CHAPTER 2

BIDAYUH IN GENERAL
I) Dayak Identity
In Kalimantan Barat, there is a Dayak King. He is Singa Bansa who is the sixth ruler to sit on the Hulu Aik throne of Krio Dayak at Menyumbung Village Sandal District, Ketapang Regency. Based on "Kalimantan Review" English Version Volume II / November 1999 (P.31-32), the Hulu Aik Kingdom was established around the year 1700 at Krio River. Many Dayak themselves in Kalimantan Barat do not know they have a Dayak King. Nevertheless, Raja Singa Bansa is the symbol of the marginalization of the Dayak people in Kalimantan Indonesia.

The "Dayaks" are considered to be the original inhabitants of Borneo. Originally, the Dutch Authority in Indonesia referred all the indigenous pagans of Borneo as "Dayaks" when Indonesia was still under the rule of the Dutch, as did the first English arrivals in Sarawak in 1840s. The word "Dayaks" according to "Kalimantan Review" English Version Volume II / November 1999, is the collective name for around 405 ethno linguistic-groups of the Borneo Island. The ethnic groups such as the Iban, Kayan, Kenyah, Kanayan, Maanyan, Ngajuk, Dud Danum, Bidayuh, Simpang and Pompang are such some of them that co-exist. According to Anthropology, Ethnography and Linguistic experts, their identity is based on similarities in physical appearance, cultural elements, customary law and death ritual. However, these tribal people differ in language, culture, art forms, clothing, housing architecture and social organization. All Dayak groups, however, have some fundamental features in common; they live along the rivers, mountain-tops and highlands. They practise paddy shifting cultivation and collect jungle produce. This common economic base combined with this broadly uniform ecosystem within which most Dayaks live, go a long way to explain the similarities in religion conceptions and world view of the Dayak people. Dayak ancient and traditional religion is now receding before the onslaught of Christian proselytizing in particular.

II)

The Origin of Dayak Bidayuh

which is in oral tradition is not recorded. Utt is reliably known about their earliest history. was most probably that the earliest hum2 occupants reached Borneo Island from mainlar Asia during the later stages of the Pleistocel when the sea level was low enough to form land bridge. However, when the sea level ro to near its present level, these early settlers we effectively isolated from the rest of Asia (Fish! 1966). Through isolation and time, those wI settled in a region at the western tip of Born evolved into a unique cultural and linguisl type. However, geography and recent histo have separated these culturally and linguistica: similar people into two sovereign territories. Sarawak, where a smaller percentage lives, th homeland is to be found mainly in the hinterlaJ of Kuching and Samarahan Divisions which c adjacent to Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia wh! the majority of them reside.

During the Brooke Regime and Colonial Era, Dayak Bidayuh was known as "Land Dayak" meaning "the Dayak of the hill country". However, following the passing of the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill2002 at the State Legislative Assembly in Kuching on 6-5-2002,the Bidayuh community will no longer be referred as "Land Dayak" - the terminology given by the Brooke and Colonial administrations in the olden days. It was believed that the Bidayuhs were one of the original people of Borneo and they most probably settled in Sarawak "before any other tribes now found among them" (Staal, 1940). They were the principal inhabitants of the original territory acquired by James Brooke (Ling Roth, 1869). These two statements of the writers indicated that the Dayak Bidayuhs were the people believed to be among the earliest inhabitants of Borneo. Their history, some of

III)

Legends of the Bidayuh Origin

According to an article "The First Land Daya written by Dr. John Hewit, former Curator Sarawak Museum 1905 -1908, originally th were no human beings in Borneo Island. The fj man who was the first Land Dayak called Ten lived at the foot of Bukit Suit and Baru and married to Kitupong who died during childbiI A strange incident happened when Ten conceived a child in the calf of his leg. Ai maturity, his calf burst, a female infant was bc When she became a woman, Tenabi married 1 The couple had three children, one girl nan Timuyau, two sons named Padat and Tirua~

18

When Padat and Tiruah grew tip, they mo' out of their family home and settled at Siny. and Saki Hills. Both of them got married , had children. Due to thievery of Padat's son stealing sugarcane from Tiruah's garden an(

which is in oral tradition is not recorded. Little is reliably known about their earliest history. It was most probably that the earliest human occupants reached Borneo Island from mainland Asia during the later stages of the Pleistocene when the sea level was low enough to form a land bridge. However, when the sea level rose to near its present level, these early settlers were effectively isolated from the rest of Asia (Fisher, 1966). Through isolation and time, those who settled in a region at the western tip of Borneo evolved into a unique cultural and linguistic type. However, geography and recent history have separated these culturally and linguistically similar people into two sovereign territories. In Sarawak, where a smaller percentage lives, their homeland is to be found mainly in the hinterland of Kuching and Samarahan Divisions which are adjacent to Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia where the majority of them reside.

was beheaded at the trap set by Tiruah's son. Padat and his family moved to Sikangan where he launched an attack on Tiruah. Tiruah and his family moved out and settled down at Inikabut on the right branch of Sarawak River. Tiruah had a son called Sikaya who married to a female spirit called Sekama at Mount Penrissen. After the marriage, they had two children, one boy and one girl. Sikaya and Sekama had the following 10 grandchildren:1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) Bena Bungu Bibawang Biatah Singai 6.) Bikirup 7.) Baang 8.) Bratak 9.) Peninjau 10.) Puruh.

III) Legends of the Bidayuh Origin
According to an article "The First Land Dayak" written by Dr. John Hewit, former Curator of Sarawak Museum 1905 -1908, originally there were no human beings in Borneo Island. The first man who was the first Land Dayak called Tenabi lived at the foot of Bukit Suit and Baru and he married to Kitupong who died during childbirth. A strange incident happened when Tenabi conceived a child in the calf of his leg. After maturity, his calf burst, a female infant was born. When she became a woman, Tenabi married her. The couple had three children, one girl named Timuyau, two sons named Padat and Tiruah. When Pad at and Tiruah grew tip, they moved out of their family home and settled at Sinyang and Saki Hills. Both of them got married and had children. Due to thievery of Padat's son for stealing sugarcane from Tiruah's garden and he

Various accounts of their origin have been interpreted by the Bidayuh themselves. Some Bidayuhs claimed that they were the descendants of the mythical characters of the Malay origin such as Datu Patio The Bidayuhs from Kampung Engkeroh, Serian claimed that they were the off-springs of the spirit. The Bidayuh from Kampung Mentu Tapuh in Serian believed that their ancestors were human beings who came out from a hole in the ground. Some Bidayuhs even claimed that they decented from the fish and animals. These are all legends and there is no evidence to prove their claims.

IV)

Dayak Bidayuh Settlements
(1) Settlement in Kalimantan Barat

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In the olden days, according to a Bidayuh legend, Bidayuh (Land Dayaks) in Borneo Island belonged to one tribe. However, with the Dutch controlling Kalimantan Indonesia and Brunei! British on the Sarawak side, the Bidayuhs were

19

artificially separated by political boundaries. At the later stage, with Indonesia getting independence and with the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the political severance between the two areas became more and more pronounced. Today, when the Indonesian Bidayuhs and the Malaysian Bidayuhs do meet at the border areas, they talk to each other and do some petty/barter trading in a friendly manner. They realize that they are living in two separate and independent nations. Hence, there is a growing divergence in political divergence, in political orientation, socialization and even cultural outlook. In Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia, Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs) are found extensively in the lower basin of the Kepuas River, particularly upstream of Sanggau, along the Sekayam River, northwards into Kuching/ Samarahan Divisions of Sarawak. In the lower reaches of the Kepuas, extending northwards to the western most part of Sarawak and southward to Ketapang and to the coast of Java Sea, are to Selako/Rara (Selakau/Lara) tribe who formerly live along a river of the same name between Sambas and Pontianak. However, a long time ago the Bidayuh lived in the coastal areas of Western Kalimantan, but were continuously being attacked and taken as slaves by the pirates. When they became too old to work, or no longer wanted, they were simply put ashore and abandoned. Those who avoided being captured migrated further and further inland and took to more strategic and defensible positions on the tops of the hills, mountains and even in the caves, where they could push down boulders on their enemies. The dissemination of other religions was also one of the reasons which forced the Land Dayak (Bidayuh) to move further inland. In the past, the Land Dayaks who

embraced Islam were considered as Malays or Muslims. Those Land Dayaks who refused to adhere to Islam religion moved to the highland and interior land. (2) Migration/Settlement in Sarawak

The old map of Borneo printed in L( between Sarawak

20

There was no boundary line between Sarawak and Kalimantan Barat Indonesia in the olden days as indicated in the map printed in London in 1870. Hence, it was incorrect to say that all Bidayuhs staying in Sarawak were immigrants from Kalimantan Barat. Since there was no border-line, the Bidayuhs might have been staying in Sarawak for ages already before Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch and Sarawak was under the rule of Sultan of Brunei! the Brooke authority. However, it could not be over-ruled that there were Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs) who migrated from Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia from the olden days right up to the formation of Malaysia in 1963. When Sarawak was still under the rule of Brunei, many Bidayuhs died because they were either being attacked by Skrang raiders from Simanggang (Sri Aman Division) or reveled against the inhuman treatments by the Brunei authority. However, they died not only for the sake of their community but also for the sake of defending Sarawak against Brunei rule. That was how the Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs) lived when Sir James Brooke became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in 1841. Since then, he gradually brought peace to Sarawak, the Land Dayaks multiplied tremendously and hence, the population increased. Owing to the general bareness of hillfarming land and the shortage of land due to increase of population, they were forced to consider moving back towards the low land and coastal areas in order to obtain bigger rice harvests and other cash crops by cultivating lowlying land.

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(3) Ancestral Homes The Bidayuhs is one of the indigenous communities in Sarawak and they were among the earliest people to inhabit in Sarawak. During the Brooke's and the colonial era, they were known as the Land Dayak meaning the people of the hill country. Today, the Land Dayak prefer to be known as Bidayuh. In their dialect, "Bi" means "people" and "Dayuh" means, "Land". Hence" Bidayuh" means "people of the land". Their original home is believed to be around the lower basin of Kepuas River, upstream Sanggau River and Sekayam River in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. However, most of the Bidayuhs in Sarawak believed that Sungkung, Bugau and Sungai Selakau were their three major ancestors' homes, all situated in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. Sungkung is situated in Seluas, near to Gunung Niyut which is 1,701 metres above the sea level. Bugau, which is an old Bidayuh settlement, is located not far from Kampung Mongkos in Serian. Gajing Mountain is the homeland of the Selako (Selakau) and it is situated at the source of Selakau River near Singkawang. According to a legend, most Bidayuhs from Indonesia came to Sarawak about 20 generations before the Karakatao eruption on 27-8-1883. Based on one generation of 25 years, the Bidayuhs have been staying in Sarawak for more than 600 years since 1383. It is evident that the close relationship still exists between the Bidayuh people residing on both sides of Sarawak / Kalimantan border. According to Rev. Father J. Staal, the Sungkung Dayaks were fierce and warlike. A lot of them were the descendents 'of a China-man who married with a couple of Dayak women took refuge on the uninhabited mountains. He had the surname known as "Lim" and, hence, a lot of the Sungkung people are Lims! (Staal, 1940) There is a descendent of Lim in Penrissen area. He is Tua Kampung Simak ak

Baeh of Kampung Bangau who confirmed that he is one of the many descendents of the Lims in Sarawak when I interviewed him at Kampung Banggau on 3-2-2001. (4) A Trip to Sungkung On 20-7-1953, the Assistant Bishop of Anglican Church, Peter H.H.Howes and 5 others made a trip from Pangkalan Ampat, Padawan to Sungkung which was 60 miles away. They spent a night at Kampung Kiding. Early next morning, they departed, pausing for a moment at Kampung Sapit and then crossing over the border to Kampung Goon in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. From Goon, the path skirted the slopes of Baji Mountain and then onto Temau Mountain until they reached Kampung Tuaan at 5.00 p.m. After spending a night at the Kampung, they left Tuaan at 4.00 a.m. the next early morning until they arrived Kumba River where they had their breakfast. After crossing the river and late that afternoon, they reached the first seven Kampungs at about 2,000 feet above the sea level. Each Kampung had its own headman and there was a space of about three to four hundred yards between each cluster of dwellings. There were no longhouses except individual houses. In the village, there was "Arud Trauh" - a large rock formation alleged to be Trauh's boat (Howes p.247). Sungkung had no heirlooms to show to Peter H.H.Howes and his party. According to the people there, in 1935, a party of Dutch visitors had been relieved of their heads and the Dutch authority had sent its soldiers to show its displeasure. The old village of Sungkung was burnt to the ground and all heirlooms had perished in the raid (Howes p.248). In the olden days, it took 5 days for the Sungkung

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people to go to the nearest shopping centre at Sanggau in Kalimantan Barat whereas they could reach Pangkalan Ampat in Padawan or Pangkalan Tebang in Ulu Bau within a period of 2 days. From Sungkung, there was a path leading to PIa man Tringgus Bering via Tuaan. It took about 12 hours on foot to complete the journey. From Plaman Tringgus Bering, it took about 8 hours to reach Kampung Tringgus and one and half hours by boat to Pangkalan Tebang. However, today, one can drive a vehicle from Pangkalan Tebang to Kampung Tringgus by road within 15 minutes only. (5) First Bidayuh Settlements in Sarawak When the Bidayuh first came to Sarawak, they built longhouses and settled in the regions around Gunung Penrissen especially at Rabak Mikabuh in Kuching District, at Gunung

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23

Serembu, Gunung Singai and Bung Bratak in Bau District and around the present Kampung Gahat Mawang and Kampung Kujang Mawang area (formerly known as Tembawang Rutoi) in Serian District. Then they spread throughout the surrounding areas in Kuching and Samarahan Divisions (formerly known as First Division). It was obvious that they even settled in the vicinity of what is now Kuching City and its nearby area. Although the Bidayuh used to be longhouse dwellers, many had abandoned that form of residence. They did it from necessity rather than choice. Bidayuh were not vigorous people; they were easy going, pacific and even timid. That was why they became convenient prey for their aggressive neighbours. In the centuries of slave

trading and head-hunting, their longhouses were favourite targets of attack by the pirates from the Sulu Sea and the stronger tribe from Sri Aman Division (formerly known as Second Division). The peace-loving Bidayuhs put up little resistance. This naturally encouraged their persecutors to return whenever they desired loot. Harassed, bullied and despairing, they abandoned their homes, retreated up the rivers, and in some cases left low-lying areas altogether and fled to higher, more defensible ground. Ultimately, many built their houses on the mountains such as Gunung Singai, Gunung Landar, GunungJagoi, GunungSerembu in Bau District, Gunung Penrissen, Gunung Siburan (Sintah) and Tibiah, Ulu Padawan in Kuching

District as well as the mountainous areas of Ulu Sadong in Serian District.

Locality Map of KuchinglSamarahan Divisions with part of Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia

When Sir James Brooke became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in 1841, he permitted Christian missionaries to preach in Sarawak. When the missionaries arrived, they chose a different approach to win over the Bidayuhs. They lived together with the Bidayuhs in the Kampungs, learned to speak their languages/ dialects and brought about the establishment of churches, schools and even clinics. Missionaries gave the villagers clothing and medicine as well as taught them how to read and write. In the olden days, Christianity and the Bidayuh faiths /beliefs were absolutely contrary in terms of thought and structure. Those who did not accept Christianity were considered infidel, primitive, animists and uncivilized. Christianity became the symbol of modernization and education. However, those who had accepted Christianity had no other alternative but to leave the pagan villages and built new villages elsewhere in order to avoid conflict and disagreement with the pagan elders.

V)

Bidayuh Language / Dialects

According to a legend related by Datuk William Nais, the former Bidayuh Temenggong of Kuching Division, Dayak Bidayuh of the Western part of Kalimantan Borneo spoke only one local Bidayuh dialect known as Peroh dialect in the olden days and they themselves called Dayak Biperoh. However, as time passed, they migrated from areas around Sungkung to Rabak Mikabuh and later from Rabak Mikabuh, they moved anq ~ett1ed down in various places on hilltops Identifying themselves with their new settlements and their new leaders. Unlike other indigenous groups who normally use the river system to differentiate and to name

24

District as well as the mountainous areas of Ulu Sadong in Serian District. When Sir James Brooke became the first White Rajah ofSarawak in 1841, he permitted Christian missionaries to preach in Sarawak. When the missionaries arrived, they chose a different approach to win over the Bidayuhs. They lived together with the Bidayuhs in the Kampungs, learned to speak their languages/ dialects and brought about the establishment of churches, schools and even clinics. Missionaries gave the villagers clothing and medicine as well as taught them how to read and write. In the olden days, Christianity and the Bidayuh faiths/beliefs were absolutely contrary in terms of thought and structure. Those who did not accept Christianity were considered infidel, primitive, animists and uncivilized. Christianity became the symbol of modernization and education. However, those who had accepted Christianity had no other alternative but to leave the pagan villages and built new villages elsewhere in order to avoid conflict and disagreement with the pagan elders.

the groups, the Bidayuh mostly use the mountain or hill system to name their groups. Hence, the Jagoi group derived its name from Gunung Jagoi, the Singai group named after Gunung Singai, the Serembu group obtained its name from Gunung Serembu and the Sadong group named after Gunung Sadong, The Bidayuhs have four main known dialects i.e. Bukar /Sadong, Biatah, Jagoi/Singai and 5elakau/Lara with each dialectical group having many variations and different talking styles, sound and indistinct pronunciation. Sometimes it is quite confusing among the Bidayuhs from different dialectical groups and much worse to a non-Bidayuh. Hence, there are many Malay and some Thanwords which are in cornmon usage too. Dayak Bidayuh dialects as a whole are very unique because their root-words are not derived from any particular dialects. However, the Selakau dialect is an exception because it is more or less similar to the Sarawak local Malay language. In the olden days, individual contact among the Dayak Bidayuh was difficult due to communication problem and other pre-waiting danger such as head hunting. Hence, when they found difficulties in naming certain things, they invented new words for them. They also change their pronunciations to some extent in order to suit the surrounding environment. The changes in dialectical intonation came into being after a long process, thus causing differences among the Bidayuh dialects. Further more, within each dialectal group, there are variations. The Bibukar could understand one another in conversation but could not follow the pronunciation exactly. The Selako/Rara (Selakau/Lara) dialect is, however, quite different from other Bidayuh dialects because Selako/Rara (Selakau/Lara) dialect contains many local Malay words.

V)

Bidayuh Language/ Dialects

According to a legend related by Datuk William Nais, the former Bidayuh Temenggong of Kuching Division, Dayak Bidayuh of the Western part of Kalimantan Borneo spoke only one local Bidayuh dialect known as Peroh dialect in the olden days and they themselves called Dayak Biperoh. However, as time passed, they migrated from areas around Sungkung to Rabak Mikabuh and later from Rabak Mikabuh, they moved and settled down in various places on hilltops identifying themselves with their new settlements and their new leaders. Unlike other indigenous groups who normally use the river system to differentiate and to name

/

Bisadong,

the Biatah and Bijagoi

/

Bisingai

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The following common words together with the meanings in Bidayuh are selected to show the different pronunciations of each group:English Eat Drink Rice (boiled) House Have Don't have Speak Cold Day Village Singaif Jagoi areas man nuok tubi rominjbori ogi do'-i sind a mudud anu Kupuo Penrissenf Padawan areas maan mo-ok tubi ramin agi Bukarj Sadong areas ma-an nyihup sungkoi rumin aduhjadueh SelakojRara areas uman man pain nasi rumin uni kati kasena dingin j panut ano Kampung

No a) b)

Name of the group Bisadong Bibukar

District Serian Serian

c)

Biatah

Kuching

d) e) f)

Bijagoi Bisingai Dayak SelakojRara

Bau Bau Lundu

mating j dagi (Ana) anyap miyu madud anu Rais nyanda Bebi andu Binua

a)

Bisadong Group

26

What is the main reason for the Bidayuh in Sarawak to have different pronunciations for each group? When I served in Serian District as the District Officer in the early 1980s, I visited Kampung Kujang Mawang in Vlu Sadong. A Bidayuh elder there told I!1ethat it was true that the Bidayuhs spoke one language and one dialect in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia a long time ago. However, when they migrated to Sarawak and settled down in different locations. The local different environment especially the different water from the river they drank adjusted their tongues and, hence, resulted the different pronunciations of each Bidayuh group in Sarawak today. Another point was that the differences were mainly due to topographical circumstances. Remembering that more than 150 years ago, there was hardly any road existed in the Bidayuh rural areas, the only means of travel was using the jungle-path or river-way. The Bidayuhs

stayed in their own Kampungs, their dialects were also affected through constant contact with other nearby races; even a spell of 100 years changed a languagej dialect considerably. Anyway, the Bidayuh words in daily use are still the same or nearly the same in most cases.

Bisadongs are staying along Batang Sadong an its tributaries such as Batang Kayan, Sunga Kedup, Sungai Suhu and Sungai Robin as we as at the side of Gunung Sadong in Seria District. Hence, they call themselves Bidayuh ( Sadong i.e. Bisadong. b) Bibukar Group

VI)

Bidayuh Groups in Sarawak.
(1) Bidayuh Main Groups

In Sarawak, there are at least twenty-nim: Bidayuh groups mainly staying in Kuching and Samarahan Divisions. Generaily they call themselves. after the localities they are staying or after certain events or local incidents. However, there are six main Bidayuh groups who are commonly known in Sarawak. The details are as follows:-

Bibukars are residing near to Batang Samaraha and its tributaries. In the olden days, when thei ancestors migrated from Sungkung j Bugau b Tembawang Rutoi and then settled at a nev place by the river and built themselves. longhouse. On many occasions, the river becaml dirty and muddy as a result of the crossing made by wild animals in the Vlu. Hence, thi d~rty j muddy water was known as "Kakar" iI Bldayuh Bukar dialect. The river was known a: SUngai Kakar and eventually it was prono~nc~( as Sungai Bukar. Hence, the Bidayuh staymg n the area now call themselves Bibukar.

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Name of the group Bisadong

How the name being derived Named after Batang Sadong and Gunung Sadong- the main river and mountain in Serian District.
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From the word "Kakar" which means" dirty and
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Bau Bau

I

From the word "Entah" which means "don't know" and the word "Betah" which means "broken". Eventually, it is pronounced Jagoi Singai as "Biatah'. Named after Gunung District. Named after Gunung District.

d) e) f)

Bijagoi Bisingai Dayak Selako/Rara

I

I

- the - the

mountain mountain

in Bau in Bau II

I

I

I

I

I

Lundu

I

mt
a) Bisadong Group

Named after Sungai Selako (Selakau) in Kalimantan Barat. c) Biatah Group

lects Nith ears bly. still

Bisadongs are staying along Batang Sadong and its tributaries such as Batang Kayan, Sungai. Kedup, Sungai Suhu and Sungai Robin as well as at the side of Gunung Sadong in Serian District. Hence, they call themselves Bidayuh of Sadong i.e. Bisadong. b) Bibukar Group

As far as the word "Biatah" is concerned, it has three versions:First Version The first version was that "Biatah" was the name of one of the descendants of Tenabi, the first man and the first Land Dayak (Bidayuh) who lived on Borneo Island called" Atah". The descendants of Atah called themselves "Bi Atah" and settled down at a mountain which they called "SiBuran". Eventually, the group was known as "Biatah" and the place was called "Gunung Siburan" until today. Second Version The second version was that the word "Biatah" actually came from a local Malay word "Entah". When Sarawak was still under Brunei Rule, one Malay officer from Brunei went to Siburan area and wanted to look for someone to collect the

nc nd all ng ts. ps "le

Bibukars are residing near to Batang Samarahan and its tributaries. In the olden days, when their ancestors migrated from Sungkung / Bugau to Tembawang Rutoi and then settled at a new place by the river and built themselves a longhouse. On many occasions, the river became dirty and muddy as a result of the crossings made by wild animals in the DIu. Hence, the dirty / muddy water was known as "Kakar" in Bidayuh Bukar dialect. The river was known as Sungai Kakar and eventually it was pronounced as Sungai Bukar. Hence, the Bidayuh staying in the area now call themselves Bibukar.

27

tax. He asked the local Land Dayak whom he met along the footpath and asked where was so and so. The Land Dayak who did not know the person but answered in local Malay "Entah" which means "Don't Know". Eventually, whoever went to Siburan Area would say he wanted to go to "Entah" which slowly pronounced as "Biatah" meaning the people of the area. Third Version According to Pemanca Kudui ak. Suwed of Siburan, a long time ago when the first group of Land Dayak (Bidayuh) migrated from Rabak Mikabuh to Gunung Siburan, they saw a big stone at the present site of Kampung Sintah. They heard voices from inside the stone and they broke the stone. When the stone was broken (in Bidayuh dialect - "Batu Betah"), they saw a couple (Man and Woman) in it. The Bidayuhs from Rabak Mikabuh called them "Bi Betah" which literally means "People from the broken stone". Slowly, it was pronounced as "Biatah" until today. d) Bijagoi Group

e)

Bisingai Group

Gunung Singai which is 1,843 feet above sealevel is the home of all the Bisingai Bidayuhs in Bau and Kuching Districts. The word "Singai" was taken from the name of Panglima Ma Ganai @Rangai who was the first Panglima (Togung) who led his followers from Sungkung to Gunung Singai. At first, the mountain was known as "Dorod Ganai" and eventually, it was pronounced as "Dorod Singai" until today. Today, the Bidayuhs who are staying around Dorod Singai call themselves Bisingai. f) Selako f Rara Group

were 21 Bidayuh tribes who settled in the 29 villages consisting of 1,500 familiesf houses and with a population of 10,500.Of these tribes, 6 had their villages on the western branch and the remainder on the southern stream of the Sarawak River (Low p.290-291). According to Henry Ling Roth in his book "The Natives of Sarawak and British North Bomeo"(Vol. 1) published in 1896, the main Bidayuh settlements were as follows:(1) Upper Sarawak River (4 settlements) Aup, Surambau (Serembu), Singgie (Singai) and Sow (Sauh) Lundu Territory (2 settlements) SalakafRara (SelakaufLara) and Sedumak (Sedemak).

(2)

Bijagoi originally came from Gunung Bratak, the old settlement where the Bidayuhs who first migrated from Sungkung in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia and settled down there. The Bijagoi moved over to Gunung Jagoi from Bung Bratak sometime in early 1838 in order to avoid attacks by Skrang Ibans from Sri Aman Division (Second Division). The Bijagoi stayed on the top of Gunung Jagoi which is 1,162 feet above sea level. Eventually, the Bidayuhs who were staying at Gunung Jagoi called themselves "Bijagoi" - the people of Gunung Jagoi until today. 28

In the past, SelakofRara did not belong to Bidayuh community. However, with effect from 1970s, they have been classified under the Bidayuh group because of political reasons. There are not many Selako f Rara in Sarawak and they are only found in Lundu District. In the olden days, the ancestors of Selako lived at Gajing Mountain which was situated at the source of Selako (Selakau) River near Sengkawang. Selako migrated over to Sarawak sometime in 1800s and stayed around Pasir River and Kayan River. The Rara came from Benkayang Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia at the later stage and they first settled down at Redang Raya in the Upper Pasir River. Today, there are many inter-marriages which take place between Selako and Rara in Lundu District. Salako is
.

Today, there are 29 Bidayuh groups in Sarawak Kuching District Penrissen 1) Benuk group 2) Peroh group 3) Sitang group Siburan 4) Biatah group Padawan 1) Bukar group 2) Sambat group 3) Mentu group 4) Sumpas group 5) Temong group 6) Taup group 7) Engkeroh group 9) Gahat (Sernabang) group 10) Suntas group 1) 2).J 3) ( 4) ( 5)1 Serian District Bau

5) Penyawa group 8) Riih group 6) Biannah group 7) Tibiah group 8) Braang group 9) Simpok group 10) Bengoh group 11) Semban group 11 groups 10 groups 5g

actually bringing the name of "Sekalo (Selakau)" from Selakau River in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia and used it as the name of Selako (Selakau) race in Sarawak. (2) All Bidayuh Groups In 1846, Hugh Low in his book" Sarawak - Its Inhabitants and Production" stated that there

were 21 Bidayuh tribes who settled in the 29 villages consisting of 1,500 families j houses and with a population of 10,500.Of these tribes, 6 had their villages on the western branch and the remainder on the southern stream of the Sarawak River (Low p.290-291). According to Henry Ling Roth in his book "The Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo"(Vol. 1) published in 1896, the main Bidayuh settlements were as follows:(1) Upper Sarawak River (4 settlements) Aup, Surambau (Serembu), Singgie (Singai) and Sow (Sauh) Lundu Territory (2 settlements) SalakajRara (SelakaujLara) and Sedumak (Sedemak).

(3)

(4) (5)

Left-hand branch of Sarawak River (9 settlements) . Sampro (Peroh), Sentah (Sintah), Sennah (Annah Rais) Simpoke (Simpok), Sigu (Benuk), Brang (Braang). Stang (Sitang), Tebia (Tibiah), Sibungo (Bengoh) Upper Samarahan River (1 settlement). Bukar Upper Sadong River (4 settlements). Engrat (Min-grat), Engkrok (Engkeroh), Kadup (Kedup) and Milikin. Kuap River (1 settlement) Kuap (Quop)

i II II

(2)

(6)

Today, there are 29 Bidayuh groups in Sarawak. The details are as follows:Kuching District Penrissen 1) Benuk group 2) Peroh group 3) Sitang group Siburan 4) Biatah group Padawan 5) Penyawa grou 6) Biannah group 7) Tibiah group 8) Braang group 9) Simp ok group 10) Bengoh group ) Semban group 11 groups 110 groups 1) Bukar group 2) Sambat group 3) Mentu group 4) Sumpas group 5) Temong group 6) Taup group 7) Engkeroh group 8) Riih group 9) Gahat (Semabang) group 10) Suntas group 1) Singai group 2) Jagoi group 3) Serembu group (Birois) 4) Gumbang group 5) Tringgus group 11) Gajing group) Selako (Selakau 2) Selako (Selakau Sengkuku Pueh group) 3) Rara (Lara) group 4) Undu group (already extinct) Serian District Bau District Lundu District Sarawak

I 5 groups

I 3 groups

I

29 groups

I

29

Year 1841 1876 1939 1947 Bidayuh beautiesfrom various groups attending Annual Harvest Festival in Kuching 1960 1970
1980 1990

Population 6,792 18,379 36,963 42,195 58,000 84,000
108,000 140,000

Percentage Distribution

Henry KeF (London 11 Sarawak G 14.2 36.6 7.7
8.5 8.4

Lee Yong I Lee Yong I
Yearbook

(
(

Yearbook
Yearbook

(

1995 1999 2000 an undercount at the last census. In the past, the Bidayuhs had not been very mobile except in 1947 to 1960 period when some of them prompted by the opportunity for employment with a bauxite company which began operation in 1947 moved to Lundu District. Although there has been no internal migration of any significance over the years since they moved into Sarawak from across Indonesian border, the Bidayuh population increased substantially during the 1947 to 1960 period. Based on Yearbook of Statistics Sarawak 2001, there were 166,756 Bidayuhs out of a total of 2,071,506 people in Sarawak. In term of percentage, it forms about 8% of the Sarawak population or 0.07% of the 22 million population of Malaysia. This showed that the Bidayuh was the fourth largest racial group in Sarawak after the Ibans, Chinese and Malays. The details of the population of the Bidayuh in Sarawak from 1841 to 2000 are as follows:-

153,400 164,500 166,756

Yearbook ( Yearbook c
Yearbook

(

Yearbook 4

VII) Bidayuh Population in Sarawak.
The Bidayuh population is mainly found in Kuching and Samarahan Divisions although small numbers of the Bidayuh population are found in every district of Sarawak. In 1841, the population of the Bidayuh (Land Dayak) in Sarawak was estimated to 6,792. By 1876, the population increased to18, 379 and by 1939, it had reached 36,963. In 1947, they numbered 42,195. The increase of 14.2 percent between 1939 and 1947was one of the highest among the indigenous groups in Sarawak. This considerable increase had cast doubts on the 1939 enumeration, but it was unlikely that many could have been left out in this count. It was thought that in-migration of the Bidayuhs from Indonesia Borneo might have contributed to the increase. Between 1947 and 1960, the Bidayuh population increased by 36.6 percent, the highest rate of increase among the indigenous communities. There was no concrete evidence to suggest that the bulk of increase was due to immigration or to

Although the Bidayuh population concentral can be found throughout the length and bread 1980,1991 and 2000, the population of the Bi No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. District Kuching Lundu Bau Samarahan Serian Simunjan Sri Aman Lubok Antu Betong Saratok Sibu Mukah Kanowit Dalat Miri 1980 Popu

35,04 8,51 21,12' 39,53 209 387 85 55 69 512 41 28 14

30

1,10:

Year I PopulationI Percentage I
Distribution 1841 1876 1939 1947 1960 1970 1980 1990 1995 1999 2000

Source Henry Keppel "The expedition to Borneo of HMS Dido Vo1.2 (London 1847) P.206 Sarawak Gazette No. 124 (Kuching 1876) P.4

I

6,792 18,379 36,963 42,195 58,000 84,000 108,000 140,000 153,400 164,500 166,756

I

14.2 36.6 7.7 8.5 8.4

Lee Yong Lee Yong Yearbook Yearbook Yearbook Yearbook Yearbook Yearbook Yearbook

Leng, "Population & Settlement in Sarawak (1970) P. 91 Leng, "Population & Settlement in Sarawak (1970) P. 91 of Statistics 1992 Sarawak. of Statistics 1992 Sarawak of Statistics 1992 Sarawak of Statistics 1992 Sarawak of Statistics 1997 Sarawak of Statistics 2000 Sarawak of Statistics 2001 Sarawak
1111111 ::

Although the Bidayuh population concentrates in Kuching, Bau, Lundu and Serian Districts, Bidayuhs can be found throughout the length and breadth of Sarawak. Based on the Sarawak Yearbook of Statistics 1980, 1991 and 2000, the population of the Bidayuh in every district of Sarawak is as follows:No.1 District
I

1980 Population 35,041 8,512
21,120

1991 Population 50,147 9,278
23,413

2000 Population 63,943 10,717
29,215
I
111111111:

1. 2.
3.

Kuching Lundu
Bau

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Samarahan Serian Simunjan Sri Aman Lubok Antu Betong Saratok Sibu Mukah Kanowit Dalat Miri

39,538 209 387 85 55 69 512 41 28 14 1,101

1,538 42,851 284 461 90 123 91 1,471 136 58 30 2,753

3,138 49,117 307 453 73 162 134 1,505 157 57 28 3,692

I

1111111 Iii

No. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20, 21. 22, 23. 24. 25. 26, 27. 28.

District Bintulu Tatau Marudi Limbang Lawas Sarikei Bintangor Daro Matu Julau Kapit Song Belaga Total

1980 Population 142

1991 Population 1,338 113 368 201 116 209 91 38 21 88 196 45 47 135.595

2000 Population 1,923 123 637 271 168 203 134 12 7 80 274 69 105 166,756

113 106 40 168 61 11 72 69 32 23 107,549

Based on the records kept by District Office, Kuching, Bau, Lundu and Serian, there were a total of 335 Bidayuh Kampungs in Kuching and Samarahan divisions in the year 2002. The details are as follows:1. Kuching District 2, Bau District 3, Lundu District
4,

96 Kampungs 63 Kampungs 41 Kampungs 135 Kampungs 335 Kampungs

Serian District Total

VIII) Superstitious Beliefs of the Bidayuhs
In olden days, Bidayuhs believed in the traditional and superstitious omen and beliefs. To them there was a danger from all sorts of evil spirits who could cause sickness or misfortune. They could be guarded against either by taking care not to provoke them; or having provoked them, by taking steps to placate them, which was done by means of a ceremony or feast, called, "Gawai". There were therefore various rules laid down to prohibit the acts that gave provocation. Some of these rules, such as the observance of periods of restriction after festivals or after deaths, were common to all villages. Those periods of restriction varied considerably, but were usually from one to four days. During this time no one was allowed either to leave or enter the village. However, the more important festivals with the longer periods of restriction were invariably arranged at a time when there was no urgent work to be done in the farms, There were also rules in some villages that sleeping mats might not be washed, and that clothing might not be hU~g outside the houses during the period?~ a festIval as it was believed that the good spmts

According to the administrative districts and sub-districts, the distribution of the Bidayuh villages in Kuching and Samarahan Divisions in 1990 are as follows:Division District Locality Total Bidayuh Villages 6 53 36 61 35 109 19 319 Total Households

Kuching Kuching Kuching Kuching Kuching Samarahan Samarahan

Kuching Kuching Kuching Bau Lundu Serian Serian

Kuching Proper Siburan Sub-District Padawan Sub-District Bau District Lundu District Serian District Tebedu Sub-District Total

392 3,643 1,414 3,777 1,490 5,890 889 17,495

32

ill

Based on the records kept by District Office, Kuching, Bau, Lundu and Serian, there were a total of 335 Bidayuh Kampungs in Kuching and Samarahan divisions in the year 2002. The details are as follows:1. Kuching District 2. Bau District 3. Lundu District 4. Serian District Total 96 Kampungs 63 Kampungs 41 Kampungs 135 Kampungs 335 Kampungs

which had been called down to help the people might be offended. In addition to action which human beings could take to ward off misfortune, there were also the actions of non-human agents, especially various species of birds, to be taken into consideration. One bird, if heard calling from the side of the path, indicated that the bearer would be lucky on that day, whereas if it flew across the track whoever saw it should immediately return home. The same bird, if heard during a hunting expedition to the left was all right but if it was heard to the right the hunters should change direction to put it on the left. Another bird if heard while hunting was a sign that the party should return for reinforcement. A certain insect, if heard at night when sheltering in the jungle on a hunting expedition, was a sign that the hunters should proceed in that direction. The same insect if heard repeatedly when people were about to build a new house was an indication that the women who lived there would have plenty of children, but the people would also be liable to more sicknesses. If the Kijang, or barking deer, was heard on land which was about to be cleared for farming, that land should be abandoned. To some extent these omen birds and animals could be prevented from acting. The most usual way to deal with them was to placate them by giving them offerings at festivals, and at the same time call upon good spirits, especially the spirits of ancestors, to drive them away. If, in spite of such precautions, they still managed to cause trouble, either the project in question should be abandoned, or if this was impracticable such as in the case of a nearly completed new longhouse, then once again they should be placated by means of suitable offerings and ceremonies.

VIII) Superstitious Beliefs of the Bidayuhs
In olden days, Bidayuhs believed in the traditional and superstitious omen and beliefs. To them there was a danger from all sorts of evil spirits who could cause sickness or misfortune. They could be guarded against either by taking care not to provoke them; or having provoked them, by taking steps to placate them, which was done by means of a ceremony or feast, called "Gawai". There were therefore various rules laid down to prohibit the acts that gave provocation. Some of these rules, such as the observance of periods of restriction after festivals or after deaths, were common to all villages. Those periods of restriction varied considerably, but were usually from one to four days. During this time no one was allowed either to leave or enter the village. However, the more important festivals with the longer periods of restriction were invariably arranged at a time when there was no urgent work to be done in the farms. There were also rules in some villages that sleeping mats might not be washed, and that clothing might not be hung outside the houses during the period of a festival as it was believed that the good spirits

nA

Biday"II bea IIties attending Gawai Dayak 2000 in Kllclling

means of protection. The most important were the spirits of ancestors. When a person died his spirit went to the place called "Sebayan", where conditions were similar to those prevailing on earth. The spirits were believed still taking an interest in earthly affairs and could therefore be asked for assistance. These were usually invoked in two groups: firstly those of the immediate ancestors of all people attending the particular ceremony, who were not mentioned by name, in order to avoid the risk of omission which might cause offence; secondly the spirits of ancestors who were actually famous during their lifetime. These were by no means limited to ancestors of any village, or even of the Land Dayak race. The priest on his spiritual journey during the ceremony travelled as far a field as Brunei and Java, and might call upon the spirit of any famous person of any race! So long as he led a good life when he was on earth he would help the people then. Apart from the ancestral spirits there were also certain objects and places that might have acquired power. These were called "Guna". They were usually kept concealed in a small house of their own and might not be seen except during a special ceremony which took place only once in several years. Should they be seen at any other time it was believed that great misfortune, even a death, might occur. At one village there were originally two large stones. After they had been living together for a long time there were one day found to be three small ones as well. In other villages the skull of a wild boar, the skull and

horns of a deer, and a large block of Belian wood were believed to have magical properties. The existence of such objects within the precincts of a village might be a major obstacle if it was desired to persuade that village to move to a better farming land. The pagan Bidayuh had so much in their daily lives to be afraid of, that it might be thought that they would be ideal subjects for conversion to Christianity. In fact they were essentially practical people. Living in the present, so there should be no intellectual obstacle to accept a new religion if they could be convinced that it would deal with their problem better. They were likely to judge it by what it could give, or by what its followers could be seen to have obtained. This meant mainly education, and to some extent better, medical facilities. But education without economic progress might lead to disappointment. An increase in the population without a correspondingly higher standard of living would bring discontent. The spread of Christianity was probably the most important factor affecting the welfare of the Bidayuh at the present time and it could be said that the result of having three different missionaries

Dreams were also believed to have significance, though they were not considered to be valid if likely to have been influenced by one's recent actions before going to sleep. For instance, a dream in which one was laughing meant bad news: but this would not apply if one had just spent a riotous evening at a festival. A view from a mountain-top signified success, and to dream that one was carrying a dead cock indicated success in hunting. To dream of a fire breaking out meant that an epidemic would strike the village: a ripe fruit falling from a tree was a sign that a sick person was about to die. To dream that a tooth dropped off indicated that a member of the family would die. To counteract this omen it was necessary to rise at dawn, without mentioning the dream to anyone, put a grain of maize in the mouth and then threw some yellow rice toward the sunrise, at the same time spitting out the maize saying to the evil spirits "This is the tooth that you want, do not take anything more" 34 As well as common possessions and common dangers, the community also had common

horns of a deer, and a large block of Belian wood were believed to have magical properties. The existence of such objects within the precincts of a village might be a major obstacle if it was desired to persuade that village to move to a better farming land. The pagan Bidayuh had so much in their daily lives to be afraid of, that it might be thought that they would be ideal subjects for conversion to Christianity. In fact they were essentially practical people. Living in the present, so there should be no intellectual obstacle to accept a new religion if they could be convinced that it would deal with their problem better. They were likely to judge it by what it could give, or by what its followers could be seen to have obtained. This meant mainly education, and to some extent better, medical facilities. But education without economic progress might lead to disappointment. An increase in the population without a correspondingly higher standard of living would bring discontent. The spread of Christianity was probably the most important factor affecting the welfare of the Bidayuh at the present time and it could be said that the result of having three different missionaries

working among them had been entirely beneficial so far. In many cases considerable disruption had been caused to village life, for as soon as a few families became converted they separated from the main village and moved to another part of their land. Though they often built bigger and cleaner houses, the split did not make harmony within the community and it weakened the authority of the headman. The land could not be divided; and as the process of converting a whole village might take a long time, there were likely to be more frequent land disputes. The Bidayuh believed in witch-craft connected with sickness. To treat a patient, he/ she was seated in the swing (Berayun), suspended by Rottan from a beam. The evil spirit causing the sickness was extracted by means of incantations and dancing, and transferred to a specially
A Biday"l1 Gawai ceremollY at Kampllllg Bellllk ill 19805.

I

II

~
I

III: I

35

constructed boat together with suitable offerings to keep it happy on its journey. The boat is then put in the river and allowed to float away down to the sea. If there was no river, a Rottan was stretched from one end of the house to the other house, the boat was slid along it and simply cast out onto the ground. The disposal of the dead by burning of the body appeared to be a custom confined to the pagan Bidayuh in the olden days. In western Sarawak, the custom of the dead was universal; in Samarahan area, they were indifferently burnt or buried, and when the Sadong area was reached, the custom of cremation ceased, the pagan Bidayuh of Sadong River being in the habit of burning the dead. Among the Selakauj Lara in Lundu District, the bodies of the elders and the rich were burnt while the others were buried (St, John i. 163 &165). In Siburan area, the pagan Sintah Bidayuh burned the dead of the higher class; the poor were wrapped in a mat and cast out in the jungle (ibid, ch.viii. p.87). The pagan Serambo (Serembu) Bidayuh burned all their deads (Dension, ch.ii.p.14). However, in 1950, the pagan Bidayuh in Bukar area still had the contact with the Munggu Babi days. They still used the pagan cemetery which had served the old Kampung for the past few centuries. The Bukar pagans rolled up their dead in a stout rattan mat. The body, thus enclosed, was suspended from the branch of a tree and left to rot away. Later, the bones were collected and put into a jar for burial (Peter Howes, ch.16.p.209).

Even with the advent of modern development and advance economic way of life, the majority of the Bidayuhs are still living in the rural areas where they undertake various agricultural pursuits. Accordingly, they perceive that land must be treated with real care and respect. Land has been utilized basically for paddy planting and that occupation has played an important role in the cultural heritage of the Bidayuh community. However, in order to improve the living standard and the social standing of the Bidayuh community, the State Government has developed the Native Customary Rights (NCR) Land of the Bidayuh in the commercial scale. Since 1988, through the government agencies such as SALCRA, LCDA, FELCRA, FELDA, DID and the State Agriculture Department, large areas of the Native Customary Rights Land of the Bidayuhs in Kuching and Samarahan Divisions have been planted with cash crops such as oil palm, cocoa, tea, coffee, rubber and paddy. The reasons for the formation or creation of new Bidayuh Kampungs in Kuching and Samarahan Divisions are as follows:1. Increase of population; 2. Distance from paddy-fields or Plaman; 3. Attacks by the Skrang Ibans and other pirates; 4. Closer to bazaar j school j main road; 5. Spread of epidemic diseases smallpox, cholera and leprosy; such as

recognized by the Government. Hence, ' Kampung was established. The expans population in a Kampung to such an extel many of its people had to waste long hom could have been spent in paddy-fields, n in walking to and fro the Kampung ar, paddy-field. To avoid the waste of ti "Plaman"(a temporary house) was builtn€ remote paddy- fields, which was occ! seasonally only. Village separation is in fa desire for better farming land and bui temporary houses nearer to their farming and, at the same time, it has given an opport for the absorption of outside group into tht Kampung. As time went on, the Pia man be a permanent structure and occu permanently. To distinguish betweel Kampung and the Plaman, the parent Kam was known as Kampung Mawang where, Pia man was called Kampung Plaman. As went on, the Plaman became more indeper and permanent houses and even schools built in some areas. The attacks by the Skrang Ibans and other pi from the sea especially in Upper Sarawak \ Penrissen and Padawan areas) and U Sadong (Serian District) had killed num~ Biday uhs, took away their wives and chil as slaves and also destroyed their propertiL~ constant attacks had caused the Bidayul move away from the Kampungs and stay! tht hilly areas and even in the caves in ord .vOid being attacked and killed by the intrUll In the olden days, most Bidayuh Kamp. wue built in the rural areas where there' no road, bazaar and school. During the Brl
Re?Jme and colonial days from 1841 to some roads, bazaars and schools were built

IX)

Land Matters and Formation of New Kampungs

6. Belief in different religions within the same Kampung; and 7. Difference of political ideology. In the normal circumstances, the Pia man eventually became an official Kampung

.

q

36

The Bidayuhs look at land and the soil and indeed the whole environment around them with awe, respect and reverence. Land to the Bidayuhs is a source of sustenance and of life.

far from the Kampungs. In order to be clo the road where Bazaars and school? avallable, many Bidayuh Kampungs move ~

recognized by the Government. Hence, a new Kampung was established. The expansion in population in a Kampung to such an extent that many of its people had to waste long hours that could have been spent in paddy-fields, merely in walking to and fro the Kampung and the paddy-field. To avoid the waste of time, a "Plaman" (a temporary house) was built near the remote paddy- fields, which was occupied seasonally only. Village separation is in fact the desire for better farming land and building temporary houses nearer to their farming land and, at the same time, it has given an opportunity for the absorption of outside group into the new Kampung. As time went on, the Plaman became a permanent structure and occupied permanently. To distinguish between the Kampung and the Plaman, the parent Kampung was known as Kampung Mawang whereas the Plaman was called Kampung Plaman. As time went on, the Plaman became more independent and permanent houses and even schools were built in some areas. The attacks by the Skrang Ibans and other pirates from the sea especially in Upper Sarawak (Bau, Penrissen and Padawan areas) and Upper Sadong (Serian District) had killed numerous Bidayuhs, took away their wives and children as slaves and also destroyed their properties. The constant attacks had caused the Bidayuhs to move away from the Kampungs and stayed in the hilly areas and even in the caves in order to avoid being attacked and killed by the intruders. In the olden days, most Bidayuh Kampungs were built in the rural areas where there were no road, bazaar and school. During the Brooke Regime and colonial days from 1841 to 1963, some roads, bazaars and schools were built quite far from the Kampungs. In order to be closer to the road where Bazaars and schools were available, many Bidayuh Kampungs moved and

settled along the main road. That is why one can see many new Kampungs are built along KuchingjBaujLundu Road, KuchingjSerianj Tebedu Road, PadawanjTebedu Link Road and Penrissenj Padawan Road nowadays. The spread of epidemic diseases such as smallpox, cholera and leprosy in the olden days in the Bidayuh Kampungs was also one of the factors which caused the Bidayuhs to leave the affected Kampungs and moved to new areas in order to avoid further attack of such epidemic diseases. With the introduction of more Christian religions and the conversion of some Bidayuhs to Islamic faith in the Bidayuh populated areas especially in Bau, Lundu, Penrissen, Siburan, Padawan, Serian and Tebedu areas, some Bidayuh Kampungs split into different villages following their different religious beliefs. After Sarawak achieved independence within Malaysia since 1963, political parties were formed and Bidayuh themselves were divided politically. Hence, the different political beliefs had also caused some Bidayuh Kampungs to split among themselves in order to form a village with a group of Bidayuhs believing the same political ideology. X) Comments Community on the Bidayuh by the Europeans

II

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S. Baring-Gould and c.A. Bampfylde in their book entitled" A History of Sarawak under its two White Rajahs" described the Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs) as a numerous and prosperous group but were reduced to a small number due to the attacks by the Sea Dayaks (Ibans). The men were slaughtered, the women and children were taken as slaves and the fruit trees were cut down. Paddy and other crops were burnt. When James Brooke visited Sarawak in 1840, the Chiefs of the Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs) told him, "The Rajah (from Brunei) takes from us whatever he wants,

In

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at whatever price he pleases, and the Pengirans take whatever they can get for no price at all" (Baring-Gould and Bampfylde, p.57). The result of such treatment was that the Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs) escaped to the country beyond the reach of their persecutors to avoid exploitation and slaughter. Malcolm MacDonald, the then British Governor General for Singapore and Malaya in his book "Borneo People" said that the Bidayuhs were the principal inhabitants of the original territory acquired by James Brooke. The Bidayuhs were longhouse dwellers before, but many had abandoned that form of residence. They did it out of necessity rather than by choice. The Bidayuhs were not a vigorous group but easy going and peace-loving people. Due to these factors, they became preys of their aggressive neighbours. In the century of the slave trading and headhunting, the Bidayuh longhouses were being attacked by the combined forces of Brunei Malays and the Ibans from Second Division (Sri Aman). The Bidayuhs being the peace-loving people put up little resistance and this naturally encouraged the enemies to return whenever they desired loots. Harassed, bullied and despaired, the Bidayuhs abandoned their homes in the lowlying country and retreated up the rivers to higher and more defensible ground. Ultimately, many built their houses near to the mountain tops. Hedda Morrison in her book called "Sarawak" commented that there was some danger of extinction of the Bidayuhs before James Brooke became the White Rajah of Sarawak. She said, "The Bidayuhs are a mild and inoffensive people ... unable to withstand the inroads of the warlike Ibans coming from the 2nd Division (Sri Aman) 38

coupled with the brutal exactions of the Brunei Malay Rulers of Sarawak. The Brunei Rulers not only bullied and enslaved the people but also had no compunction in allowing expeditions of the Ibans to attack the Land Dayak areas. The Ibans kept the heads of the people they slaughtered and handed over the slaves whom they captured to the Brunei authority as their share of the loot" (H. Morrison, p.245). J.E. Drake-Brockman who served as a District Officer of one of the districts in First Division sympathized with the Bidayuhs who had been oppressed by the Brunei Rulers although they were law-abiding people. According to him the Bidayuhs were "Easy to teach and willing to learn ... Not lazy; but not too energetic, always cheerful and easily provoked to mirth" (DrakeBrockman, p.37). James Brooke described the Land Dayaks as a more wretched, oppressed race. He said, "Though industrious, they never reap what they sow; though their country is rich in produce, they are obliged to yield it all to their oppressors: though yielding all beyond their bare sustenance, they rarely can preserve half their children and often, too often, are robbed of them all, with their wives" (Dickson, p.186). Mr. Colin N. Crisswell in his book called "Rajah Charles Brooke" 1978 (P.7) wrote," In the south of Sarawak, in the First Division, are found the Land Dayak, a peaceful people who lack of migratory and head-hunting tendencies of the Sea Dayak (Ibans). They gerterally live on the hillsides and travel by land, although they do sometimes use canoes. Today they number 60,000".

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BIDAYUH SETTLElV AND Pl (I)
Kuching District in General

Kuching is one of the three districts in Kuc Division. Kuching City is the capital of Sara as well as the divisional headquarters of Kuc Division. The district has an area of 1,869 sq kilo metres and based on 1991 Census, Kuc District had a population of 369,200. In: population 1970 105,457 70,883 23,867 8,680 385 314 5,253 214,839 in

Ethnic Group

Chinese Malay Bidayuh Iban Melanau Other Indigenous Others Non-Malaysian Total

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