Bakumpai in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Bakumpai only in Indonesia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Bakumpai are a group of Dayak people who speak the Bakumpai language and call themselves the Bakumpai. The majority follow the Islamic religion and have traditions and language which are different than those of the Banjar people. However, there are many similarities between the Bakumpai and the Dayak ethnic groups around them. In spite of this, they choose to identify themselves as different from the Dayak groups mainly because of their Islamic religion (the Dayak majority are Christian). The majority of the Bakumpai live near the Barito River, which flows through the province of Central Kalimantan. In Southern Kalimantan, the Bakumpai live in Barito Kuala regency while those in Central Kalimantan live in South Barito regency. Their neighbors in the south are the Banjar people and in the north the Ngaju and Maanyan peoples. Some experts speculate that the Bakumpai are one of the sub-groups of the Ngaju people group, although the Bakumpai consider themselves a separate people group. The Bakumpai language is part of the Dayak ethnolinguistic grouping called the West of Greater Barito which also includes the Kohin, Ot Danum, Ngaju and Siang.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The area where the Bakumpai live is criss-crossed with many rivers. Due to this, the Bakumpai have developed technology for water transportation. They usually farm wet fields which depend on the rise and fall of the river. Their other work includes cultivation of unirrigated fields, fishing in the rivers, trade and production of household tools. The Bakumpai social life and culture are influenced mainly by the culture of the Banjar people. In the past, when the area of Banjarmasin was still a Hindu kingdom, the Bakumpai social system followed the Hindu caste system. The system of kinship of the Bakumpai follows the Banjar bilateral system. The husband and wife together carry out their important roles within the family. According to the traditions of the Bakumpai, a newly married couple is free to choose their place to live. They may choose to live with the husband's relatives, with the wife's relatives, or separately in their own home. The system of dividing inheritance follows the rules of Islam.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Generally, the Bakumpai are followers of Islam. The influence of Islam can be seen in almost every aspect of their lives: in their social system, their extended family relationships and even in their artistic endeavors. Marabahan, the center of the area where the Bakumpai live, has already produced many famous Islamic teachers who have spread Islamic teaching as far as the source of the Barito River.The number of Bakumpai people is steadily increasing, not only because of offspring, but also through the entrance of Dayak Christians who join the Bakumpai by converting to Islam. In fact, if a Dayak changes from a Christian or Kaharingan (traditional religion) to Islam, he or she will consider himself Bakumpai and use the Bakumpai language even when speaking to his own Dayak people group or even his family.

What Are Their Needs?

At this time the Bakumpai need technological improvement in agricultural methods to facilitate development of their swampy land. At present, their irrigation system for the rice fields is totally dependent on the rise and fall of the tides, either from the sea or from the branches of the Barito River. They do not yet have a dependable irrigation system sufficient for all their needs. The Bakumpai need more medical attention, clinics and medical personnel.

Profile Source:   IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Bakumpai
People Name in Country Bakumpai
Population in Indonesia 173,000
World Population 173,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Barito of Kalimantan
People Name General Bakumpai
Ethnic Code MSY44r
People ID 10597
Country Indonesia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 47  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Central Kalimantan Province. Kapuas and Barito rivers, northeast of Kuala Kapuas.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bakumpai (173,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bakumpai 173,000
For Primary Language: Bakumpai

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.03 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
13.00 %
0.00 %
85.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
80.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source: IPN   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: IPN   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.