Ulu Ai Ibans

A great many of the Ulu Ai Dayaks had settled in the
Katibas river, which is the highway from the Rejang to
the Kapuas river in Dutch territory, and these Dayaks
were incessantly giving trouble by making predatory raids
against their enemies over the border.

The Dutch had complained of this, and the Rajah had
attacked them in 1870, as we have recorded, but as they
continued to give trouble, he again attacked them, for the third
time, in July 1 87 1 , taking them on this occasion completely
by surprise ; and driving their chief, Unjup, over the frontier,
where he might have been captured. Unjup was the brother
of the powerful chief Balang, who had been previously
executed for plotting against the Government. 1 Later on he
was allowed to return, and was pardoned on making humble
submission. He subsequently became a Government chief or
pengulu, but he was a useless character. After the third
attack, this tribe was moved to the lower waters of the
Katibas, and an interval of uninhabited jungle was put
between them and their enemies.

1 ( hap. XII. p. 320.


However, what is born in the bone must come out in the
flesh, and, in 1874, they again broke away and attacked, on
this occasion the Tamans and Bunut Malays of the Kapuas.
It was, however, a case of lex talionis ; and these people had
brought it upon themselves by their own treacherous conduct
in inveigling six Dayaks, who were on a peaceful visit to
their country, into a Taman house, where they were seized
and bound. Thence these six had been sent to Bunut, a
large Malay settlement, and were there put to death in a most
cold-blooded manner. Nevertheless the Dayaks had to be
taught not to take the law into their own hands. But
properly the Netherlands officials were the most blameworthy
for not having promptly secured and punished the Malay
murderers and their accomplices.

The following year the Batu Bangkai Dayaks of the
Kapuas, in conjunction with some Katibas Dayaks, made a
determined attack on the Lemanak Dayaks. The Lemanak
is a confluent of the upper waters of the Batang Lupar. The
repeated outbreaks of these turbulent natives was entirely due
to their proximity to the Dutch frontier, and to their know-
ledge that they had but to step across the border to escape the
Government forces ; and at that time the Netherlands Govern-
ment insisted upon the border rights being strictly respected ;
moreover their troops, the only forces they had at their
disposal, were totally useless in acting against Dayaks, who
can only be tracked by fellow Dayaks. The Netherlands
officials in the Kapuas were themselves aware of their
inability, and were averse to the policy of their Govern-
ment. Powerless themselves, unwilling or unable to use
Dayak auxiliaries, they were well content to let the Rajah
do the work for them which they could not do themselves.
But the central Government objected.

The Ulu Ai Dayaks of the upper Rejang, after having
been peaceable for many years, were encouraged by these
circumstances to break out again, and even those who were
disposed for peace were terrorised into joining in these forays
by a threat of having their houses burnt down over their
heads, unless they came out upon the war-path.

In October, 1875, the Rajah led a large force against the



upper Batang Lupar Dayaks, who had been giving great
trouble, and fort}- of their villages were destroyed ; but deem-
ing this punishment inadequate, the attack was followed up
by another delivered two months later ; the rebels, com-
pletely surprised, suffered severely, and hastened to tender
their submission.

The turn of the Katibas was to follow shortly. The
Kapuas Dayaks over the border were still unchecked, and
knowing how incapable the Dutch officials were to subdue


them, and secure as they believed themselves to be behind the
frontier, they became insolent, and in February collected a
large force of over 2000 fighting men to punish the Dayaks
up the Batang Lupar for having submitted to the Rajah.
They came within two hours’ march of Lobok Antu fort,
but here they found the Resident of the district at the
head of a large force blocking their way. The Dutch Con-
trolcur in vain endeavoured to persuade these Dayaks to
disperse and return to their homes ; and they had the
insolence to send the Resident an intimation that they
would do so if he paid them a fine of eight old jars, and


declared that if this were refused, they would attack Lobok
Antu in force. As the Resident could not cross the border
to punish them, this was just what he wanted them to do,
and he was perfectly prepared to give them a hot reception.
But the>- changed their minds and withdrew, leaving him
greatly disappointed that he had not been able to administer
to them a much-needed chastisement.

But these Dayaks were not to be allowed to play fast and
loose much longer, for towards the end of 1876, the Resident
of Western Borneo administered a severe lesson to the rebels,
destroying all their villages and killing a great number
of the men. His expedition, conducted with vigour and
thoroughness, was completely successful.

In October, 1876, the Rajah for the fourth and last time
attacked the Katibas Dayaks with a small force of about
a thousand Dayaks and Malays. This led to the submis-
sion of these people, and they were forced to leave the
Katibas river, and move to the main river. Since then no
Dayaks have been allowed to live on the Katibas, and from
the Rejang side the border troubles almost ceased.

SOURCE: http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofsarawak00bari/historyofsarawak00bari_djvu.txt

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