The arrival of the Orang Panggau and Orang Gelong

The arrival of the Orang Panggau and Orang Gelong:

The orang Panggau and Gelong were believed to have been coming from the island of Java. The island of Java had seen the expansion and development of three major religious empires; the Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic Empire. It is only natural that the social, cultural and religious development of the Javanese people had been very much influenced by this religious diversity. They were more organized, civilized, cultured and their way of life was more structured than the other indigenous people in Borneo at that time. It is no wonder that they were well known for their weaving skill and the very fine materials they used in weaving clothes. They have the appreciation of materials wealth like owning brassware and jars as a symbol of social status and wealth. They were more advance in iron work compared to other Dayak group in the area. They have a proper social structure, a council of elders for decision making body, code of conduct and many more attributes which is not found in other Dayak group. They came under the leadership of their chief named Tambai Ciri Aka’ Ati Nabau Besirang. He was the father of Apai Sabit Bekait, the hereditary leader of the orang Panggau. They migrated eventually to Kalimantan Borneo, possibly to escape persecution by Muslim rulers, towards the end of Majapahit era. There they started living together with other Sea Dayak group who was under the leadership of Telichai, a descendant of Bejie. They settled first at Semitau Tuai on the banks of Kapuas river. Much later, they moved further upriver to a place called Semitau Lempa where they lived for many decades. Eventually, as their number multiplied, they migrated to a place called Tampun Juak. Many fruit trees that they planted at this site are said to be still growing there to this day.

While they lived at Tampun Juak, the Dayak people suffered many misfortunes. First, they were disturbed by the magical appearance of large quantities of dung or excrement which scattered everywhere in the country. This caused disease to spread amongst the Dayak population, from which many died. Those who survived the epidemic were largely the hero people of Panggau Libau and Gelong, who know how to look after their hygiene and health better than other Dayak group in their time.

Shortly after this disaster, other strange things happened. A great number of tortoises came out of the water and attacked the Dayak people, killing a great many of them. Some months later, many kenyulong or garfish shoot out of the water and attacked the Dayak people, again killing many people.

Shortly after these strange attacks, some of the inhabitants of Tampun Juak were killed by sharp needles (duri /thorn /jarum). No one knew where these needles came from. They could only guess that they must have been thrown by God to kill human beings. As a result of all these troubles (penusah tu), the chiefs Keling and Tutong led a further migration to Nanga Sekapat, a true left tributary of the Kapuas River.



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