Banjar people

The Banjar or Banjarese (Banjar: Urang Banjar; Galambang Banjar) are an indigenous ethnic group native to the Banjar regions (notably Banjarmasin, Banjarbaru, Banjar Regency, etc.) in the southeastern Kalimantan hemisphere of Indonesia.[1] Nowadays, Banjarese diaspora can be found in neighbouring Banjar regions as well; including Kotabaru Regency, the southeastern regions of Central Kalimantan, southernmost regions of East Kalimantan, and some provinces of Indonesia in general. The Banjarese diaspora community also can be found in neighbouring countries of Indonesia, such as Brunei, Malaysia (notably in Sabah and Perak), and Singapore.[4]

  • Urang Banjar
  • اورڠ بنجر
  • Galambang Banjar
  • ݢلمبنڠ بنجر
Three Banjarese couple wearing traditional Banjarese attires (from left to right: Bagajah Gamuling Baular Lulut, Babaju Kun Galuh Pasinan, and Baamar Galung Pancar Surya) in South Kalimantan, Indonesia
Total population
5.7 million
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia4,127,124 (2010)[1]
            South Kalimantan2,686,627
            Central Kalimantan464,260
            East Kalimantan440,453
            North Sumatra125,707
            West Kalimantan14,430
            East Java12,405
            Riau Islands11,811
            West Java9,383
 Malaysia62.400 (1947 census in Malay Peninsula) (counted as part of the local "Malays")[2]
 Singaporeunknown (counted as part of the local "Malays")[3]
Islam (Sunni)
Related ethnic groups


Etymologically, the word Banjar is derived from terminology in the Janyawai dialect of Ma'anyan language, which rooted from Old Javanese language. It is initially used to identified the Ma'anyan, Meratus Dayak, and Ngaju people who are already "Javanized" when the Javanese people arrived in southeastern Kalimantan regions to established their civilization. The term banjar (ꦧꦚ꧀ꦗꦂ) itself in Javanese language is a short form of a verb mbanjarke (ꦩ꧀ꦧꦚ꧀ꦗꦂꦏꦺ), which means "to separate and rearrange" literally. It is a 'common knowledge' within the communities of South Kalimantan that the Banjarese people were formerly part of larger Dayak community.


The Proto-Malay people migrated to Borneo in 2500 BC and were the ancestors of the Dayak people. In 2500 BC, the Deutero Malays migrated to Borneo. The Sumatran people brought their culture to Borneo in 400 AD. The fusion of the cultures saw the birth of the Upper Banjar language (Bahasa Banjar Hulu). Later, in 520 AD, the Sumatran people formed the Buddhist Kingdom of Tanjungpuri in the present-day region of Tanjung, Tabalong.[5][6]

In 14th century, Empu Jatmika migrating from Keling, Kediri built the Hindu Kingdom of Negara Dipa by the river of Tapin.[7] Which later came to be ruled under Majapahit's Rajasa dynasty. This was the start of the Javanese-style courts in South Kalimantan. This Hindu era in South Kalimantan remained influential period in South Kalimantan's history. Negara Dipa was succeeded by the Hindu Kingdom of Negara Daha in 15th century.[8]

According to history, Prince Samudera, the rightful heir to the kingdom of Negara Daha, was forced to flee the court of because of his uncle's revolt against him.[9] He was accepted by the people of Bandar Masih (Bandar: port, Masih: Malay people). Supported by the Sultanate of Demak in Java, he formed a new Islamic Banjar Kingdom in 1526 with Bandar Masih as its capital.[10] The name of Bandar Masih was later changed to its present name Banjarmasin.

Since the 19th century, migration of the Banjarese people went as far as the east coast of Sumatra and Malaysia. In Malaysia and Singapore, Banjarnese people are classified as part of the Ethnic Malay.


The Banjar people can be divided into three ethnicities based on the locations of the assimilation between the Malays, the local Dayaks (Dayak Bukit, Dayak Ma'anyan, Dayak Lawangan, Dayak Ngaju, Dayak Barangas, and Bakumpai), and the Javanese people.

  1. The Banjarnese Pahuluan, who live in the valleys by the upriver of Meratus mountain ranges.
  2. The Banjar Batang Banyu, who live in the valleys by the river of Negara.
  3. The Banjar Kuala, who live in Banjarmasin and Martapura.


Logo of Banjarese Wikipedia edition written in Arabic-based script

The native language of Banjarese people is Banjarese language (Basa Banjar; Jaku Banjar), it is an Austronesian language predominantly spoken in the southeastern Kalimantan. The Banjarese language is the de facto lingua franca for various indigenous community especially in South Kalimantan, as well as Central Kalimantan (notably in Seruyan Regency and Sukamara Regency) and East Kalimantan in general.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The following texts are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Banjarese language along with the original declaration in English.

Universal Declaration of Human RightsParnyatan Hak Urang Barataan
Article 1Ujah 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.Sagala urang hiput babar lik sapala awak barataan. Urang sanyaan dibari nugaraha baakal maigungakan, handak bakawalan nang mambawa sumangat sapaadingan.

Simple conversation

Here are examples of simple conversation in Banjarese language:

Banjarese sapa ngaran pian?
English what is your name?
Banjarese ngaran ulun ...
English my name is ...
Banjarese ulun handak bailang kasidin
English I want to visit there


Most Banjarese are adherents of Islam. Islam first arrived in the South Kalimantan region around the 15th century.[6]

Relations with Dayaks

Sasanggan, a bronze bowl used by the Banjarese during a traditional ceremony.

The relationship between the Banjar people and the neighboring Dayaks have always been good. Some Dayaks who had converted to Islam have also assimilated into the Banjar culture and call themselves Banjar.[12] The Dayaks also 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 among the members of the 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 Dayak lineage in their blood.[13]

According to Meratus Dayak legends, Banjarese and Meratus are descendants of related brothers of Datung Ayuh or Sandayuhan who was the ancestor of Meratus Dayak, while Bambang Basiwara or Intingan who was the ancestors of Bajarese. In the legends, Sandayuhan is strong and good at fighting, while Intingan has weaker physique but greater intelligence.[14] This relationship grew strong when both ethnicities faced colonization by the Dutch in the 18th century. Some of the warriors involved in Banjar War are of Dayak ethnicity or have Dayak lineage in their blood.

See also


  1. Kewarganegaraan, Suku Bangsa, Agama, dan Bahasa Sehari-hari Penduduk Indonesia (Hasil Sensus Penduduk 2010) [Citizenship, Ethnicity, Religion, and Languages of the Indonesian Population (Results of the 2010 Population Census)] (in Indonesian), Jakarta: Central Bureau of National Statistics of the Republic of Indonesia, 2010, ISBN 978-979-064-417-5, archived from the original on 2017
  2. "Indonesian Migration Settlement Malaya" (PDF). ASJ. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  3. "Urang Banjar: From South Kalimantan to Singapore". biblioasia. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  4. "Etnik Banjar Di Perak" (in Malay). The Malaya Post. 7 December 2020.
  5. M. Suriansyah Ideham (2007). Urang Banjar Dan Kebudayaannya. Pemerintah Propinsi Kalimantan Selatan. ISBN 978-979-98892-1-8.
  6. Minahan, James (2012). Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-1-59884-659-1.
  7. Munoz, Paul Michel (2006). Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula. Editions Didier Millet. pp. 281. ISBN 981-4155-67-5.ISBN 978-981-4155-67-0
  8. Deni Prasetyo (2009). Mengenal Kerajaan-Kerajaan Nusantara. Pustaka Widyatama. ISBN 978-979-610-309-6.
  9. Ahmad Gazali Usman (1989). Urang Banjar Dalam Sejarah. Lambung Mangkurat University Press. ISBN 979-8128-16-8.
  10. Mohamad Idwar Saleh (1981). Banjarmasih: Sejarah Singkat Mengenai Bangkit Dan Berkembangnya Kota Banjarmasin Serta Wilayah Sekitarnya Sampai Dengan Tahun 1950. Museum Negeri Lambung Mangkurat, Propivsi [i.e. Propinsi] Kalimantan Selatan. OCLC 19940334.
  11. "OHCHR -". Archived from the original on 30 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  12. Hawkins, Mary (2000). "Becoming Banjar". The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. Informa UK Limited. 1 (1): 24–36. doi:10.1080/14442210010001705830. ISSN 1444-2213.
  13. Wilson, Wilson (15 January 2022). "Relasi Islam-Dayak di Kota Palangka Raya Kalimantan Tengah". Jurnal Pendidikan Tambusai. 5 (3): 11105–11122. ISSN 2614-3097. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  14. "Kisah Datung Ayuh dan Bambang Siwara". Histori. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2022.

Further reading

  1. de Bruyn, W.K.H.F.; Bijdrage tot de kennis van de Afdeeling Hoeloe Soengai, (Zuider a Ooster Afdeeling van Borneo), 19--.
  2. Broersma, R.;Handel en Bedrijf in Zuiz Oost Borneo, S'Gravenhage, G. Naeff, 1927.
  3. Eisenberger, J.; Kroniek de Zuider en Ooster Afdeeling van Borneo, Bandjermasin, Drukkerij Lim Hwat Sing, 1936.
  4. Bondan, A.H.K.; Suluh Sedjarah Kalimantan, Padjar, Banjarmasin, 1953.
  5. 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.
  6. Heekeren, C. van.; Helen, Hazen en Honden Zuid Borneo 1942, Den Haag, 1969.
  7. Riwut, Tjilik; Kalimantan Memanggil, Penerbit Endang, Djakarta.
  8. Saleh, Idwar; Sejarah Daerah Tematis Zaman Kebangkitan Nasional (1900–1942) di Kalimantan Selatan, Depdikbud, Jakarta, 1986.
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