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The Proto-Malay people migrated to Borneo in 2500 BC. They were the ancestors of the Dayak people (Ot Danum). In 2500 BC, the Deutero Malays migrated to Borneo. The Malay people from Sumatra 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 Malays formed the Buddhist Kingdom of Tanjungpuri in the present-day region of Tanjung, Tabalong.
In 1200 AD, Empu Jatmika built the Hindu Kingdom of Negara Dipa by the river of Tapin. This was the start of the Javanese-style courts in South Kalimantan. The Hindu era in South Kalimantan remained the most remembered period in South Kalimantan's history. The glory of Negara Dipa was succeeded by the Hindu Kingdom of Negara Daha in 1400 AD.
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. He was accepted by the people of 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. 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, Banjarese people are classified as part of the Malay race.
Sasanggan, a bronze bowl used by the Banjarese during a traditional ceremony.
The relationship between Banjar people and the neighbouring 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.
This relationship grew strong when both ethnicities faced colonisation by the Dutch in the 18th century. They became comrades in an age of war. Some of the warriors involved in Banjar War are of Dayak ethnicity or have Dayaks lineage in their blood. For example: