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How the ancient Kingdom of Nanga Bunut in Borneo grew thanks to mythical creatures

Centuries ago, Kalimantan was made up many small ancient kingdoms, each with its own unique history and culture.

One of these kingdoms was Nanga Bunut, a small kingdom located at the intersection between Kapuas river and its tributary Bunut river.

It was founded by Raden Setia Abang Berita Kiyai Nadi Pati Jaya between the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1909, the Dutch took over the sultanate, making it part of the Dutch East Indies.

Today, the former kingdom is a sub-district of West Kalimantan province, Indonesia.

Once upon a time, it was believed the kingdom was incredibly populous, not because of migration or human reproduction, but due to a supernatural reason.

The legend of Nanga Bunut and mythical creatures called tapok

Victor T. King in his paper A Maloh Myth, Augury and Cultural Comparison (1975) stated that it happened during the reign of Raden Setia Abang Berita Kiyai Nadi Pati Jaya or Kiyai Nadi.

“The story involves the emergence of humans from tapok. These are antu, like human beings in appearance, but usually invisible to man. Occasionally, however, one can catch a fleeting glimpse of them in the jungle.”

One day, Kiyai Nadi was out searching for honey near the Belitung lake somewhere in the area of Bunut.

He was waiting for nightfall before climbing a lalau tree which contained a large number of beehives.

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A lalau tree is known for having a number of beehives in its branches and is considered a commodity for honey hunters.

Suddenly, somehow like in a horror movie, he heard someone call out in the jungle. It was the voice of a child.

Just like in a horror movie in which the character goes out to look the source of the voice, Kiyai Nadi went in the direction in which the sound had come.

He eventually arrived in a large clearing and a longhouse.

People at the longhouse were busy doing their daily work while chatting and laughing.

Then a group of men came up to him and asked him what he was doing there.

Kiyai Nadi explained that he had heard a child’s voice and had followed the sound to their longhouse.

The tapok scared of Kiyai Nadi

After a while, Kiyai Nadi realised that the people were not real human beings but tapok.

The tapok were scared of Kiyai Nadi, begging him not to tell people about their whereabouts and identities.

The female tapok particularly were terrified of Kiyai Nadi, up to the point that one lady took refuge in a tree.

Suddenly, the old lady changed into a half-human, half-animal creature along with all the inhabitants.

Kiyai Nadi took the tapok in

After their transformations en masse, they were not able to return to how they were.

Kiyai Nadi took pity on them and led them back to Bunut as his slaves.

There he practiced powerful medicine and changed them into human beings. They multiplied very quickly and that is how Nanga Bunut grew its population.

A Bisaya legend of how a sago tree came into existence

A Bisaya legend of how a sago tree came into existence

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Every culture has its unique legends and most of these legends were used to explain things surrounding them.

These legends usually circle around how certain plants or animals were discovered or came into being.

Sometimes, they also explain why some creatures or plants are not found in the area.

For example here in Borneo, we have a legend of how paddy was discovered or why there are no tigers on this island.

Here is a Bisaya legend of how a sago tree was discovered as recorded by Benedict Sandin in his paper The Bisayah and Indigenous Peoples of Limbang (1972):

One day, there was a very poor Bisaya man who went into the jungle to look for anything to eat, as no one in the village would give him food.

After he had wandered for about 10 days in the jungle, he nearly died of starvation until he came across a woman who spoke kindly to him.

After staying with her for sometime, they got married.

(Now here is where things in their marriage get somewhat bizarre.)

When it was time to eat, the man was served sago pellets by his wife which came out from her private parts.

On seeing this, the man asked his wife, “Why do you give me dirty stuff?”

To this the woman answered, “You may kill me if you wish.” Furious, the man killed her with his knife.

But before she died, she advised him that whenever he wished to eat sago, he should make a small hole in the ground so that the sago pellets could easily come out from the earth.

After she had finished giving her advice, she died instantly in the hands of her husband.

Immediately after she had died, a small sago tree grew from that spot, becoming the first sago tree to grow in that part of Limbang region.

Think about this legend the next time you are having your sago.

How the human races were formed according to a Sihan legend

The Sihan people are among the few tribes in Sarawak that are vulnerable to extinction along with smaller tribes such as the Ukit and Kejaman peoples.

According to the Borneo Post in 2012, there are less than 300 Sihan people left in Sarawak.

Unfortunately, they have been assimilated into other Orang Ulu groups such as the Kayans and Kenyahs.

Their only unique legacy now is their own language and mythology which are different from other tribes.

Here is a folklore on how human races were formed according to a Sihan legend:

Long time ago, all human beings came from only one race.

At Ulu Kajang river, many groups of people wished to cross the river.

However, none of them were able to swim.

Therefore, they decided to build a huge bridge out of rattan.

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The groups of people started to build a bridge in order to get to the other side of the Ulu Kajang river. Credits: Pixabay.

After they built it, each group of people began to walk across the bridge.

The Punan, Kayan, Kejaman, Sekapan, Lahanan and the Sihan walked first.

After too many people crossing the river, the bridge broke.

The rest of these people such as the Iban, Malay, Chinese and the Europeans flowed down the river instead of using a bridge.

The Sihan people believed that the European who flowed furthest down the river became white, their hair silvery and their eyes blushed due to the coldness of the water.

The Sihan and the other groups who walked first who had already reached the other side of the river before the bridge was broken, remained in the upper part of the river to this day.

The source of this Sihan legend

The late Iban ethnologist Benedict Sandin recorded this particular legend on Feb 27, 1961 when he was working as the Sarawak Museum’s Research Assistant.

His informant for this legend was Salik Gawit, a Sihan headman from Menamang stream. Salik was 56 years-old when he was interviewed by Sandin.

According to Salik, he is not sure why his race is called Sihan (sometimes spelled as Sian).

He told Sandin, “There is no river of that name that had been inhabited by our ancestors. I can assure that my race are not foreigners. We are the people who are the origins of this place.”

How a magic mushroom caused people to speak in different languages

How everyone began speaking in different languages according to a Taman legend.

Have you heard of Psilocybin mushroom? Widely known as ‘magic mushroom’, this type of fungi is usually consumed for its hallucinogenic effects.

Once consumed, the person may experience euphoria and change in consciousness, mood and even perception.

They may even experience visual and auditory hallucinations.

As fascinating as this magic mushroom may sound, it is not as interesting as a type of mushroom found in a Taman legend.

The Taman people belong to the Dayak group of Kalimantan.

Though they are few in number (estimated at about 30,000 people), their culture and mythology are colourful.

How a magic mushroom caused people to speak in different languages

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An illustration by

Long time ago, the descendants of the first man and woman were numerous and they all spoke the same language.

Then one day, one of them came across some magic mushrooms. Everyone ate them and instantly fell into a drunken stupor.

When they woke up, they started to ask each other what had happened.

Oddly, nobody really understood each other.

They began to seek those who spoke the same language and started to form groups with them.

The dispersal

Not long after this happened, a great flood inundated the land.

The whole island of Borneo was covered by water except Mount Cemaru. It is a mountain located at Long Apari district of Mahakam Ulu at East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Standing at 1681m high, the mountain is the source of Mahakam river.

Many Dayak people took refuge there during the flood.

However, most people built rafts, sampans and other larger boats which took them to the four corners of the earth.

With these people migrating to the different parts of the world, that was how these languages became dispersed.

University of Hull researcher Victor T. King collected this legend during his trip to West Kalimantan from July 1972 to Sept 1973 and recorded it in his paper “Main Outlines of Taman Oral Tradition”.

Batu Bejit – an Iban legend of a monkey, a man and a wife turned to stone

When comes to petrification legend in Sarawak, it usually involves laughing at a particular animal and the sky turns dark and the people who laughed would turn into stones.

For example in the legend of Ikan Pasit, the girl is turned into stone after laughing at a fish.

Meanwhile in the Bidayuh Jagoi legend of Gunung Kapor, the villagers are turned into stones after laughing at a cat.

Similarly, the stones of Fairy Caves were believed once a group of villagers who were petrified after laughing at a cat.

In this legend of Batu Bejit, the animal which become the laughing stock is what the Iban people called bejit. It is a type of monkey that can be found in Sarawak.

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Cats or monkeys, petrification legends teach us to respect animals. Credit: Pixabay.

Here is Benedict Sandin’s version of the Batu Bejit legend which was published in The Sarawak Gazette, July 31, 1965:

There are two stones at Suri, Rimbas, Saribas situated between Rumah Chupong and Rumah Upu.

The reason why they are there relates to a story of a man and his wife who reared a bejit monkey long ago.

After the bejit had been tamed, they dressed it with a loin-cloth and on its wrists they put engkelai (shell armlets), and also the simpai (bone armlets).

Having done this they put on its head a turban and on its neck they put a necklace. After they had dressed it nicely, they asked it to dance. The bejit danced which made them laugh loudly.

While they laughed at the poor animal the clouds turned black, the wind blow strongly, with lightning darting everywhere.

The rain also fell heavily which caused their farm hut to become petrified, together with the monkey and the man’s wife.

On seeing this the owner of the farm hut descended to the ground being equipped with shield, sword and spear in order to fight the spirits which had caused this disaster.

He could not defend himself and turned into stone also.

It is because of this that there are two large stones now standing side by side, one being the petrified farm hut, a monkey and the man’s wife, while the other is the man himself. The petrified farm hut is bigger and higher, while the man’s stone is smaller and lower.

How paddy came from a girl’s body according to a Dayak Taman legend

The Dayak Taman people is a small indigenous group found in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

There are roughly 30,000 people in this ethnic group. Apart from the Embaloh language, the Taman language is not close to other languages in Borneo.

However, like any other Dayak groups in Borneo, the Taman people have many legends and folklore of their own.

Here is how the Taman people discovered paddy:

According to researcher Victor T. King in his paper “Main Outlines of Taman Oral Tradition”, before the discovery of paddy, the Taman people were nomadic like the Bukat and Bukitan. These two are also Dayak groups found in Borneo.

They had no knowledge of rice cultivation and lived simply off sago, jungle fruits, vegetables and fish.

So how did they discover paddy?

King, who went to a field trip to West Kalimantan from July 1972 to September 1973, interviewed a Taman elder named Bau.

Bau revealed to King a common legend known by most people of his tribe of how their people started rice cultivation.

Once there was a young girl who was an only child. One night her father dreamed that a spirit came to him and told him that his daughter must die.

It was to be the father’s job to kill her.

The spirit said that when her body disintegrated, it would became paddy and that if the father planted the paddy, it would grow and he would always have a plenty of food.

Just as in the Old Testament where Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac, the man’s decision echoed Abraham’s own.

The next day, the father called the girl to have a morning breakfast. He asked her, in a sad voice, to wear her best clothes, and after she finished her food, he asked her to lay down on a rattan mat with her eyes closed.

Killing the daughter

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Paddy. Credits: Pixabay.

The girl did not share the same fate as Isaac in the Bible.

The father then proceeded to cut his own daughter in half using a parang.

Her body started to decay and transform into paddy grains, which he then planted it in his field. However as time passed, nothing happened.

Then one day, he caught sight of an old, white-haired woman carrying a basket full of rice over her shoulder.

The old woman told him that the rice would not grow by itself.

Since it derived from a human being who has a spirit, the paddy too had its own spirit that must be pleased.

One had to perform various rituals to ‘feed’ and coax the rice.

The old woman, whose name was Piang Ambong, then taught the man different kinds of paddy ceremonies.

Since then, the Taman people have always offered gifts and prayers to paddy spirits so that they will be blessed with plenty of rice.

Read more:

Legends of how paddy came to Sarawak

The Iban legend of Batu Indai Binjut you might never have heard of

Legend has it that in Paku river at Nanga Anyut, there is a stone of three petrified women called Batu Indai Binjut.

In ancient times before the Paku region was populated by the Ibans the area sparsely inhabited by an ancient tribe of people called the Baketan.

The last of their group who left Paku took place in the days of Iban chiefs Kaya and Bayans eight generations ago.

Long before Tindin the first Iban migrant arrived in the Paku from Skrang, one sunny morning three Baketen women went out to fish (mansai) at the mouth of the Ayut stream.

As they fished an empelasi fish jumped out of the water and touched one of the girl’s breasts.

On seeing this, the girl sigh and said, “Eh! If it were only a young man, even an empelasi fish been attracted by the beauty of my breasts”.

On hearing her words her companions started to laugh and joke with one another and said that, “Even a tiny fish had wanted to covet them, so what more if a young man should see her breasts”.

They continued joking and laughing.

Invoking the wrath of gods

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The sky turns dark and the women slowly turned into stone.

As they laughed the sunshine suddenly disappeared and the sky started to become overcast, the wind blew strongly and was followed by torrential rain. Due to the heavy storm the three poor women could not find where to go.

They stood where they were and they gradually turned into stone.

It was said that up to seven days after their petrification, their heads were still able to speak and ask food from those who happened to come to that place. No one dared to give them anything, and they died due to petrification as well as due to starvation.

Even now this stone can still be seen in the shape of human beings, lying at the left bank of the Paku river below the mouth of the Anyut stream.

The mention of Batu Indai Binjut in an Iban folk song

According to Benedict Sandin, a former Sarawak Museum curator who recorded this legend, there is a mention of Batu Indai Binjut in the Iban Pengan song.

The song is about when either Simpulang Gana and Sengalang Burong became puzzled on hearing the sound of wind which came to invite him to attend the feast of men.

Here is the lyric of the song goes:

“Who amongst us angers the land and the world?
Well try and burn the remains of our derris,
And crop the hair which falls over our foreheads!
But still the wind would not stop blowing,
And the hurricane blew continually!”
“Oh! Maybe the children have collected the red ants!,
In baskets with holes
Or maybe someone has dipped a frog into a wooden trough?”
The children would reply:
The stone of Indai Binjut
At the mouth of river Anyut,
Has long been known to us, Serit Mamut,
As caused by a disaster during fishing”.

The similarity between the legend of Batu Indai Binjut and the legend of Ikan Pasit

If you feel the legend of Batu Indai Binjut sounds familiar, it is because it is almost familiar with Ikan Pasit.

The first Ranee of Sarawak, Margaret Brooke recorded this legend in her book My Life in Sarawak.

According to the legend, there was a village called Marup.

One day there was a girl who went fishing and caught what the locals called ‘ikan pasit’.

As she was preparing the fish, one of them jumped up and touched her breast.

“What are you doing? Do you imagine that you are my husband?” she said, laughing at her own joke.

The people who were there also laughed and those who heard the commotion came over and also laughed.

Suddenly, the sky turned grey and a mighty wind blew accompanied by flashes of lightning.

Then a hail-storm began. Hail stones fell down non-stop and hitting everybody even their houses, turning them into stone.

Meanwhile, the girl who made fun of the ikan pasit was only partly petrified. Just like the three Baketan ladies, the girl’s her head and neck were unchanged while the remaining part of her body was turned into stone.

Together with the rest of her village, the whole longhouse and its residents fell into the river.

Living as part human, part stone

While the Baketan women died due to the petrification and starvation, sadly for the girl, she lived many years with a living head and stone as her body.

Many tried to end her misery by striking her with a blade but nothing worked. Until one day, a man who heard her cries came.

Like many who came before him, he tried to strike her head with an axe and a sword but neither worked.

Eventually he struck her with a spindle and her cries finally stopped while her head and neck slowly turned into stone.

It is believed, the group of rocks believed to be Marup village were not far from Lubok Antu.

Iban, Malay or Chinese? Looking at the origin of the name ‘Santubong’

The name Santubong is widely known among Sarawakians as the name of a mountain located in Sarawak.

The common myth is that the mountain takes its name after a celestial princess. But what other origin stories are there behind the name Santubong?

The legend of Princess Santubong

The common understanding of the legend behind Puteri Santubong is that she and her sister Puteri Sejinjang had an epic fight. As it usually is when it comes to fairy tales and legends, the two were fighting about which one of them was the more beautiful.

Sejinjang hit Santubong’s head, causing Santubong to fall to the earth. Managing to get the last ‘word’ in, Santubong threw the beam of her weaving loom at Sejinjang right before she fell and became a mountain.

The impact of her weaving loom broke Sejinjang’s body, and the pieces of her scattered into the ocean, forming nearby islands Pulau Satang, Pulau Talang-Talang and so on.

The discussion on the name Santubong in Sarawak Gazette correspondence

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The view that greets you from the top of Mount Santubong.

In the Sarawak Gazette which was published on Aug 31, 1953, there is a glossary of terms “with distinctly Chinese flavour which may be interest to readers.”

One of the words is Santubong. It stated that the word ‘Santubong’ was suggestive of Sanchubong (Kheh) ‘King of Wild Boars’ or Santoobong ‘Lord of the Jungle’.

In those days, readers were welcomed to write in and state their opinions on the subjects that have published in the gazette.

One reader, named I. A. N. Urquhart responded to the subject of the name Santubong, writing in to the gazette in September that year.

He stated, “I offer, without comment, a further fact, namely that ‘Santubong’ is the Iban word for ‘coffin’.”

C.N. Chong then responded to Urquhart in the November publication of the gazette. He agreed with Urquhart stating, “Coffin is also known in Iban as lungun. It appears, therefore, that ‘santubong’s an original Iban word as the Malays don’t use that word.”

However, Chong also pointed out that it would be interesting if anyone could explain whether the Iban meaning of ‘santubong’ has anything to do with the locality at all.

Santubong, Kheh (Hakka) or Cantonese origin

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Take a relaxing dip at one of the waterfalls at Mount Santubong.

Responding to all these correspondence, P. Aichner elaborated more about the name Santubong in his letter dated on Jan 27, 1954.

“The common opinion would be against it; it would rather deter people from going to Santubong, if they connect Santubong with the meaning of coffin. It is very likely that Santubong is Chinese (Kheh or Cantonese).

The explanation in August issue is certainly a good one, (Lord of the Jungle), if it can be proved that there was a Chinese temple in the locality in ancient times, because the Chinese would have gone there to worship the Tu Vong, the King of the earth.

However, Lim Swee Kee, Kapitan China of Dalat offers a more plausible explanation. The word Santubong is definitely Chinese (Kheh and Cantonese dialect) San-to-mong, i.e. the mountain much to gaze (the mountain with a good view), or it may also mean: the mountain much to hope for.

Nobody can deny the first meaning, that there is a good view from that mountain, and for many years it has been a holiday resort.

The second meaning, the mountain much to hope for, would also be justified. Imagine the Chinese coming with their junks from China, having been tossed about the waves, sighted the mountain and cried out full of joy San-to-mong, the mountain much to hope for. The perilous journey came to an end, and the sight of the mountain gave them fresh hopes for what lay ahead.

That San-to-mong became Santubong can easily be explained by the fact that people did not speak Chinese would have tried to imitate the pronunciation, sounded the m a little too hard, and it became Santubong.”

A Sarawakian mountain

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Meanwhile, Lee Kok Yin agreed that the name Santubong indeed came from the Hakka language.

He wrote in the Sarawak Gazette on Aug 31, 1957 , “In Chinese Hakka dialect, San means mountains; tu means in; bong means King. Santubong means ‘King of the Mountains’.”

Lee related it to a legend about how a Ming Dynasty fleet came to Sarawak. The leader of the fleet, Sam Pau Tai Chian gave honour to the local chief who helped them to fight piracy as San Tsung Wang (King of Mountain).

As time passed, the mountain which the chief lived on became ‘San Tsung Wang’ and eventually Santubong.

Overall, there are different kinds of accounts and legends explaining the meaning of Santubong, from a Malay celestial princess to a Iban and Chinese words.

Regardless, this symbolic mountain of Sarawak is truly Sarawakian with various races have their own stories and legends behind it.

Do you have stories on what is the meaning of Santubong? Let us know in the comment box.

The story of Apai Saloi being a glutton over smoked deer meat

Here is an Iban legend of comedic hero Apai Saloi being a glutton over smoked deer meat:

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One day, Apai Saloi took his wife and children to stay at their farm hut.

There, he went to the edge of his paddy field to catch a deer for its meat. After they caught the deer, they cut up its meat.

He then salted and smoked most of the meat while giving the rest to his wife to cook for dinner.

The salted and smoked deer meat were then preserved in dried telak or bamboos.

Later that night, Apai Saloi took the meat in which he already stored in the bamboo into his mosquito net.

He did this so that the rats would not eat it. Apai Saloi also used the bamboo as his pillow.

The next morning, Indai Saloi asked Apai Saloi to send some of the smoked deer meat to her parents.

Before he went out, Indai Saloi told Apai Saloi what to say if her mother asked where he got the deer meat from.

This was what he was supposed to answer,

“The meat of a deer,
Killed by Apai Saloi,
Because it had eaten the tapioca leaves,
In his paddy field.”

After receiving the instruction from his wife, Apai Saloi went to his in-law’s house. As he handed the deer meat to his mother in-law, he told her as his wife instructed.

Apai Saloi and his midnight snack

He then returned home to his family. During the following night, Apai Saloi went early to bed.

Before he slept, he secretly took the bamboo which contained the deer meat.

Apai Saloi munched on the meat in between his sleep throughout the night. Immediately after midnight, Apai Saloi woke up and began to eat the meat again.

This time, the meat inside the bamboo was almost finished. Determined to have some more, Apai Saloi slipped his hand into the bamboo to take the meat.

Because he had to reach farther in to take the meat, his hand got stuck. Despite all his efforts, he could not free himself of the bamboo.

He had to wake his wife up to help him. Indai Saloi was nothing but furious and scolded Apai Saloi for being greedy.

While scolding her husband, Indai Saloi broke the bamboo into halves releasing Apai Saloi from his agony.

How Raja Simpulang Gana became the Iban God of Agriculture

Who said only the Greek or Germanic peoples had interesting mythology? Here in Sarawak, we too have plenty of intriguing stories of deities and gods.

Before we know how Raja Simpulang Gana became the God of Agriculture for the Iban community, here is a little background story of his family:

In ancient times, the Iban believed that the gods and spirit-heroes lived in the same world with human beings.

Due to some disagreements, the gods separated from the early ancestors of man and each came to inhabit the different worlds in which they are now found.

According to legend, there once lived a very powerful deity named Raja Durong. His bejulok (nickname) was ‘Lumpong Tibang Bebaring’. He married Endu Dara Talun Pelangka who was also called ‘Kuta Dinding Hari’.

They gave birth to Raja Jembu who was also known as Metha Raja Pengibai. Raja Jembu married to Endu Kumang Baku Pelimbang, the keeper of a charm which can bring food and wealth.

Raja Jembu and his wife gave birth to seven children:

1.Bidok Linggar, who swoops at the bubbling waves was also known as Aki Jugi Menaul Tuntong and Aki Lang Singalang Burong.

2.Matai Tuai Raja Menjaya, whose nickname is Manang Langgong. He owned a charm which could prolong human life.

3.Raja Bikhu Bunsu Petara or Pantan Inan Raja Jadia, the priest of Bunsu Petara, the god of creation.

4.Raja Selampetam, nicknamed Raja Selampatoh, or Raja Selampandai who was the god of blacksmith.

5.Gangga Ganggai or Gangga Ganggong, who was also called Anda Mara. He was the deity of the fountain of wealth.

6.Ini Inda Rabong Menoa, known also as Ini Inee Rabong Hari. She was the inheritor of healing charms and the greatest of the shaman.

7.Last but not least, Rangkang Kirai Raja Sua who was also known as Pepat Pudak Raja Simpulang Gana became the God of Agriculture and owner of the earth.

Singalang Burong dividing the family’s wealth

On one occasion, Raja Simpulang Gana went on a journey to look for the sacred plant called engkenyang lily.

At that time, Singalang Burong divided the family property with his brothers and sister without the consent of their father Raja Jembu.

For himself, Singalang Burong took the most precious charm belonging to his family called igi-mudan. It was used to lead warriors in battle. As a result, he became the most formidable war leader among the deities.

Meanwhile, Raja Menjaya was given a special charm called ubat penyangga nyawa which could cure all kinds of sickness. Due to this, he became the patron god of all manang (shaman).

Raja Bikhu Bunsu Petara was given the power to perform miracles and so became the priest of Bunsu Petara.

As for Raja Selampandai, he was given blacksmith’s tools with which he was commanded to shape earth into the human body. During the Gawai Sakit festival, he was the one to be called to reshape the bodies of those who were sick.

Anda Mara was given a special charm which could bring wealth to men. Those who were looking for riches must make offerings to Anda Mara.

A box full of healing charms and medicines was given to Ini Inee Rabong Hari. Back in the ancient times, she alone could consecrate others to become a manang.

Raja Simpulang Gana, the God of Agriculture

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Since Raja Simpulang Gana was not there when Singalang Burong divided their property, he was only given the family’s hearth.

When he returned home, he was furious to find out what had happened.

To console him, his father Raja Jembu made him the God of Agriculture and owner of the earth.

“If any of your brothers, your sister, or their descendants, want to work the land in the future,” said his father, “they must seek your approval beforehand.”

Due to this, whenever men want to farm a piece of land, they first must offerings to Raja Simpulang Gana to gain his approval.

Benedict Sandin recorded this legend as part of paper Mythological origins of Iban Shamanism. The paper was published in The Sarawak Museum Journal in August 1983.