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Ipoh - The Malay Story
Malay Mining History
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Malay Mining History
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Note : Article are wholly copied from the part of Kinta Valley - pioneering Malaysia's modern development by Khoo Salma Nasution & Abdur-Razzaq Lubis. Published by Perak Academy

Early miners

THE INDIGENOUS MINERS in Perak were the Orang Asli and the Malays. As Perak formed part of the natural sphere of influence of the Siamese as well as the 'rantau' of Mandailings, these groups have also been mining there for several hundred years.

     So peculiarly is Kinta a mining district, that even the Sakais of the hills do a little mining to get some tin and wherewith to buy the choppers and sarongs which the Malays sell to them at an exorbitant price. (1) (Hale)

As the Orang Asli communities living near Gopeng and other urban centres came into contact with migrants, many of them turned to tin-mining for cash. In the 1920s, a famous Orang Asli mining community emerged at Teaw Batu or Sungei Batu, The Orang Asli worked lampan mines called kelit and sold the tin to Malim Nawar.(2) (Edo).  The Orang Asli who lived around Tanjong Tualang started working for dredging companies in the 1930s, even though they regretted the destruction caused by these machines to their environment.

Lombong Siam

The earliest mines in Kinta were known as Lombong Siam, meaning 'Siamese mines'. They were not made using a local method of exploitation; even the Malays interviewed during the 19th century regarded them as foreign. The Lombong Siam method corresponds to a description of 18th century mining in Perak given by Baron von Wurmb in 1875:

     When work was done in the valleys, the surface to be mined was cleared of large trees, roots, and rocks. Shafts were then dug to a depth of seven or eight feet. After a deposit of tin was found, it was washed and separated from the sand by water which was carried from springs to the mines through hollow logs. If there were no springs in the vicinity, wells were dug and the water from these used to wash the ore. (3) (Andaya) .

A considerable group of Lombong Siam were found in Lahat, where Abraham Hale discovered least fifty deep well-like pits on Lahat hill, averaging about eight feet diameter and perhaps twenty feet deep. (1) (Hale)

The biggest example of a Lombong Siam, found in virgin forest 'further upcountry', was a pit about fifty feet in diameter and over twenty feet deep.(1) (Hale), who was certainly on the ground as an Inspector of Mines in Kinta said that, besides the ones mentioned,

     ... at many places extensive workings are continually brought to light as the country is opened up, and these appear to have been left undisturbed for at least a hundred years. (1) (Hale)

Circular pits, narrower than the ones in Lahat, were also uncovered in Changkat Kantan, Tronoh and elsewhere. (4) (Wong).  Unfortunately, the ancient mines, found in places with the richest ore, were the first to be excavated. Evidence of the Lombong Siam in Lahat was also destroyed when the mines were subsequently worked over by the French Tin Mining Company.

Malay mining

The most common Malay method of mining was called lampan. De la Croix observed it in 1881.

      Malays prefer mountain mines called "lampang". These workings are situated near a stream or torrent which provide the necessary water to wash the earth. It consists of one or several narrow trenches, parallel to the stream and joined to it at both ends so that one can get a certain volume of water. The trench is widened little by little and the earth is simply thrown to the bottom; the current, operating a natural washing process, carries away the light parts. From time to time, the valuable deposits are scooped out and undergo a final washing process on a flat surface. This mechanical process is rather easy, owing to the size of tin grains, more abundant on mountain-sides than in the plains. Hence, this "lampang" method is considerably more productive when miners have the good fortune to find a rich area. In these operations, 5 or 6 Malays enter into a partnership, rarely more. (5) (De la Croix)

At Kampong Snudong (Senudong), on the western slope of Bujang Malacca, de la Croix observed a Malay mine worked on 'entirely native principle':

      Small canals have been brought from the river and run at the foot of the different cuttings. The ground is cut down and thrown in those canals and dressed like in a sluice-box, the height of the face is from 10 to 15 feet; when the ground has been stripped to the level of the water, it is divided into small rectangular lots, 30 feet long by 15 wide, round which the canals are made to late, these lots are ultimately worked out, but not at a greater depth than 5 feet below the water mark. These mines are worked by the  owners, or by strangers who obtain from them a permit to dig, provided

they remit one-third, one-sixth, or one-half of the product, according to the richness of the soil. (5) (De la Croix)

The most detailed account of Malay mining has been given by W. E. Everit, Inspector of Mines, Federation of Malaya, in 1952. It is not an observer's account, but a technical description which makes good use of the Malay mining glossary supplied in 1885 by Hale, who collected his terms from both Malay and Mandailing miners, but did not make a clear distinction between the two. Everitt's text, quoting at length:

Malay miners used a ground sluicing "lampan" method of mining and started their operations by cutting ditches from the nearest river. The ditches were widened and the earth thrown into the stream of water flowing in the ditch. This was known as "isi parit" and was followed by "mengumbei" - stirring dirt in the small ditch or race, in order to break up the lumps of clay and liberate the stones. The stones were lifted out of the ditch in a basket "meraga batu" and the sand and ore driven downstream - "me-longga parit". A "pengayuh" (large wooden spand with a handle similar to a paddle) was used to drive the tin-bearing drift sand down the races - "bertunda". “batu kachau" - small stones placed in the ditch alternatively on the left and right created ripples in the flow and small dams “panggul" were placed across the ditches to retain the heavier sand containing the ore. A small oval wooden tray called a "dendulang" or "peraup" about 18 inches long and 9 inches to 12 inches wide was used to lift the partially concentrated heavy sand, retained by the "panggul", from the ditches into the "palong". This process was known as "me-raup". The heavy sand was washed in a sluice box - "palong" (the word is used to-day throughout Malaya for the sluice boxes used on the Chinese mines and on some of the European dredges) which was made out of a tree trunk about 8 ft. long, split down in the middle and hollowed out. The process of washing the ore in the "palong" was called "me-malong" and the final cleaning ("pandei" or "memandei") was done in a similar "palong" about 5 ft. long. Where possible a cascade of water ("panchur") was used to break up lumps of stiff clay containing tin-ore. In this manner the ground was washed, concentrated and dressed. The ditches were seldom more than ten to fifteen feet deep - limiting the height of the faces worked, to the same extent. When the ground had been stripped down to water level, the surface was divided by ditches into rectangular lots about 30 ft. long by 15 ft. wide. The water was circulated round these lots which were worked in the same manner as before. Depending upon the water run off, it was sometimes possible to mine the ground to a depth of about five feet below the original water level; but seldom deeper than this. (6) (Everitt)

The ore bearing drift was known as "ambil" or "tanah ambil" and is called the "karang" by the Chinese today.

      The "tanah padi" or earth immediately below the top inch or two of mould "kulit akar" sometimes contained tin-ore, while the valueless overburden was called "tanah papas". The bedrock or valueless clay stratum below the "ambil" was known as "tangloh" or "batu ampar". A "pen-chubak", a digging tool made of iron with a wooden handle or a "pen-chubak kayu", an all wooden spade, was used for digging the ditches and throwing the earth into the races. Sometimes it was possible to use water power to throw down the earth into the sluicing pole ("kait") was used for lifting water

or earth from an excavation; the "kait ayer" with a single movement - straight lift - was used for lifting water only, while the "kait raga" with a straight lift and then a swinging movement to one side, was used for lifting earth only. A "penimba" or "penimba chuak", made of bark, was sometimes used for bailing the water out of an excavation. The Malay miners had no other means of keeping the excavations dry and where the seepage was heavy or a sudden rush of water flooded the mine, operations were terminated. The small excavation was known as "ludang" and could be baled with a "penimba", a "kait". "Kelian" was the general name for a mine. The tin sand was known as "biji", while the derivatives "biji anak", "biji ibu", "biji mati" and "biji tahi" was used for crystalline cassiterite, lode tin, dull ores and light ores (wolfram, tourmaline, etc.) The head-race of a mine was known as the "tali-ayer" and the "snak" ("suak gunong" or "suak redang") the sources of the head-race. (6) (Everitt)

      The mine was owned by the "tuan tanah" or "tuan kelian" and he employed "anak kelian" - Malay miners. All the ditches on the mine were directed into a tail race "batang hari kelian" and all the tin sand which reached the tail race was the property of the mine owner. The miners paid a "hasil kelian" or tax to the mine owner. This tax was usually one sixth of the output from the excavations "tebok" and "ludang" and one third of the output from hill mining "leris". All the tin sand washed up from the "parit" was the property of the "anak kelian", after he had paid the "hasil kelian". (6) (Everitt)

The principles of Malay alluvial mining were later applied by Chinese miners and European miners, but the techniques were vastly improved. E.R. Pike, Inspector of Mines at Kinta, in 1893, suggested that lampanning was a method in which

      land containing a very small quantity of ore can be washed at a profit; and was in fact, similar to hydraulicing used in California. (7) (Pike)

While the Malays used a sluice box (palong) made from a hollowed-out half of a tree trunk, Chinese carpenters with their joinery skills were able to fashion a more or less waterproof sluice box out of planks. The palong remained one of the most widely-used means of concentrating ore in the 20th century.

   Dulang washers 


When Hale was writing in the 1880s, evidence of old Malay workings were 'everywhere to be found.' (1) (Hale)  In the early 1890s, Pike assessed the extensiveness of these workings.

      Malays in mining do not look for tin at great depths, but generally confine themselves to the high land at the foot of the big hills. They begin by diverting a stream, and, when it is possible, running it at a height and allowing it to drop on to the face they want to work. ... A very large tract of country has been mined in this way (lampan) by Malays, and from bits of ground which are now left standing, it may be judged that at least five square miles of country, with a depth of from 15 to 40 feet, have been washed away. In most cases tin

in large quantities has been found deeper down and underneath the high ground formerly worked by Malays. (7) (Pike).

Like the Lombong Siam, no physical evidence of former Malay mines are known to remain today. Through the systematic exploitation of more recent times, the Malay lampan areas on raised ground would have all been mined over, if they were not sooner weathered away.

Malay ancestral mines

From the beginning, tin was the most important source of revenue for Perak. In establishing the government policy regarding tin mining, the Perak State Council ruled that all tin-bearing land was state reserve, and all existing mines were deemed to be state owned  subject to bona fide claims of ownership of private mines. As this  issue was likely to raise concern among the claimants the Resident of Perak broached the subject in person.

At an assembly of the principal people in Kinta, in the house of Che Anda Tejah, in 1877, the Resident informed the owners of mines, many of whom were present, that [no] owner would be entitled to prevent another person from working it on his agreeing to pay a fair royalty to the proprietor unless the  owner preferred to work it himself... (8)  (Wilkinson).

In 1879, royalties (hasil tanah) were fixed by the Perak State Council at $2 per bhara (bahara). This royalty was collected in the form of  'drawback', as the full export duty and royalties customs house. (8) (Wilkinson)

That year, the Magistrate and Collector H.W.C. Leech make out a register of all the mines in Kinta considered to be private  property. Claims would be strictly investigated before any royalty could be charged.

     Very few of these claimants can show any grants or documentary evidence of title, yet the right to the land is acknowledged by the Penghulus and the people of the district and in some cases the boundaries are very well known (8) (Wilkinson).

Several cases were brought to court in which private claims clashed. The Perak government resumed the land at 'Klian Piah’ after paying  as compensation 'the amount for which the present claimants say their father bought it.'  (6) (Everitt)

In 1884, regulations were framed by the Perak State Council  dealing with and determining the claims of Malays to mining lands. This was 'a difficult question which had given much trouble, especially in Kinta’. (Annual Report,  Perak 1884) The task fell upon Hale, one of the first mining  inspectors stationed in Kinta, who was afterward commended by Low for having

      ...done exceedingly well in demarcating ancestral Malay mines. a work which requires great tact, patience and judgement” (8) (Wilkinson).

In the course of his investigations, Hale also charted out the genealogy of the Datoh Panglima Kinta, and made a full pedigree of the two families of the Kinta succession. (Annual Report, Perak 1886). Indeed, Hale was one of the first observers of the cultural practices asst indigenous mining in Kinta, which he documented in a short article “On Mines and Miners in Kinta, Perak,” compiling more than 100 terms  associated with Malay and Mandailing mining. He also collected 49 stone implements in the Kinta district, which made up the largest contribution at the time to the collection of the Perak Museum. (Annual Report, Perak 1887).  At the end of 1885, Hale was able to say that,

      There are in the district nearly five hundred registered mines, of three are worked by European Companies, the rest being private mines, i.e., mines, claimed by Malays, which have been worked by them and their ancestors for an indefinite period, or new mines, in other words new concessions given indifferently on application to Malays and Chinese. There are about three hundred and fifty private Malay mines.. (1) (Hale).

As both Chinese and Sumatrans miners took out new concessions, their number soon outstripped the number of 'proven' ancestral mines. Initially, Malay ancestral mines were exempted from regulations whereby mining land left unworked for more than six months would be reappropriated by the state. However, under the Mingin Code of 1895, the right to ancestral mining lands could be forfeited  if not exercised for more than two years. (Perak Government Gazette 1895).  By then, practically all the so-called 'Malay mines' were in fact leased to Chinese  miners who, being relatively more productive as tin miners, were able  to generate higher royalties for the owners.

The pawang as prospector

The Malays were the first to recognize the presence of tin on the peninsula. According to de la Croix, they could distinguish between different types of ores, ranging from ordinary brown opaque cassiterite to white translucent oxides, and between tin ore and other substances such as iron ore and tourmaline, which were often found nest to it, and that was by

       applying pressure with one's teeth on a grain of the unknown ore; if the grain does not break, it is tin oxide. (5) (De la Croix).

De la Croix could not help but notice that, despite the Malays' longer experience of tin-mining, they were quickly overtaken by the Chinese in the field.

      Unfortunately for them, the complete absence of industrial genius makes them unsuitable for large-scale mining operations; therefore, they prefer to give up to the Chinese the fruits of their discoveries and content themselves with some rudimentary workings on river beds, mountain sides or higher parts of the plains where sudden rises of water levels rarely occur. (5) (De la Croix)

Early Malay mining and prospecting, far from being a purely economic activity, was infused with all sorts of beliefs.

      Malays believed that the tin ore was alive, moving about under the ground in the form of a buffalo. It was born of the lode tin, called ibu timah, the tin's mother, and because of its special powers, it was necessary that certain people have control over mining operations. These were the Malay pawang, who not only divined the tin but were also possessed of special powers which enabled them to placate the spirits (hantu) of the mine in order that the mineral could be extracted. (3) (Andaya).

The Malay pawang was a specialist in prospecting, and also had the monopoly over smelting. For a while, Chinese miners relied on Malay pawangs to search for tin deposits:

      ...although the Malay pawang may squeeze a hundred or perhaps two hundred dollars out of the Chinese towkay who comes to mine for tin in Malaya, the money is not perhaps badly invested, for the Chinaman is no prospector, whereas a good Malay pawang has a wonderful 'nose' for tin... (1) (Hale)

The pawang, like the collectors of forest products such as camphor and gutta percha, had a special vocabulary called 'bahasa pantang'. The pawang's professional duties consisted of performing the required ceremonies for a fee, as well as enforcing certain rules and levying customary fines whenever they were breached. Everitt described the pawang's role based on Hale's accounts.

      When a mine was first opened up, the "pawang" erected a "geng-gulang" - a kind of wooden altar made entirely of "kayu sungkei", with a platform about 3 ft. above the ground, railed on three sides and a ladder from the ground to the platform on the fourth side. He then called upon the tutelary "hantu" of the locality to assist the enterprise. For this the "pawang" demanded a fee "tating gulang" of one karong of tin sand. Instead of the "geng-gulang", the "pawang", at the request of the miners, would erect a "kepala nasi", which was cheaper and only cost one "gantang" of tin sand. An "ancha", which consisted of a square wooden frame, was used as an altar and hung in the smelting house. Offerings to the spirits of the mine were made on these altars by the miners. The offerings consisted of sweet woods and gums burnt in a "perasap" or "sangka", - usually a half coconut shell or split bamboo open at one end.

During the ceremonies the "paivang" always wore black and assumed certain attitudes when he was invoking the spirits of the mine. No other person was permitted to wear a black coat or assume these attitudes under penalty of a fine "hukum pawang" of $12.50.  

Elephants and buffaloes were not allowed on a mine for fear of damage to the ditches and dams and therefore their names could not be mentioned for fear of offending the spirits: the elephant was called "ber-olak tinggi" instead of "gajah" and the water buffalo "sial" instead of "kerbau". Cats were called "ber-olak dapor" and not allowed on the mine and lime fruit called "salah nama" for the same reason. "Belachan" (shrimp paste) was also prohibited for fear of people introducing limes, which were invariably used in the preparation of food with "belachan".

Raw cotton was not allowed on a mine and the miner's pillow was usually soft wood. Gambling and quarrelling were forbidden An offence against these rules was punished by a fine of $12.50.

All eating and drinking vessels were of coconut shell or wood -the noise of earthenware or glass was offensive to the "hantu". The "palong" was prepared in the jungle, far from the mine, as the noise of wood chopping would disturb the "hantu" - a fine of $12.50 was imposed for this offence.

No miner could wear another man's trousers nor work in a "sarong" (fine one karong of tin sand). Charcoal was not allowed to fall into the water races and no miner was permitted to carry a weapon and no coat could be worn inside the smelting house
(fine $12.50). If the "chupak" (measure) of the mine were broken, it had to be replaced within three days (fine one bahara of tin).

The post of the smelting house could not be cut or hacked (fine one slab of tin). An unsheathed kris or spear had to be covered in leaves. No person might cross a race in which a miner was sluicing, without going some distance upstream; penalty for this was as much tin sand as the race contained at the moment. The “pawang" adjudicated in all quarrels and all cases of thieving. On the death of any miner, his comrades each paid one "chupak" of tin sand to the "pawang."

Malay mining was not just a technique; it was based on a belief system and a certain understanding of nature. As Hale put it,

      The Malay miner has peculiar ideas about tin and its properties; the first instance he believes that it is under protection and command of certain spirits whom he considers it necessary to propitiate; next he considers that the tin itself is alive and has any of the properties of living matter, that of its own volition can move from place to place, that it can reproduce itself, and that it has special likes - or perhaps affinities - for certain people and things and visa-versa. Hence it is advisable to treat tin-ore with a certain amount of respect, to consult its convenience, id what is, perhaps more curious, to conduct the business of mining in such a way that the tin ore may, as it were, be obtained without its own knowledge! (1) (Hale).

No doubt, Chinese miners also adopted some of the Malay beliefs and taboos associated with mining. In 1928, the geologist Scrivenor, touched on one of these beliefs.

      Malays call (cassiterite) concentrates "bijeh", and apply the same name to heavy concentrates such as ilmenite, qualifying them as "unripe" because they will not yield tin. The Chinese (Kheh) term for tin-ore is "Shak mee", and the less educated Chinese still think that cassiterite grows in the ground and in amang. The idea of its growing in the ground is the result of faulty or insufficient prospecting in the past and perhaps of improved methods of working. In amang the percentage of cassiterite does actually increase if heaps of it are exposed to rain, because the lighter minerals are gradually washed away. (9) (Scrivenor).


Mandailing miners

The first known Mandailing miners in Kinta were those brought by Kulop Riao or his father to Jelentoh near Gopeng. In view of the location, it is most likely that they practised lampanning by diverting hill streams.

The second large group of Mandailing miners came to Kinta around 1875 under the leadership of Raja Asal. They brought with them experience gained from decades of gold mining in the Mandailing homeland and Raub, Pahang, as well as tin-mining in Klang, Selangor. In the latter context, they had also picked up mining and smelting techniques from Chinese miners in Selangor. During the Mandailings' early years in Kinta, Raja Asal's followers

     did all the mining work and the odd jobs themselves, from the initial excavation to extracting the ore until it became tin. (10)  (Raja H M Ya’qub).

According to the Tarikh Raja Asal, the chronicle of a Mandailing mining family in Kinta, the main methods of mining employed by the Mandailings were meludang, melereh, mencabik, menabok. (10) (Raja H M Ya’qub).

Ludang was defined by Hale as 'a small shallow excavation which can be baled with a ‘penimba chuak.' The latter was a small bucket made of wood or bark. This method of mining was used where the layer of wash dirt was found near the surface. (1) (Hale).

Lereh was possibly the Mandailing pronunciation of the Malay leris, which meant, 'to mine on the hill.' Melereh was probably similar to hill lampanning, that is, to sluice in the hill streams. (10) (Raja H M Ya’qub).

Cabik (chabek) means 'to tear' and probably refers to dry hill-mining. (11) (Teuku Iskander).  This term does not appear in Hale's glossary. 'Chebak' also means 'to dig with sidelong blows of a changkol (as at a bank or mine-face). (Winstedt, 1959).

Tabok, the Mandailing equivalent of the Malay 'tebok’, was probably the most intensive of the four methods practised. Hale described it rather briefly as 'an excavation larger than a ludang, and which cannot be baled with apenimba, a kait must be erected.’ De Morgan saw such a mine at Kliang Tronong, between Papan and Lahat,

... on three sides the Malays prop the earth up with the bark of trees held in place by vertical posts; on the fourth face, the alluvium is allowed to fall away, but the majority of localities holds long enough to enable them to work it in steps.

      Depending on the abundance of water, draining takes place every morning before work. It is performed with the aid of buckets suspended from long levers loaded with counterbalances. (12) (Jackson).

The kait ayer was a lever which lifted the water straight out of the tabok mine. Another type of lever, the kait raga, lifted a basket of alluvial soil with an upward motion and

then swung it around and deposited it at some distance. (1) (Hale).  The spoil of the tabok mine would pile up near the working pit, compelling the miners to move the extracted earth again when extending the works.

Last but not least, the Mandailing womenfolk engaged in panning for tin ore. As Hale wrote in 1885,

      ... it is washed out of the sand in the river beds - a very favourite employment with Mandheling women; Kinta natives do not affect it much, although there is more than one stream where a good worker can earn a dollar per day... (1) (Hale).

In 1881, Errington de la Croix observed a profitable co-operation between Mandailing and Chinese miners in Papan.

      Thirteen mines are at present in full swing, and occupy five hundred men, Chinese and Malays. Klian Johan, worked by Chinamen, is the most important of all and is probably the deepest mine in the whole State, attaining a depth of fifty feet ... On each side of that mine, Malays are also carrying on works to the same depth, but unable themselves to put up a proper draining apparatus, they have made with their more industrious neighbours a contract by which they are allowed to let their water flow into the Chinese mine on condition of paying one-tenth of their whole produce. (5) (De la Croix).

The 'Malay miners' observed were the Sumatran, principally Mandailing, followers of Raja Bilah.  De la Croix noted a Chinese population of 234 which implies that  slightly more than half the miners in Klian Johan were Sumatrans.

The Chinese managed to drain the mines by using an agricultural water-wheel, of which more will be said later.  The Mandailings also applied agricultural technology to mining, building dams to harness water resources. In Papan, the Mandailing built a large reservoir called 'Empang Besar', and the Chinese miners signed a contract with the Mandailings for the use of the water (13) (Lubis & Khoo).

Instead of employing a Malay pawang, prospecting was done by the Mandailings themselves, who used a tempurong or half-coconut shell to measure the ore. (13) (Lubis & Khoo).  During the early 1880s, while the Chinese were still mainly operating rather large tin mines in well-defined areas, the Mandailings, with less technical knowledge, were probably more mobile than the Chinese and gravitated in small groups towards the more easily won deposits. (14) (Tugby).

An innovation in tin mining was introduced to Kinta at a place called Tasek (literally, pond), but later known as Pusing (literally, to turn around). (10) (Raja H M Ta’qub).  The mines here were opened by a Mandailing, Haji Zainal Abidin, who first came to Perak in 1873. This intriguing innovation was remarked upon by the State Commissioner of Lands in 1891:

      In the last year or so mining in the district has to a great extent been revolutionized. A very large proportion of the tin is produced by small parties of miners washing the ore out of the surface soil with what they called "Ayer pusing" -

i.e., the same water is used over and over again, being artificially raised from a well or tank to wash the soil, the result being that ground is now worked that, a few years since, no one would have thought of touching, and that practically all that is being done is turn the soil over - deep sub-soiling, in fact. (Perak Government Gazette1892)

This indigenous innovation allowed tin-mines to be opened up in areas without access to abundant water supply.  According to the Tarikh Raja Asal, Raja Bilah was the largest 'Malay miner' of his time in Kinta.

      There was a place in Papan which they called One Hundred Pits (Tabok Seratus) and Raja Bilah's mine was called the Great Mine (Lombong Besar) as it was the biggest Malay mine at the time with hundreds of coolies all Malays. (10) (Raja H M Ya’qub)

This claim was confirmed by de Morgan, who met Raja Bilah in person during his explorations in the mid-1880s. Raja Bilah sold his mines in 1890. By that time, most Mandailings had been edged out of mining by the large influx of Chinese miners who came to Kinta during the second tin rush.

Weights & Measures

tahil  ....................................................    0.039 kg
kati (16 tahils) ....................................... 0.625 kg
pikul (100 katis)  ..................................... 62.50 kg
bharra (3 pikul) .....................................   187.5 kg
koyang (40 pikul)  ..................................   250.0 kg

foot ........................................    about 0.30 metre
esta .................................................     0.36 metre
depa ...............................................    1.82 metres

Orlong ........................      53 ares and 82 centiares

Cubic measurement of earth
che-che or tao-che (Chinese measurements) 9m, 10 x 9m, 10 x 0m.36 = 29me.811

Source: de Morgan, Exploration dans la Presqu'ile Malaise royaumes de Perak et de Patani, (1886) 1993.

1. Hale, A: “On mines and Miners in Kinta, Perak” JSBRAS Vol 68, Part 1, 1995

2. Edo, Juli: “Claiming Our Ancestors’ Land, An Ethnohistorical Study of Seng-oi Land Right in Perak”. Australian National University, March 1998
3. Andaya, Barbara Watson: “Perak: The Abode of Grace, a Study of an Eighteenth CenturyMalay State, OUP, 1979.
4. Wong Lin Ken: “The Malayan Tin Industry to 1914". The University of Arizona Press, 1965
5. De la Croix, J Errington: “Some account of the Mining  Districtsof Lower Perak.” JSBRAS, No 7,June 1881.
6. Everitt, W E: A History of Mining in Perak, JB, 1952
7. Pike, E R: ”Mining in Perak, Straits Settlements,” TMAIC, Vol 3, Camborne, 1892.
8. Wilkinson, R J: Papers on Malay Subjects, OUP 1971
9. Scrivenor, J B: “The Geology of Malayan Ore Deposits.” MacMillan. 1928
10. Raja H M Ya’qub: “Tarikh Raja Asaldan Keluarganya.” 1934
11. Teuku Iskander: Kamus Dewan, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1970.
12. Jackson, James C: “Malay Mining Methods in Kinta in 1884,” MIH Vol XIII, No 2, 1964
13. Lubis & Khoo: “Raja Bilah and the Mandailings in Perak” MBRAS 2003
14. Tugby, Donald: ”Cultural Change and Identity: Mandailing Immigrants in West Malaysia.” University of Queensland Press, 1977