The Malays of Saribas

Rusak came to settle at Nanga Sakundong in the Paku.  Soon after his arrival he heard that there is a tribe of people living at the mouth of the Saribas.  He was anxious to meet them and some days later he started down river in order to satisfy his curiosity.  When he came to Nanga Luba, not far from the mouth of the Paku in the main Saribas River, he encountered a swift tidal current running upstream which force him to stop.  He soon heard a man paddling along with the tide from down river.  Rusak called to him.  The man tied his boat to a nearby tree branch and they talked.

“Where are you from?” Rusak asked.

The man replied that he was from the laut, which meant down river or sea.  He told Rusak that he was on his way to see the Dayaks who are living up river.  Rusak then said that he was a Dayak and that he was on his way to see a tribe of people who loved at the mouth of the Saribas.

The man then asked Rusak, “If you are a Dayak, how far does your land extend down river?”

Rusak told him that since they were meeting at Nanga Luba, that place should become the boundary between the Laut and the Dayaks of Saribas.  Ever since that day and down to the present time, the normal Dayak word for the Malay has been Laut, since the first Malay to meet a Dayak said that he came from the laut.

In fact, the man who met Rusak belonged to a tribe called Lugu, which was not yet converted to Islam.  The Lugus did not become Moslems until after the arrival of Abang Gudam from Minangkabau and Temenggong Kadir from Brunei, both of who came to Saribas at a later date.  But during that days most of the Malays of Saribas are descendants from the early Lugu people.

At about this time another early settler named Duau came from the Rimbas and settle in the Upper Samu.  But after a short time there, the son of Demong expelled Duau and his followers from Samu.  Duau had become involved in a dispute with Bakak the youngest son of Rinda and Demong.  The dispute was caused by Duau’s daughter affair with Bakak.  Duau and his followers came down the Paku until they reached the mouth of Sakundong stream where they encountered Rusak who was building a canoe.

After listening to Duau’s troubles, Rusak suggested that instead of migrating else where he might remain and lived on his land at Nanga Luba if he agree to pay a land fee (tasih tanah) of one tajau rusa.  Duau consented and wanted to pay this to Rusak at once.  But after further thinking Rusak would only agree to accept an alas jar whose value was half that of a tajau rusa.  Because of this his children could continue to claim this land as belonging partly to them.

At about this time, another famous leader named Temegoh migrated from Indonesian Borneo via the Batang Ai to Bangkit, a right tributary of the Paku whose mouth is near the present town of Spaoh.  The pengap says of him:

…Temegoh also has come here
With many followers including the slave…

Not long ago after his arrival Temegoh died of old age and was buried at Ulu Ijok in the Upper Bangkit.

One thought on “The Malays of Saribas”

  1. Lugu people? do you have any citation for such big claim? I searching the internet about lugu people, only find it in your website and there is no lugu people in Kalimantan or Sabah, kind of weird because the group is quite big

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