As a part of Borneo indigenous communities, the Bakumpai was also listed as a perpetrator who laid the seeds of history on the island of Borneo. In history, The Bakumpai arounding the range time, gave the impression that was interesting to be learned, because of its role in the struggle history of Borneo heterogeneous society, which has diverse cultures, and colorful traditions.
The Bakumpai dynamics in the range of travel history, did not walked away without direction and purpose. But they were based on the principle of kinship (harmony) and openness. They always gave priority to active interaction on the surrounding of environment, that’s one of factors why Bakumpai people have been held the reins of civilization on the island of Borneo.
Talking about Bakumpai society, certainly will not be separated from its role as a Muslim community which have been living on the coast of Borneo Barito river to the northern part of Central Kalimantan. It was got a centuries-old that Islamic community and the Bakumpai built a civilization on the island of Borneo. Interestingly, eventhough Bakumpai people were a society that did not have The Sultan, but they were capable of holding the reins of civilization. This was whereby the familial principle really applied escorting the dynamics of Bakumpai historical journey to the peak of a dream. The principle of openness will be seen when Bakumpai people interact with the surrounding of community, such as Banjar society, particularly in South Kalimantan and society Siang, especially on the north coast of river Barito in Central Kalimantan
Consciously or not, the Islamic civilization of Bakumpai did not only finished “goods” in a single process, or suddenly descended from the sky. But it was borned through a gradual process, and patient evolution. In other words, they have been gone hand in hand with the reality, and known as the community accommodating to the values and upholding cultural. But did not refer to “worship” culture.
In terms of the trust, bakumpai society considered it as a part of social culture which must be cultivated as a social identity and tribal identity. The level of faith, there was no compromise with the word “culture” that was considered contrary to Islamic teachings. If we take the term of Marshall S. Hodson in his book The Venture of Islam Vol II, University of Chicago sociologist phenomenal, this situation is known as islamicate, namely a combination of religious teachings and cultural values. Thus complexion, coloring people’s religious practices become normative -Sufi.
Generally, Sufism is a doctrine which seemed still most familiar with Bakumpai society. It seems be very thick and fundamental change in society Bakumpai. Bakumpai people liked the local culture is relatively nuanced mystique, made the teaching of Sufism run very harmonious in the heart and soul of the Bakumpai community .
But, the cultural rituals and religious practices in a specific activity seem difficult to distinguish. Although Sufism (tasawuf) has became something familiar in the Bakumpai community , it was not be consumpted by public and all elements of Bakumpai society . It was only for certain people, which is capable, and have sufficient capacity to accept this teaching.
In terms of historical, Its story begins from someone that was known by the nickname “uluh bahadang balau eh” (a redhead) and he had been settled in the coastal areas of Barito Kuala (ed: Marabahan). “Uluh bahadang balau eh” alleged lover of God is called “Khaidir”. Over time, the occupied area had transformed into a region full of greenery, therefor it is known as “Bakumpai” (grass). But in the other version, the story begins from the wedding one of seven Dayak youths with a daughter Banjar kingdom. Their breed had been became the nasab (breed) Bakumpai people.
In terms of geography, Bakumpai society was known as the original inhabitants of coastal communities along the Barito River. Various historic of surau and the mosque which was almost civilized, made the historical value of the Barito river increasingly felt.
In the history of Indonesia, the Bakumpai and the last Sultan of Banjar kingdom has been able sinking the ships “On Rust” (the Dutch possessions) in North coastal of Barito river (Muara Teweh). In fact , the vessel was known by the most advanced ship of its time, but with all the limitations of existing armaments, and ceaseless struggle and the spirit of love for homeland, Bakumpai community has been able beating the Netherlands.
That is a brief overview of the Bakumpai role in building the Islamic civilization in Borneo. Actually there were many other sides which Bakumpai had been donated in building Borneo civilization.