The Padeh

It was mentioned earlier that before the arrival of the Ibans, there were Bukitans living in the Layar under the chief named Entiggar.  There is no oral or written record of any conflict between Entiggar and the Iban pioneers.  But the story of the migrations after this point is much concerned with contacts between the new arrivals and the older and more thinly settled inhabitants.  Even before the settlement of the Padeh (another tributary of the Saribas) there seems to have been conflict between Ibans and the Bukitans.

Before the Iban migrate to the Padeh, the Bukitans were living in and around the Ensanga range, at the source of the Padeh River and in Ulu Enteban of the Skrang.  It was in this area that one of the Bukitan chief named Ginyum who lived at Bukit Asam was killed by the famous Iban warrior called Beti (Berauh Ngumbang).

In those days when the Dayaks had not populated the Saribas, it is the Bukitans who have lived there.  However, the Bukitans did not like to hear or see the Dayaks.  At height of this Dayak-Bukitan enmity, Ginyum killed an Iban named Apai Remampak.

Remempak, the daughter of the deceased swore that she would marry any man who could avenge the death of her father by killing Ginyum.  At this time, the mighty widower Berauh Ngumbang (who had already outlived several wives) was at Rantau Panjai in the Skrang.  Upon hearing of Remempak’s wish he went to call on Ginyum.  The Bukitan chief was an excellent blacksmith and Berauh Ngumbang said that he would like Ginyum to forge a new knife for him.  While Ginyum was busy with his task, Berauh Ngumbang asked a young Bukitan who was there to get some cold water for him to drink.  While the young man was away at the river, Berauh Ngumbang drew his spear and threw it with all his might into Ginyum’s back and killed him.

He then chopped off Ginyum’s head and started back to Skrang.  When he arrived at Remampak’s house, he called for her to come out and meet him.  At first she refused since she was wearing only a very poor mourning dress.  Berauh Ngumbang insisted by telling her that he had something very valuable in the bag.  Finally she came out to see what it was and upon recognizing the head of Ginyum, she agreed to marry Berauh Ngumbang in accordance with her words.
It was after this had happened that the Sea Dayaks began to settle in the Padeh.

One of the first and most important of the pioneers in this region was a mighty woman named Dayang Ridu who came from Skrang.  She is remembered for the story of her marriage to Kulong (Alas) who was originally a man of low birth.  In order to raise him to a higher social standing, more in accordance to her own, Dayang Ridu had to pay one very valuable alas jar to the chief of the community.  Kulong was then accepted as a man of rank.  From that point onwards, the people called him Kulong Alas.  Two pioneers who followed Dayang Ridu were Kutok who settled in the middle Padeh and Gerijih who lived in the lower Padeh.  There is also a mention in the pengap as follows:

…Gerijih has also come here
From Padeh where the water is low…

Private Journal of James Joshua