and the development of poison as tools for hunting. While the children were playing and roaming over the ground around the village, a girl was caught and carried off by an unknown kind of animal. This incident troubled the Dayaks as none of them dared to pursue and kill the animal that had carried off the girl.

 

Next day, moved by sorrow for his missing daughter, the girl’s father went into the forest to track down the animal that had carried his daughter by following drops of blood left by his lost child. He brought along an ipoh plant poison with him. Ipoh latex is extracted from an upas tree and is usd by the Ibans to poison the tips of blowpipe darts. The trail of blood finally led to the mouth of a small cave. Standing there, he wondered how he was to get into a very narrow passageway. Finally, he crept in and moved painfully until he reached the other end of the tunnel where it came out into an open space. There he saw an open pathway which he followed until he reached a longhouse.

 

At dawn, the men who had hidden in the chicken coop, took out the ipoh poison he had brought with him. He wiped it along the gallery of the longhouse and over anything that might be touched by hand.

As daylight broke, the old man who had seen the soul of man through his batu ilau (magic crystal), shouted to all the people in the longhouse and warned them of the unavoidable death. Batu ilau and batu Karas (translucent stone) are used by Iban shamans (manang) to detect the conditions and whereabouts of the human soul (samengat).

 

“Now, where are all of you who have claimed to be brave? Come out and face death!!!”

 

But none of the young men could rise up as they were already dead caused by the ipoh poison placed by the man who had sought revenge for the death of his daughter.

 

After all the young people in the longhouse had died, the old man spoke to a pregnant woman who was the only other survivor. “Now all the young people of this longhouse have been killed by human poison except for you. In the future, if the children of men who do not first do wrong to us, we must not hurt them. You see what has happened to us because we had killed them first. All of our people had been killed in revenge”.

After he had finished speaking these words, the old man committed suicide by touching the poison that had killed the young men. After all the tigers had been killed, except for the one who was pregnant, the man whose daughter had been killed by the tigers, returned home.

The pregnant tiger gave birth to the last tiger found in Borneo and had lived a very solitary life. He is known as “Bujang Lembau” (literally meant “Reluctant Bachelor”) or “Bunsu Remaung” and was believed to have lived in the spiritual world amongst the spiritual heroes. He was also known to be a guardian spirit for some past Iban warriors.

 

The Land Dayak Separated From The Sea Dayak:

 

After these events, the Dayaks of Sungkong multiplied greatly. Due to their numbers, an urgent meeting was called by their leaders and it was agreed that they should divide into two groups. One group should migrate to Sungai Beduai and the other to Sungai Kembayan. But as they would leave their villages on different days, whoever arrived at Nanga Beduai first must erect a tall sign or marker to tell the others the direction they had taken.

 

A short while later, when the first group had reached Nanga Beduai, they erected a marker-sign pointing up-river and stayed there for a night. That evening a man had caught a huge snake which they cooked and eaten for food. Later that night, a heavy rain fell and the river rose in flood, which turned the marker-sign to point downriver. The next day the first group continues to move upriver as planned and forgot the marker-sign as it was still under water submerged by the flood water. Several weeks later, the second group arrived at Nanga Beduai. When they looked for the marker-sign, they found that it was pointing downriver which they unsuspectingly followed and believed to be the true direction that the first group had taken.

 

Because of this incident, the group that had gone upriver became Land Dayaks and the group that went downriver from Nanga Beduai, became the Sea Dayak. However, some studies suggest this separation came as early as their migration at the mouth of the Kapuas River.

 

The Sea Dayaks paddled down the Kembayan River to its mouth at the main Kapuas river. From there they went up the Kapuas River and enter the Labuyan River. There they settled at a place called Panchor Aji and another place they called Tapang Punti. At these two settlements, the Sea Dayaks felled the jungle and cleared land for planting rice and other crops. They lived there for many decades and some of them began to subdivide from one another and migrated elsewhere while many others remain settled there permanently. Those who migrated continued up the Labuyan river and on to Emperan to settle at Batang Embaloh. Others entered Sarawak via the Undup and Kumpang river.

Source; http://gnmawar.wordpress.com/jerita-lama/iban-migration-peturun-iban/early-iban-migration-part-1/

 

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