The Banjar or Banjarese is the native people who live in Banjarmasin, the second largest city in the South Kalimantan.
Since the 19th century, The Banjar was migrated to the east coast of Sumatra and Malaysia, but in Peninsular Malaysia, Banjar tribe fall into the Malays, just in Tawau (of Sabah, East Malaysia), who still calls themselves Banjar people. In Singapore, the Banjar have melted into the Malays, but still claiming to be descendants of Banjar.
Dates back to the ancient history of Banjar Kingdom, the Banjar Sultanate was divided into two province of South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. In 16th Century the kingdom was split into the west side and in the east. In the east there was Kotawaringin Kingdom which was led by Prince Dipati Anta Kasuma bin Sultan Mustain Billah. While, in the east there was Tanah Bumbu kingdom which was led by the prince Dipati Tuha bin Sultan Saidullah that grew into several areas: Sabamban, Pegatan, Koensan, Poelau sea, stone Litjin, Cangtoeng, Bangkalaan, Sampanahan, Manoenggoel, and Tjingal.
There are three sub-ethnics from the Banjar that classified based on the location they live.
– The Banjar Pahuluan, are the people of Banjar who live in the valleys by the upriver of Meratus mountain ranges. They make their living from agriculture
– The Banjar Batang Banyu, are the people of Banjar who live in the valleys by the river of Negara. They are proud of their position as the people of the ancient capital. They are also prominent merchants.
– The Banjar Kuala, are the Banjar who live in Banjarmasin and Martapura. They are the people of the new capital.
In daily speaking, The Banjar used their language from their ancient people, it is basically Malay language which came from Sumatra, but now are already mixed up with some words from Javanese and native Dayaks.
The relationship between Banjar people and the neighboring Dayaks have always been good. Some of the Dayaks who had converted to Islam have also assimilated into the Banjar culture and call themselves Banjar. 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 Dayaks lineage in their blood.
Most of the Banjar are Moslem, and they are proud to hold Islam as their religion. Therefore, there is a common name within the Banjar about Islam Banjar. Islam Banjar is referred to the term of Islam that based on the Banjar culture and grew among the Banjar way of living.