Category Archives: JERITA TUAI

British Rajahs vs Iban Rebels

In June, 1843, after the Saribas Iban of the Padeh and Paku had been defeated by James Brooke and Captain Henry Keppel, Rimbas was similarly attacked and taken. Due to this many people from the Rimbas migrated to the Krian via the Melupa. Here they settled along the river up to the Babang tributary.

When the Iban of the lower Batang Lupar, Saribas and Krian were beginning to enjoy peace after the defeat of Kedu “Lang Ngindang” at Mt. Stulak and that of Janting “Lang Labang” at Bukit Batu on the headwaters of Mujong, the Rajah decreed that all Iban who had settled along the Baleh and in its tributaries were to return and live under the control of the government in the main Rajang below Kapit.

This intervention in Iban affairs was protested by a senior Iban leader of the Ulu Ai named Penghulu Ngumbang “Brauh Langit” of Mepi, who had fought against the government along the Kedang range in 1886. The Emperan, Katibas and the Rajang Iban assisted him, as did the warriors of Penghulu Bantin “Ijau Lelayang” of the Ulu Ai. The Rajah’s followers were led by OKP Nanang of the Padeh, Penghulu Minggat of Awik and Jabu of Bangat, Skrang. Two years after his defeat at Kedang, Penghulu Ngumbang, Penghulu Bantin, together with Imba and Allam, agreed to attend the peace-making ceremony to be held at both the Lubok Antu and Kapit forts.

Despite of the agreement to live in peace sworn at this peace-making, the Iban of Yong and Cheremin in the upper Rajang again grew restless and in 1894 openly revolted against the government. The Rajah led an expedition against them in person. He appointed the aged OKP Nanang of Padeh, Saribas, to lead the fighting. This was the last war that OKP Nanang took part in before his death in Padeh in 1901.

After peace was restored, Penghulu Bantin went from the Kapuas to Ulu Ai to buy jars. On his way home with a rusa-type jar he stayed one night in an Iban longhouse on the lower Batang Ai. Several days after he left the house, a man who lived there found a rusa jar missing. He reported the loss to Mr. Bailey, Resident of the Second Division in Simanggang. In his wrath against the Ulu Ai rebel chief, Mr. Bailey summoned Penghulu Bantin and accused him of having stolen the lost jar. Penghulu Bantin denied the charge, and therefore a bitter quarrel arose between Penghulu Bantin and the Resident.

Mr. Bailey demanded that Penghulu Bantin should pay the necessary jar tax. Penghulu Bantin refused to pay, since he had bought the jar with his own money. In this disagreement, Mr. Bailey lost his temper with Penghulu Bantin, who returned to the Ulu Ai and started to collect followers to rebel against the Sarawak Government.

The Rajah, being misinformed by Mr. Bailey about the quarrel, led a punitive expedition against Penghulu Bantin from 1897 to 1904 which ended with the battle at Entimau hill in the upper Katibas.

In the same year, 1904, Bantin’s followers, led by Kana of Engkari and Mantok “Batu Cheling” and the people of the Ulu Kanowit, were defeated by a government force under Munan Penghulu Dalam, at Wong Adai below the Meluan. This encounter was commonly called the Bongkap war since Mantok’s huge war boat was named Bongkap.

In 1906 Penghuiu Ngumbang of the Mepi, Ulu Ai, supported by the Ulu Ai, Emperan, Kanowit, Julau, Katibas and Baleh Iban, renewed fighting against the government in the upper waters until defeated at Bukit Balong. (At the time of his father’s death, Koh lived at Nanga Dia where he was appointed Penghulu by the Raj all because he had obeyed the government wishes in not taking revenge upon the Julau Iban who had killed his cousin named Lanau during the fighting at Bukit Balong.)

After these troubles had ended Penghulu Ngumbang and Penghulu Bantin agreed to make peace with the downriver Iban under Munan, and a peace-making ceremony was held at Kapit in 1907.

Munan, the Penghulu Dalam at Sibu, and Penghulu Ngumbang of Mepi in the Ulu Ai both died in 1914.

In the following year in 1915, the Baleh Iban led by Penghulu Merom rebelled against the government at Bukit Selong, at the source of the Mujong tributary and in the Gaat tributary. While fighting in the Gaat the government forces were headed by Gani “Sauh Besi”, the grandson of Kedu “Lang Ngindang” of the Skrang, who had settled at Bawang Assan near Sibu. The Gaat trouble ended in 1919 and there followed a peace-making ceremony at Kapit in 1920.

In the intervening year of 1916, the restless Iban of the Ulu Ai were led by one Tabor, a son of Penghulu Ngelingkong of the Mujan, to attack the Kayan of the upper Rajang. To stop this, the government sent a punitive expedition against them, and there was a battle at Nanga Pila, where Tabor was killed by a Constable named Impin “Pintu Batu Nanga Pila” of the Bangat, Skrang.

After the Iban troubles in the upper waters of the Batang Ai and Batang Rajang had stopped, a peace-making was held at Kapit between the Iban and the Kayan of Long Nawang (or Apo Kayan) in 1924. At this ceremony the Iban were represented by Penghulu Koh, Keling, Melintang and other upper Rajang and Baleh Penghulus. After the ceremony was over, and due to Penghulu Koh’s service in organizing the successful peace-making, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, the third Rajah of Sarawak, promoted him to the rank of Temenggong.

Rebellion By Penghulu Asun “Bah Tunggal”.

In 1929 Penghulu Asun “Bah Tunggal” of the Entabai and many Iban who supported him refused to pay taxes on shot-guns, pasu, gantang and chupak measures and the daching weight. In their arguments they said it was unreasonable for the Iban, who were not traders (orang dagang) to pay these taxes; they said they owed nothing to the government once they had paid the purchase price.

In this trouble Asun was reinforced by Penghulu Kana of Engkari, Kendawang, son of the late Penghulu Janting “Lang Labang” of the Julau, Manang Bakak of the Pakan in Julau, and many young warriors from the Machan, Poi, Ngemah, Kanowit, Julau and the Ulu Batang Ai Rivers.

This false story incited Asun’s ignorant warriors to take their stand at several locations in the Kanowit River where they were met and quelled by government forces.

Ultimately Asun was arrested in 1933. After all the ringleaders had been arrested, or had surrendered, the Rajah exiled Asun, Kana, Kendawang and Mikai to Lundu, while Manang Bakak was leniently put in jail at Marudi.


Battle of Padang Kumang in 1884

In 1884, a large force of Seriang Dayaks from Nether-
lands Borneo, under the leadership of pates, chiefs appointed
by the Dutch Government, attacked Padang Kumang, also
on the Dutch side, killing nine and wounding five more, and
in this expedition they were joined by a Batang Lupar Ulu
Ai chief, Ngumbang, with 300 followers. A heavy fine was
imposed upon Ngumbang, and he was ordered to remove
farther down the river, where he could be closely watched.
He refused to pay and to move, on the plea that the Dutch
Dayaks had been the originators and leaders of the raid,
and that he did not see why punishment should fall on his
head, whereas they were allowed to go scot free. Similar
attacks continued to be made, not only on the Kapuas side
of the frontier, but also upon the Lemanaks and Sekrangs
on the Sarawak side, and the whole of this part of the
country was in a ferment and disorder.


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.

Abu Bakar’s Rebellion and Sanang(Keling)’s involvement

Rebellion seems to be one of the logical consequences of conquest, for throughout human history where force is used to expand territory, rebellion is never very far behind. Being the inevitable outcome of conquest is no guarantee of success, however, and there are probably many more failed rebellions than ones that succeed. The history of European colonialism around the world provides a near limitless suite of both outcomes, and the Dutch experience in West Borneo is no exception, although–apart from the fairly well-known Kongsi Wars of the 1850s and 1880s (Heidhues 2003) and the decades-long campaign to pacify the Iban (Wadley 2007)–we know little about the various and overwhelmingly unsuccessful rebellions and insurgencies that arose in response to Dutch rule. For example, within the first decade of their re-established sovereignty over West Borneo, the Dutch were faced with a short-lived revolt in the late 1850s by the pangerans Anom, Kuning, and Ratu of Sintang (who chafed over their loss of power under new treaties) (Kielstra 1890) and a revolt during the early 1860s in the upper Melawi led by Mas Nata Wijaya (who claimed to be the true pangeran of Sintang) (Niclou 1887). (2)

Given this early track record of successful Dutch suppression of revolts throughout West Borneo, it is a bit surprising to see an attempted rebellion along the Embaloh River in 1879, by a certain Haji Abu Bakar in league with some Iban from the upper Rejang of Sarawak. (3) Unfortunately, we have only the colonial version to guide us, and the Dutch may have seen it as useful to present the incident as a rebellion, rather than something else. Thus, what actually motivated Abu Bakar and his accomplices may have been quite different, but is difficult to know from the evidence at hand (though Embaloh oral history may still preserve some memory of the incident and other documentary sources [below] may yield more clues).

In early January 1879, Iban raiders from the Katibas attacked a large boat near Nanga Mandai; the five-man crew, along with the traders Sukin (Chinese) and Abang Salim (Malay), fled into the forest and were not pursued. Much of their cargo, including rice, was lost overboard, but about 700 dollars worth of getah (forest latex) was stolen. Dutch officials determined that the raiders were led by Sanang (a.k.a. Keling), son of the headman Unggat, who was in league with Abu Bakar. At about the same time, Abu Bakar had swindled an Arab trader named Sheik Imal at Nanga Embaloh–selling him 10,000 gantangs of rice for 400 dollars but only delivering 2,000 gantangs. A few days after the Iban raid, Abu Bakar left for Sarawak (with five small cannons he took from the government outpost at Nanga Embaloh), claiming his mother was ill upriver.

Abu Bakar actually worked as the native representative for the Dutch colonial government along the Embaloh, having come well-recommended as the adopted son of Pangeran Suma, who himself served in that role in the early 1870s although the Dutch had not always trusted him. (4) (NB: This is a different Pangeran Suma from the ones of Selimbau and Suhaid mentioned in Wadley 2006.) In Enthoven’s (1903:96-97) genealogy of Bunut’s nobility, Abu Bakar appears as the son of a Malay noble, Raden Riya, with the title of Raden Surya Ugama, and as married to the sister of Selimbau’s ruler. With an Embaloh mother (there is no mention of his father’s origins, though a mix of Embaloh and Malay is likely), Abu Bakar was in a good position of local influence and had been responsible for arranging a peace-making ceremony between the Katibas Iban and people of the Embaloh and Bunut rivers. Prior to his hasty departure for Sarawak, some 200 Katibas Iban had come to the Embaloh, ostensibly in expectation of the peacemaking, living off their Embaloh hosts and rice that Abu Bakar provided them. Although Abu Bakar had guaranteed that the Iban would behave themselves, people in Bunut and along the Palin River worried that they were making the area insecure. Abu Bakar’s connection to the Katibas was not coincidental, either: He and Sanang knew each other well as their fathers, Pangeran Suma and Unggat, had been friends for years. (The Dutch claimed that as principal headman of the Katibas, Unggat received an income of 50 or 75 dollars from the Sarawak government derived from tax revenue, an office to which Sanang may have hoped to succeed.)

During his investigation in mid-January, Controleur J.C.E. Tromp became certain that Abu Bakar had planned an attack with the Katibas Iban during the time of the peacemaking, most likely against Bunut and five Embaloh settlements, using the stolen money and goods to finance the assault. It is not clear from the reports, however, whether he planned a treacherous attack at the ceremony itself (which seems unlikely given the guaranteed presence of Dutch forces) or an ambush as participants journeyed upriver. Bunut certainly was his main target, and he gave people in four of the most-upriver Embaloh communities–Keram, Bukung, Belimbis, and Pinjawan–the choice of following him or having their houses burned. Abu Bakar apparently held influence in those communities, especially Belimbis and Pinjawan where his mother and other close kin lived. (5)

Not only was the attack and robbery near Nanga Mandai led by Sanang, but several Embaloh were involved as well; namely, Makati (headman of Bukung), Kesui and Langi of Belimbis, Jenal of Pinjawan, and men from one of the three or four houses of Teliai where Suka was headman. The raiders carried the stolen goods to Bukung and Belimbis before moving on to Sarawak. Following Abu Bakar, people from those four communities also transported their household wares to Sarawak while hiding other valuables in the forest. It is unlikely that this migration was willing: A Palin headman, Benuang, left for Sarawak at the same time with some 60 households, after giving Sanang a number of ceramic jars and other valuables, and Abu Bakar supposedly threatened others who did not want to move with beheading by the Iban and having their headless corpses thrown into the river to give notice to the Malays of Bunut and the controleur. In addition, Sanang and his men had extorted chickens, taro, and other food from the inhabitants of Ulak Pauh, Paat, and Nanga Sungai when they had passed that way.

Although they were convinced that the Embaloh themselves would not join Abu Bakar’s attack, as a precaution the Dutch stationed an armed boat at Nanga Embaloh, and the Mangku Bumi of Bunut led a large force to strengthen the fortification there. Interestingly, the Mangku Bumi had considerable influence in the five most-downriver Embaloh settlements–Ulak Pauh, Paat, Nanga Sungai, Teliai, and Benua Ujung–where many of his mother’s kin lived. (6) People in the remaining Embaloh settlements also prepared for the threatened attack from Sarawak. The attack, of course, never came. Notified by the Dutch of Abu Bakar’s and Sanang’s activities, the Sarawak government arrested them in March or April, and the two men quietly faded from the documents. How long they stayed in jail and how much of the stolen goods were recovered may be hidden in the Sarawak archives. Presumably, the Embaloh who were conscripted by Abu Bakar returned home and resumed their old lives. The Dutch certainly do not say any more on the subject in the documents i have reviewed. (7) However, in a postscript to his report, Resident Kater mentions that the Assistant Resident received a letter from Abu Bakar (presumably before he fled to Sarawak?) saying that the Malay rulers along the Kapuas were in league against him. This provides the only hint of motivation, suggesting that, instead of a rebellion against the Dutch per se, it was local-level political disputes that motivated Abu Bakar’s efforts. What exactly he hoped to accomplish is unclear and is likely to remain so until someone stumbles across additional references in the archives, perhaps in documents specifically dealing with Bunut, or records or oral histories of the incident.

References Cited

Enthoven, J. K. K. 1903 Bijdragen tot de Geographie van Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling. Vol. I. Leiden: Brill. Heidhues, Mary Somers 2003 Golddiggers, Farmers, and Traders in the “Chinese Districts” of West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ithaca NY: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University.

Kielstra, E. B. 1890 Bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van Borneo’s Westerafdeeling. De Indische Gids 12 (2): 2185-2226.

King, Victor T. 1985 The Maloh of West Kalimantan: An Ethnographic Study of Social Inequality and Social Change among an Indonesian Borneo People. Dordrecht: Foris.

Niclou, H. A. A. 1887 Batang-Loepars–verdelgings-oorlog, Europeesch-Dajaksche sneltocht. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indie 1: 29-67.

Wadley, Reed L. 2006 Abang in the middle and upper Kapuas: Additional evidence. Borneo Research Bulletin 37: 50-58.

2007 Slashed and burned: War, environment and resource insecurity in West Borneo during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13 (1): 109-128.

Reed L. Wadley

Department of Anthropology

University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia MO 65211, USA

(1) The research upon which this note is based was funded by the International Institute for Asian Studies, Netherlands (1998-2001).

(2) There is a large bundle of documents concerning this rebellion in the Dutch colonial archives: Kabinetsverbaal (Geheim) 25 March 1868 H4, Ministerie van Kolonien, Nationaal Archief (hereafter NA), Den Haag, Netherlands. Time constraints did not allow me to explore these records at all.

(3) The following account is drawn from Report of Controleur Tromp, 22 January 1879; Letter to Governor-General from Resident Kater, 29 January 1879; Letter to the Committee of the Government of Sarawak from Resident Kater, 29 January 1879: Letter from William Crocker (Sarawak Government Committee) to Resident Kater, 20 March 1879; Letter to the Committee of the Government of Sarawak from Resident Kater, 6 April 1879–all in Mailrapport 1879 No. 224 (NA); and Letter to the Government Committee of Sarawak from Resident Kater, 2 July 1879, Mailrapport 1879 No. 551 (NA).

(4) Kort verslag der residentie Westerafdeeling van Borneo over de maand December 1872, Mailrapport 1873 No. 50 (NA).

(5) See the maps in King (1985) for the location of these communities along the Embaloh.

(6) There is no information from the Mailrapport documents or from Enthoven’s genealogies as to the relationship between Abu Bakar and the Mangku Bumi. More broadly, however, this underscores the close interrelationship between the Embaloh and upper Kapuas Malays (the founder of the Bunut kingdom, for example, being of Embaloh descent himself; Enthoven 1903:94), and the considerable though largely unexplored influence each had on the other culturally and linguistically (King 1985:58-61).

(7) Given the volume of material in the Dutch national archives, I focused on that which concerned the Iban (Batang Loepars) and much less on the goings-on in adjacent areas unless they directly involved Iban.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Borneo Research Council, Inc
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.


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.



After several years of tranquillity, in 1 897 troubles again
arose in the Batang Lupar. An Ulu Ai named Bantin, a
man of no rank, collected a few kindred restless and badly
disposed Dayaks, and, under the pretence of wrongs, more or


less imaginary, done to him and his people in former times,
made several petty raids against Dayaks living farther
down-river. Trifling as the successes were that he obtained
they were sufficient to gain for him renown as a leader, and
not only the addition of more followers, but the co-opera-
tion of a few chiefs living in his neighbourhood, — turbulent
characters who had been subdued before, but who were
only waiting for a favourable opportunity to break out again.
The people were attacked in March, 1897, and, amongst
others, Bantin’s eldest son was killed. A few months later
he was severely handled again for attacking some Dayaks
living below Lobok Antu, and this lesson was apparently
sufficient to keep his hands off his neighbours for a few

But in March, 1902, he again broke out, and on two
occasions attacked inoffensive Dayaks below Lobok Antu,
killing four ; and this led to perhaps the most tragic event
that the annals of Sarawak record.

The Rajah at once organised an expedition with the
object of crushing and scattering this nest of rebels. To do
this successfully a large force was necessary to block all
roads by which the rebels could escape, especially those
leading over the border ; but, unfortunately, an unprecedented
number of Dayaks, some 12,000, turned out at the bidding
of their Ruler, far more than were wanted or expected.

Leaving Simanggang Fort on June 9, under the com-
mand of Mr. H. F. Deshon, the Resident of the 3rd Division, 1
with whom was the Rajah Muda and Mr. D. J. S. Bailey, the
Resident of Batang Lupar and Saribas, 2 the force reached
Nanga Delok on the 1 2th. Here the boats were to be left,
and the bala was to march inland in divisions. With a
company of Rangers, a strong and well-equipped body of
Malays, and an overwhelming force of Dayaks success seemed
assured ; but a foe more dreadful than any human enemy

1 Mr. Deshoo joined the Sarawak service in 1876. In 1883 he was appoint™
Resident of Batang Lupar and Saribas; Divisional Resident of the 4th Division in
1892 ; of the 3rd Division in 1896 ; and in 1903, In- succeeded Mr. ( . A. Bam]
as Resident of Sarawak. He retired in 1904, and v. led by Sir

Cunynghame, Bart., tin- present Resident

– Entered the Sarawak service in 1888. Resident of Batang Lupar and £


attacked the camp, and in a few hours had claimed many
victims. Cholera had broken out, and rapidly spread.
Panic-stricken, with their dead * and dying, the Dayaks at
once turned their bangkongs homewards, and by mid-day of
the 14th, of 815 boats that had collected at Nanga Delok,
but nineteen remained, with the Malay contingent; and the
Rangers, who lost eight of their comrades, and their senior non-
commissioned officer. Of the small force of Dayaks who had
so bravely stood by their leaders, only a hundred, or under one
half, were available for service. These, under their plucky
leader, the Pengulu Dalam, attempted to effect something,
but the rebels had retreated farther than they dared follow,
and after burning a few houses in the vicinity they were
compelled to retreat to their boats. Then the small remnant
of the expedition returned, passing on their way down many
empty boats, and other gruesome testimony of the sad havoc
caused by the cholera, to which it was subsequently ascertained
at least one thousand had fallen victims.

Bantin was soon on the war-path again, harassing the
lower Dayaks on a larger scale than before. Mr. Bailey
twice attacked him, on the first occasion burning twenty-
four villages, and forty on the second, in co-operation with a
bala from the Rejang under Pengulu Dalam, when many of
the rebels were killed, but these punishments failed to bring
Bantin and his band to their senses.

An expedition led by the Rajah in March, 1903, the last
one he has led in person, resulted in submission ; it, however,
proved but hollow, having been made by the rebels to gain
time to recover from their losses. In February the following
year, during the Rajah’s absence in England, the Rajah Muda
was compelled to attack these rebels again ; and, though
this expedition was successful, another had to be despatched
against them in June. On this occasion a column led by
Mr. J. Baring-Gould 2 was attacked by the rebels, who were
driven off with a heavy loss. Nearly fifty long-houses were

1 They could not bury their dead in an enemy’s country — the bodies would have
been dug up and the heads taken.

2 Then Resident 2nd Class 2nd Division. Now Resident of the Rejang. He
joined the service in 1897.


Then a large party of these wild Ulu Ai Dayaks of the
Rejang and Batang Lupar .settled upon Entimau hill near
the head of the Katibas, and there built a strong stockade,
but by a frontal attack delivered by the Pengulu Dalam,
quickly followed up by an attack from their rear under Pen-
gulu Merum, these rebels were driven out with a heavy loss.
They then retired to the head of the Kanowit, where they
were again severely handled by the Pengulu Dalam.

It is sometime now since Bantin with many others finally
submitted to the Rajah at Kapit Fort ; and though the peace
that followed lasted for some little time, other outbreaks have
occurred, though these have been less frequent and serious.


Kedu “Lang Ngindang”

Early in 1879, led away by their principal chief, Lang
Endang (the Hovering Hawk), a Government pengulu, the
Sekrang Dayaks prepared to attack their old enemies,
the Kantu Dayaks, in Netherlands Borneo. They were
prevented in time, information of their purpose having
been conveyed to the Government. Their war-prahus were
destroyed, and a heavy fine was imposed upon them.
Lang Endang, whilst professing loyalty to the Govern-
ment, was secretly inciting the Sekrangs to resist, and
they refused to pay the fine. Lang Endang offered to
attack the recalcitrants if a party of Malays was sent
to support him, but, as the Government was well aware
that treachery was meditated, the offer was declined.
Acting under instructions from headquarters, the Resident
entered the Sekrang at the head of a large body of Malays
and Kalaka, Saribas and Batang Lupar Dayaks in April.
Lang Endang had assured the Government that he would
not allow the Sekrangs to make a stand in his district, but
at the same time he had collected them secretly around his


long-house, and his plan was to fall on the Government
bala and take it by surprise. This he succeeded in doing.
A large horde of armed savages surrounded the punitive
force and attacked it, but the Sekrangs were badly worsted
and lost many killed and wounded ; the Government
forces advanced, driving the rebels before them, and Lang
Endang’s village was burnt to the ground. The Sekrangs
then submitted, paid the fine, and deposited pledges for
future good behaviour. Lang Endang was declared an
outlaw. He was driven from one place to another, and
although he was burnt out several times, he managed to
escape with his life. Finally he was suffered to settle by
himself in the Kanowit, a broken-down old man, without
power to do more harm. The Sekrangs had for many
years been the Rajah’s devoted followers ; since this final
outbreak they have given no more trouble, and have
regained their good character.