Migration to Skrang

The first leader to settle in the Skrang River was Lau Moa whose name means withered face.  He is a mysterious figure best known for his children.  His daughter Lantong was the mother of Tindin, the famous leader of migration into the Paku.  He also has six sons who were famous bards.

They became skilled bards because their father Lau Moa had once given a Gawai Burong in accordance with the Iban custom.  He invited the ancestors and Gods from the spirit world including Singalang Burong.  Singalang Burong was very critical of the pengap or song, which Lau Moa sang to summon the guest from the spirit world.  To set matter right, he sent his own bard Sampang Gading to teach Loa Moa’s son how to sing the pengap properly.  The first son to learn from Sampang Gading was Sumbang and he later taught his five brothers.  All the six of them became skillful bards.

Before the first Iban migration, a thin population of wandering Bukitans inhabited Skrang.  Meringgai was one of the first more definite pioneers to live in Skrang.  He lived in the middle reaches of the Skrang River.  He is remembered in the pengap for his clever wife.

…Meringgai has also come here
The husband of Randai the smartest woman of Skrang…

The exact location of his house is not known but it was believed to be not far from Tanjong Lipat, the home of Chaong, another pioneer to Skrang.  Chaong is the father of the famous Tindin.  He was also a great war leader in his own right and often led expeditions against the Kantu of Merakai.  The Kantu has been their traditional enemy who inhabited the Kapuas water.

After the arrival of these chiefs, Manggi came from the Batang Ai and lived at the mouth of the Tisak River, on the right bank of the Batang Skrang.  Like many of the migration leaders, Manggi was a pioneer in more than one place.  Later, he moved to the middle reaches of the Tisak River and eventually moved to the Rimbas, a tributary of the Saribas where he died.  He is remembered for his famous adventure with a medicine man or manang from Balau.

Private Journal of James Joshua