Author: 羅烈師
•2013年8月1日 星期四,下午2:42
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這是185112月砂拉越河畔的新堯灣,王朝秘書史賓瑟.聖約翰(Spencer St. John)領著貴客要登上瑟冷布山中別墅前,留下了美麗的印象。
新堯灣座落於瑟冷布山腳的平原,是個很棒的市集,附近綿延幾哩低矮山坡果園的農產品,集中在此販售。……這兒差不多三百個天朝子民聚居,他們大部份開店做生意,但也有少數人種作為生。由於四周的達亞人鄉村皆來此消費,更有源源不絕的華人與馬來人金礦工輻輳於此,因此生意興隆。商家的混血女子面容姣好,勝過此邦其他任何地方。這些服裝合宜又潔淨的華人少女,真令人賞心悅目;而且他們的父母也定必以此自豪。
那麼,這個熱絡的市集聚落,如何產生,後來又有何變化呢?議會書記諾意爾.丹尼生(Noel Denison1874年經過此地時,回憶了兩場改變這聚落的戰爭。
先是18408月,詹姆士.布魯克應統治者蘇丹之邀,在新堯灣下游不遠的比力達(Belida),善用支流水道,擊潰了不受蘇丹統治的達亞克人領袖,奠定了自己在砂拉越的新統治者地位。這戰火波及了新堯灣:
戰前,這是個繁榮的聚落,據說有可觀的馬來人群。無奈它正座落這戰禍中心處,飽受戰火摧殘,戰爭結束時,馬來人已四處散逃,聚落的控制權落入華人手中。華人燒光了既有的建築,重建了他們自己的聚落。到1856時,新堯灣此處又再度成為繁榮的村鎮,擁有三四百位居民。
原來聖約翰1851所見那場華人榮景,其實是戰後華人取代馬來人的結果。豈料新堯灣的榮景卻又被下一場華人自己發動的奇襲首都戰役,落得煙消霧散:
隔年,它被馬來人與達亞人完全摧毀。他們趁著華人攻進古晉又撤回時,在此發動攻勢,更在下游的比力達堡壘痛擊天朝子民。而今,這聚落的一切蕩然無存,一兩個華人耕著蕞爾田園,勉力求生;整個聚落都被遺棄,大自然以草莽與叢林掩沒了所有過往繁華的路徑。
這被遺棄的聚落在哪裡呢?丹尼生留下了線索:
往比力達對岸上游一小段,就是而今已被棄置的新堯灣聚落,它位於「Gunga Kumiel」土丘下方近水處。
我問了幾位老本地,竟無人知道這小丘。倒是村人都傳說,從前的新堯灣是在目前巴剎下游之水口伯公那一帶。
清晨,我在水口伯公舉目四望,不見土丘;又沿河逡行,尋找丹尼生所說的土丘。東向順流走到單頭榴槤大聖廟前,是有一方小丘,但這已離開水口伯公太遠了;回頭西行溯溪,繞過新式別墅群的河岸平野,走回義山,搔頭自忖:「難道義山就是丹尼生所說的小丘嗎?」
回到住處,與幾位村人解釋十九世紀的新堯灣史,介紹歐洲人的見聞,也利用google earth輔助,提出我的小丘疑問。我說:「丹尼生說那隆起的地面(eminence)叫做gung ga gu miel,不知它在哪裡!最近的山丘就是義山了。」我指向窗外的義山,又再唸了一次。村人的客家話脫口而出:「公家古廟!應該就是義山吧!」

我一時大樂,是嗎?不是嗎!

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附錄
相關原文引述:
之一
SIRAMBAU MOUNTAIN
Madame Pfeiffeb, the traveler, suddenly made her appearance among us in December, 1851 ; she was a woman of middle height, active for her age, with an open countenance and a very pleasant smile. She lived with us for some days, and then we took her to visit the Dayaks of Sirambau on the right-hand branch. We selected a very fast, long prahu, fitted up with a little cabin for her, and another for ourselves, and having a numerous crew, pulled past our usual resting-place at Ledah Tanah, and did not stop till we reached the Chinese village of Siniawan, where we took up our quarters for the night.
There were about three hundred Celestials settled here, principally engaged in shop-keeping, though a few cultivated gardens. They were evidently thriving, as the Dayaks of the surrounding country resorted to this place, and there was a constant influx of Chinese and Malay gold workers. Their women, half-breeds, were better-looking than any others in this part of the world ; some of the girls were handsome, in one point they set a bright example to their neighbours, and that was in cleanliness. The Malay girls bathe at least three times a day, but are not careful of the condition of their clothes, while the Dayaks are too often neglectful of both their skins and their coverings. It was quite a pleasure to look at the little Chinese maidens in their prim, neat dresses, and their parents evidently had a pride in their appearance. To them Madame Pfeiffer was a great attraction, and a crowd followed her everywhere, and wondered at the eagerness she displayed in the chase of a butterfly, or the capture of an insect.
Siniawan is situated on a plain near the foot of the Sirambau mountain, and affords an excellent market for the produce of the interminable fruit groves that cover the lower parts of its slopes, and extend for miles beyond.
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以上引自Spencer St. John (1863) "Life in the Forests of the Far East: Or, Travels in Northern Borneo. V" p162-163. London: Smith, Elder and co.
之二
Ledah Tanah
At about 1 P. M. we reached Ledah Tanah, called thus, from its being a projection or promontory at the junction of the southern and western branches of the Sarawak river. There is a tradition, I believe, that the town of Sarawak was once established on this spot, on the other hand the Sipanjang Dyaks of Sekyam told me they or rather their ancestors had once farmed here, and their settlements had extended as far as Rantau Panjang lower down the river on the left bank, and they claimed having planted the fruit trees which are scattered about here and there in the neighbourhood.
Ledah Tanah is celebrated in the early European history of Sarawak. In 1840 Sir A James Brooke joined Maeota's forces here, and aided him in suppressing the rebellion which had broken out against the then ruler of the country—Rajah Mudah Hassim, an act which eventually led to Sir James acquiring the territory of Sarawak.
A short distance up the southern branch there issues from the right bank a small stream from whence the larger river now takes its name. Continuing the ascent of the western branch we passed Mungo Panchur, where the rebels in the above conflict had a fort, and at 3 P.M. reached Belida.
Belida
This place was the key of the enemy's position, and it was here that the rebels met with their total defeat at the hands of Sir James. A little below Belida on the left bank is a small stream called Lobok Kradang ; it was to the head of this stream that Sir James took his yacht's gig, and drawing her over some yards of intervening land, launched her again on the Sekundis stream, issuing from thence above Belida he attacked the rebels and inflicted on them that blow which resulted in their destruction and the close of the war.
After the Chinese insurrection in 1857 when Kuching was burnt to the ground, a fort was erected here and an European officer administered the Government in the district, this continued till 1861 when the officer was withdrawn, and a native police force left in charge ; in 1871 the fort was entirely dismantled and the material transported to Paku to enlarge the Government station there.
Siniawan
Facing Belida a little higher up the river is the now abandoned village of Siniawan which was close to the water at the foot of an eminence called Gunga Kumiel. Before the war referred to above, this was a flourishing settlement boasting a considerable Malay population, but being situated in the centre of warlike operations it suffered severely, and at the close of the war completely dwindled away, the population retiring elsewhere, and giving over its possession to the Chinese, who, before erecting a new settlement for themselves burned up the former buildings. In 1856 Siniawan was again a prosperous Chinese village with some 300 or 400 inhabitants, in the year following it was totally destroyed by the Malays and Sakarran Dyaks, who, when the Chinese were driven from Kuching pressed on their rear, and on the Celestials making a stand here and at Belida drove them out with fearful loss. Nothing now remains to mark the site of these settlements ; one or two Chinese are eking out a bare existence by cultivating small gardens, but the whole place is abandoned, and nature in the form of lalang grass, and secondary jungle has obliterated all traces of its past prosperity.
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以上引自Noel Denison(1879) "Jottings made during a tour amongst the Land Dyaks of Upper Sarawak, During the Year 1874". p15-16. Singapore : Mission Press
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