Battle of Bukit Batu

After the establishment of the fort at the mouth of the
Baleh, since removed down to Kapit in 1877, the Ulu Ai
Dayaks gradually moved into that river, and in 1880, it was
thickly populated by them. Scattered among the numerous
Dayak villages on this river were small parties of refractory
Dayaks, who had been guilty of several murders to obtain
heads, and with heads renown. Though the majority of the
Baleh Dayaks were well affected, and had no sympathy
with these young head-hunters, they refused to give them
up. Thereupon they were offered two alternatives, either
they must surrender these murderers, or else move from
the river to the lower waters and leave them and their
followers to their fate. They chose the latter alternative.
Then the refractory party retired up the Mujong branch
of the Baleh, and established themselves at the foot of a
lofty, precipitous mountain called Bukit Batu. Upon an
almost inaccessible crag of this they erected a stockade,
to which they could retreat in the event of being attacked,
and draw up their ladders after them. Here they con-
sidered themselves to be secure from punishment, and in
a position to raid neighbouring tribes, carry off heads, and
to defy the power of the Rajah. To prevent this and


to cut off their supplies, a stockade was built at the mouth
of the Mujong, and again another at the mouth of the
branch stream that flowed from the mountain. A few were
intimidated and came in, but the rest, though they suffered
great privations, held out and evinced their determination not
to surrender by cutting off three Malays, who incautiously had
left the upper stockade to go fishing. They were attacked
by the Rajah in February, 1881, several were killed, and
their houses were burnt down ; but this punishment proving
ineffectual, the Rajah again attacked them in the following
September, when they suffered heavier losses. After this
second lesson they sent in their women and children as
hostages and tendered submission. Then Bukit Batu was
abandoned to its original inhabitants, the wild Punans ; and
the Dayaks were not allowed to live any more in the Baleh.

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