Banjar people

Banjar people

ethnic group

poptime=4,5 million
popplace=South Kalimantan (Indonesia): 2,271,586
East Kalimantan (Indonesia): 500,000
Central Kalimantan (Indonesia): 500,00
Indragiri Hilir: 175,000
Malaysia: 538,826
langs=Banjar, Indonesian and Malay.
related=Malays, Kutai, Javanese, Dayak (Dayak Bukit, Bakumpai, Ngaju, Maanyan, Lawangan)

Banjar (or Banjarese) is the name of an interior and coastal native ethnic group which settled in the Banjar region and in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, the fourth biggest city on the island of Borneo. A few hundred years ago, some of them had travelled to many places in the Malay archipelago. They set up pockets of settlement in those areas, namely in Perak mostly in Parit Buntar and Teluk Intan region, Selangor around Sabak Bernam and Sungai Besar and Batu Pahat, Johor in Malaysia, in Medan, Sumatra in Indonesia and many other places. Banjarese people is a melting pot of the native Dayaks, Malay ethnicity from Sumatra and the Javanese courts.


Proto Malay people migrated to Kalimantan/Borneo in 2500 BC. These are the ancestors of Dayak people (Ot Danum). In 2500 BC, the Deutero Malay migrated to Kalimantan/Borneo. Malay people from Sumatra brought their culture to Kalimantan/Borneo in 400 AD, which fused the birth of Banjar Hulu language. Later on 520 AD, the Malay formed the Buddhist Kingdom of Tanjungpuri in the present-day Tanjung, Tabalong.

In 1200 AD, Empu Jatmika built the Hindu Kingdom of Negara Dipa by the rivers of Tapin. This was the start of the Javanese-style courts in South Kalimantan. The Hindu era in South Kalimantan remained the most remembered time in South Kalimantan history. The glory of Negara Dipa is succeeded by the Hindu Kingdom of Negara Daha in 1400 AD.

Pangeran Samudera, the rightful heir was forced to flee the court of Negara Daha because of his uncle's revolt against him. He was accepted by the people of the Bandar Masih (Bandar=port, Masih=Malay people). Supported by the Sultanate of Demak, he formed a new Islamic Banjar Kingdom in 1526 with Bandar Masih as its capital. Later on, the name of Bandar Masih slowly changed into Banjarmasin.


The division of Banjar people into 3 ethnicities is based on the locations of the fusions between Malay, local Dayaks (Dayak Bukit, Dayak Maanyan, Dayak Lawangan, Dayak Ngaju, Dayak Barangas, and Bakumpai), and Javanese.

# Banjar Pahuluan, who lives in the valleys by the upriver of Meratus mountain ranges. They live on agriculture.
# Banjar Batang Banyu, who lives in the valleys by the river of Negara. They take pride of their position as the people of the ancient capital. They are also prominent merchants.
# Banjar Kuala, who lives in Banjarmasin and Martapura. These people are the people of the new capital.


The Banjar language (bjn) reflects the history of people. It is basically the Malay language brought from Sumatra, with some words are taken from Javanese and native Dayaks.

Relations with Dayaks

The relationship between Banjar people and the neighboring Dayaks are always in a good term. As some of the Dayaks who converted to Islam fuse themselves into the Banjar culture and call themselves Banjar, the surrounding Dayaks think of the Banjars as their brothers and sisters. This is further strengthened by the fact there are many inter-marriages between the Banjars and the Dayaks, even in the level of royalty. For example: Biang Lawai, a wife of a Banjar king was of Dayak Ngaju ethnicity. This means that the Banjarese Kings and Queens have Dayaks lineage in their blood.

This relationship grew strong when both ethnicities faced colonization. They became comrades in the age of war. Some of the warriors involved in Banjar War are of Dayak ethnicities or have Dayaks lineage in their blood. For example:

# Panglima Batur, of Dayak Siang Murung ethnicity,
# Panglima Wangkang, his father was a Dayak Bakumpai and his mother was a Banjar,
# Panglima Batu Balot (Tumenggung Marha Lahew), a female warrior who attacked Fort Muara Teweh in 1864-1865.


# de Bruyn, W.K.H.F.; Bijdrage tot de kennis van de Afdeeling Hoeloe Soengai, (Zuider a Ooster Afdeeling van Borneo), 19--.
# Broersma, R.;Handel en Bedrijf in Zuiz Oost Borneo, S'Gravenhage, G. Naeff, 1927.
# Eisenberger, J.; Kroniek de Zuider en Ooster Afdeeling van Borneo, Bandjermasin, Drukkerij Lim Hwat Sing, 1936.
# Bondan, A.H.K.; Suluh Sedjarah Kalimantan, Padjar, Banjarmasin, 1953.
# Ras, J.J.; Hikajat Bandjar, A study in Malay Histiography, N.V. de Ned. Boeken, Steen Drukkerij van het H.L. Smits S'Graven hage, 1968.
# Heekeren, C. van.; Helen, Hazen en Honden Zuid Borneo 1942, Den Haag, 1969.
# Riwut, Tjilik; Kalimantan Memamnggil, Penerbit Endang, Djakarta.
# Saleh, Idwar; SEJARAH DAERAH TEMATIS Zaman Kebangkitan Nasional (1900-1942) di Kalimantan Selatan, Depdikbud, Jakarta, 1986.

ee also

* Banjarese architecture
* South Kalimantan
* Banjarmasin
* Banjar language
*Banjar in Singapore

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