The Bidayuh Sadong: Sumpas subgroup

The Sumpas subgroup is among the biggest group currently residing in Serian. Folklore passed down through generations says that their ancestors were devils/spirits who eventually became human with the assistance of Datu Merpati (who appears in many legends as the forefather – together with Padat a Sungkung Dayak – of the Bidayuhs in Serian, a man some claim to have supernatural powers, of Java origin). In Mentong Mawang, it was said their ancestors came out of a hole in the ground, while those of Bugu Mawang claim ancestry from a tree trunk.

The migration began from Bugau/Tembawang Tampun, making its was to Tembawang Sumpas in the 1500s via Tembawang Rutoi. From there it spread into 4 main villages, Mentong Mawang, Bugu Mawang, Bedup Mawang and Koran Mawang.

In the 1820s, there happened a dispute between Koran Mawang and Riih Mawang. The warriors of Riih went and cut off the head of Buk Lungor of Koran Mawang while he was working in the paddy fields. This angered the people of Koran who went and counter attacked. Again, Riih warriors decided to fight back and chose Mayom to be their leader. Mayom was said to have a sword as big as a banana tree. During the fight, he swung his sword so hard it got stuck in the root of the Bandir tree and was thus killed by the Korans. His head was then taken and the dispute ended.


Mentong Mawang: River name, abandoned in 1970.

Mentong Mubok: Kubuk vegetable

Bugu Mawang: It’s people claim to be the original inhabitants of Serian.

Diang Ipuh: They settled in Bugu Diyang in 1962 but moved to Diang Ipuh because of frequent floods.

Bugu Resak: Resak trees

Lunggo: Lunggo trees

Sg. Brok Bedup: In honour of Rajah Brooke

Empaneg: A type of bamboo

Koran: From mpuran, or dropping gold. Legend has it that Padat’s descendents dropped a gold necklace into the river.

Buluh Bedup: A Muslim village

Bedup Mawang: Abandoned in 1950s.


7 thoughts on “The Bidayuh Sadong: Sumpas subgroup

  1. how about the other subgroup, Riih subgroup
    ? Do you have one, please share if you have one, anyway, congrates to your work.

      1. may i know where did you get this source info ? Are you sure this is the original info about bidayuh?

      2. hello. It is one of the oral traditions of the Bisumpas. Whether or not it’s accurate, it could be just myth or one of the origin stories since there are many.

    1. Hi fabian. I havent had the time to do a bi mentu post but i recommend you read a book by Chang Pat Foh: A history of the Bidayuh in the Samarahan district.

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