Komodo Island


Komodo (island)

Komodo

Northern tip of the island
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 8°33′S 119°27′E / 8.55°S 119.45°E / -8.55; 119.45Coordinates: 8°33′S 119°27′E / 8.55°S 119.45°E / -8.55; 119.45
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 390 km2 (151 sq mi)
Country
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Demographics
Population c. 2000
Ethnic groups Bugis, others

Komodo is one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. The island has a surface area of 390 km² and over 2000 inhabitants. The inhabitants of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed themselves with the Bugis from Sulawesi. The population are primarily adherents of Islam but there are also Christian and Hindu minorities.

Komodo is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. Particularly notable here is the native Komodo dragon. In addition, the island is a popular destination for diving. Administratively, it is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province.

Vegetation on Komodo Island

Location

Komodo lies between the substantially larger neighboring islands Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east.

Fauna

The island is famous not only for its heritage of convicts but also for the unique fauna which roam it. The Komodo dragon, the world’s largest living lizard, takes its name from the island. A type of monitor lizard, it inhabits Komodo and some of the smaller surrounding islands.

Komodo Dragon

First contact

The first reported human visitor to the Island was Dutch Officer Van Steyn van Hensbroek in 1910.

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Lembata Island


Lembata

Map of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, including Lembata (which is labelled as Lomblen on the map).

Lembata is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, formerly known as Lomblen island, is the largest island of the Solor Archipelago, in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. It forms part of the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur. The length of the island is about 80 km from the Southwest to the Northeast and the width is about 30 km from the West to the East. It rises to a height of 1533 m.

To the west lie the other islands in the archipelago, most notably Solor and Adonara, and then the larger island of Flores. To the east is the Alor Strait, which separates this archipelago from the Alor Archipelago. To the south across the Savu Sea lies the island of Timor, while to the north the western branch of the Banda Sea separates it from Buton and the other islands of Southeast Sulawesi.

Geography

Teluk Waienga – protected bay of Lembata island

The capital city Lewoleba (also known as Labala) is found on the Western part of the island alongside a huge bay facing the Ilê Ape volcano in the North. Ships frequently connect the coastal towns and surrounding islands, but the only bigger harbour exists at Lewoleba in the North of the island. From Lewoleba there are daily connections to Larantuka, Flores, and Waiwerang on the neighbouring island of Adonara.

Lewoleba sunset (above)

Like the other Lesser Sunda Islands, and indeed much of Indonesia, Lembata is volcanically active. It has three volcanoes, Ililabalekan, Iliwerung, and Lewotolo.

History

The south part of Lembata was the site of the state of Labala.

People

The people of Lembata are, like many other inhabitants of Eastern Indonesia, famous for their handmade ikat weavings.

The national language, Indonesian, is known by many people of all ages, but like on other islands the national language coexists with many local languages. The most widespread of these is probably Lamaholot (another lingua franca inside the Solor archipelago). Lamaholot is spoken as a native language on Eastern Flores and Western Solor, and is itself divided into ten or more sublanguages (and many more dialects). It is spoken by 150.000 or more people in the region.

On the South coast of Lembata, the village of Lamalera (pop. 2.500) is known for its whale hunting. Lamalera and Lamakera (on the neighbouring island of Solor) are the last two remaining Indonesian whaling communities.

 Lamalera is a village which is perched on the rocky slopes of an active volcano on the southern coast of the island of Lembata, in Nusa Tenggara Timur in eastern Indonesia. An anonymous Portuguese document of 1624 describes the islanders as hunting whales with harpoons for their oil, and implies that they collected and sold ambergris. This report confirms that whaling took place in the waters of the Suva Sea at least two centuries before the appearance of American and English whaling ships at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The Christian Mission has been in place in the community for a hundred years, schools have been established and a training workshop teaches carpentry. It is a fishing village in a region where most communities support themselves by agriculture. Lamalera has very little productive land, so the villagers have to fish in order to survive. Their preferred quarry is sperm whale. Catching sperm whale with hand-thrown harpoons from small open boats powered by muscle and palm-leaf sail is no easy task, and the hunt is by no means uneven between man and whale. The tail flukes of a whale can smash the timbers of the boats and many boats are temporarily disabled by their prey.

Harpooners have been disabled and killed. But the attraction of the whale is its size. The flesh of the whale (and shark and manta ray) is cut into strips and sun dried in the village. The meat is then carried to small markets where it is bartered with mountain villagers. One strip of dried fish or meat is equivalent to twelve ears of maize, twelve bananas, twelve pieces of dried sweet potatoes, twelve sections of sugar cane, or twelve sirih peppers plus twelve pinang nuts.

Timor Island


Timor

Timor

Political Division of Timor
Timor (Indonesia)
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 9°14′S 124°56′E / 9.233°S 124.933°E / -9.233; 124.933
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 11,883 sq mi (30,777 km2)
Area rank 44th
Highest elevation 9,720 ft (2,963 m)
Highest point Ramelau
Country
East Timor
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Largest city Kupang (West Timor)
Demographics
Population 2,900,000 (as of 2005)
Density 94.3 /km2 (244.2 /sq mi)

 

Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island’s surface is 11,883 square miles (30,777 km²). The name is a variant of timur, Malay for “east”; it is so called because it is at the east end of a chain of islands.

Language, ethnic groups, and religion

See also: Languages of East Timor and Tetun

Similar to nearby islands, most Timorese are Melanesian[1] and anthropologists identify eleven distinct ethno-linguistic groups in Timor. The largest are the Atoni of western Timor, and the Tetum of central and eastern Timor.[2] Most Timor indigenous Timorese languages belong to the Austronesian group of languages spoken through the Indonesian archipelago. The non-Austronesian languages are related to languages spoken in the Halmahera (in Maluku) and Western New Guinea.[3]

The official languages of East Timor are Tetum and Portuguese, while in West Timor it is Indonesian. Indonesian is also widely spoken and understood in East Timor.

Christianity is the dominant religion throughout the island of Timor, at about 90% of the population. Roman Catholics are the majority on both halves of the island; Catholics outnumber Protestants in West Timor by about a 3:2 ratio. Muslims and Animists are most of the remainder, at about 5% each.

Geography

Timor Island from space, November 1989.

Timor is located north of Australia, and is one of the easternmost Sunda Islands. Together with Sumba, Babar and associated smaller islands, Timor forms the southern outer archipelago of the Lesser Sunda Islands with the inner islands of Flores, Alor and Wetar to the north, and beyond them Sulawesi.

Timor has older geology and lacks the volcanic nature of the northern Lesser Sunda Islands. The orientation of the main axis of the island also differs from its neighbors. These features have been explained as the result of being on the northern edge of the Indo-Australian Plate as it meets the Eurasian Plate and pushes into South East Asia. [4] The climate includes a long dry season with hot winds blowing over from Australia. Rivers on the island include the Southern and Northern Laclo Rivers in East Timor.

The largest towns on the island are the provincial capital of Kupang in West Timor, Indonesia and the Portuguese colonial towns of Dili the capital, and Baucau in East Timor. Poor roads make transport to inland areas difficult, in East Timor especially [5]. East Timor is a nation in debt, with health issues including malaria and dengue fever. Sources of revenue include gas and oil in the Timor Sea, coffee growing and increasing tourism.

 Flora and fauna

Timor and its offshore islands such as Atauro, the former place of exile now becoming known for its beaches and coral, and Jaco along with Wetar and the other Barat Daya Islands to the northeast constitute the Timor and Wetar deciduous forests ecoregion. The natural vegetation was tropical dry broadleaf forests with an undergrowth of shrubs and grasses supporting a rich wildlife. However much of the original forest has been cleared for farming, especially on the coasts of Timor and on the smaller islands like Atauro, and apart from one large block in the centre of Timor only patches remain, while the clearance is ongoing. This ecoregion is part of the Wallacea area with a mixture of plants and animals of Asian and Australasian origin; it lies in the western part of Wallacea, in which Asian species predominate.

Many trees are deciduous or partly deciduous, dropping their leaves during the dry season, there are also evergreen and thorn trees in the woodland mix. Typical trees of the lowland slopes include a tropical chestnut Sterculia foetida, Calophyllum teysmannii and Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana).

During the Pleistocene epoch, Timor was the abode of extinct giant monitor lizards similar to the Komodo Dragon. Like Flores, Sumba and Sulawesi, Timor was also once a habitat of extinct dwarf stegodonts, relatives of elephants.

Fauna of today includes a number of endemic species including the distinctive Timor Python, the Timor Shrew and Timor Rat. One marsupial mammal of Australasian origin, the Northern Common Cuscus, occurs, but is thought to be introduced.[6] The islands have a great many birds, mainly of Asian and but some of Australasian origin. There are a total of 250 species of which twenty-four are endemic, a large number due to the relative isolation of these islands, including five threatened species; the Slaty Cuckoo-dove, Wetar Ground-dove, Timor Green-pigeon, Timor Imperial-pigeon, and Iris Lorikeet.[7]

West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Timur).

During the colonial period it was known as “Dutch Timor” and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution (1945–1949). From 1949 to 1975 it was known as “Indonesian Timor”.[citation needed]

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History

House of the Dutch resident in Kupang (c. 1900)

European colonization of Timor began in the 16th century. Although the Portuguese claimed the island of Timor in 1520, the Dutch (in the form of the Dutch East India Company) settled West Timor in 1640, forcing the Portuguese out to East Timor. The subsequent collapse of the company meant that in 1799 the area returned to official Dutch rule. Finally, in 1914 the border between East and West Timor was finalized by a treaty between Holland and Portugal that was originally signed in 1859 and modified in 1893.

West Timor had the status of residentie within the Dutch East Indies.

Japan conquered the island during World War II in early 1942. Upon Indonesian independence, West Timor became part of the new Republic of Indonesia.

On 6 September 2000, three UNHCR staff members were attacked and killed in Atambua, a town in West Timor (see Attacks on humanitarian workers).

Geography

West Timor is a political region that comprises the western half of Timor island with the exception of Oecussi-Ambeno district (which is politically part of East Timor) and forms a part of the Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, (NTT or East Nusa Tenggara). The land area of West Timor is 15,850 km². The highest point of West Timor is Mount Mutis (2427m).

Rote Island, the southernmost island of Indonesia, is southwest of West Timor.

West Timor’s largest town and chief port is Kupang.

Administration

West Timur is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into four regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Kupang, Timor Tengah Selatan (South Central Timor), Timor Tengah Utara (North Central Timor) and Belu. The city of Kupang is a fifth regency-level administrative area.

Population

West Timor’s main religions are Catholic (56%), Protestant (35%) and Islam (8%). There are approximately 1¾ million inhabitants in 2008, some of whom are refugees who fled the 1999 violence in East Timor.

In addition to the national language, Indonesian, native languages belonging to the Fabronic Stock of the Austronesian group of languages are spoken in West Timor, the others in East Timor. These languages include Tetum, Ndaonese, Rotinese, and Helong.[1] Knowledge of Dutch is now limited to the older generations.

Economy

West Timor has an average unemployment rate of 80%.[2] 30% of the population lived below the poverty line in 1998; as of 2000 it was 80%. The economy is mainly agricultural, using slash and burn methods to produce corn, rice, coffee, copra and fruit. Some timber harvesting is undertaken, producing eucalyptus, sandalwood, teak, bamboo and rosewood.

Flores Island


Flores

Flores

Topography of Flores
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 8°37′S 121°08′E / 8.617°S 121.133°E / -8.617; 121.133
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 13,540 km2 (5,228 sq mi)[1]
Area rank 60th
Highest elevation 2,370 m (7,780 ft)
Highest point Poco Mandasawu
Country
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Largest city Maumere (pop. 70,000)
Demographics
Population 1,600,000 (as of 2003)
Density 112 /km2 (290 /sq mi)

Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an island arc with an estimated area of 14,300 km² extending east from the Java island of Indonesia. The population is estimated to be around 1.5 million,[2] and the largest town is Maumere.

Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and the Alor Archipelago. To the southeast is Timor. To the south, across the Sumba strait, is Sumba and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is Sulawesi.

On December 12, 1992, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred, killing 2,500 people near Flores.

Etymology

The name Flores is a Portuguese word, meaning “flowers”.

Administration

Flores is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into eight regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Manggarai Barat (West Manggarai), Manggarai Tengah (Central Manggarai), Manggarai Timur (East Manggarai), Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur (East Flores).

Flora and fauna

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild, and is part of the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Kelimutu National Park is the second national park designated on Flores to protect endangered species. The Flores Giant Rat is also endemic to the Island.

Flores was also a habitat of an extinct dwarf form of the proboscidean Stegodon until approximately 18,000 years ago; it also formerly harbored giant rodents such as Verhoeven’s Giant Tree Rat. It is speculated by scientists that limited resources and an absence of advanced predators drove the few species that lived upon the island to dwarfism and gigantism, respectively.[3]

Homo floresiensis 

Main article: Homo floresiensis

In September 2004, at Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, paleoanthropologists discovered small skeletons that they described as a previously unknown hominid species, Homo floresiensis. These are informally named hobbits and appear to have stood about 1 m (3.3 ft) tall. The most complete individual (LB1) is dated as 18,000 years old.

Culture

See also: the Portuguese in Indonesia

Some fishing boats on Flores

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the centre of the island in the districts of Ngada, Nagekeo, and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu’e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So’a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha.

Flores is almost entirely Roman Catholic and represents one of the “religious borders” created by the Catholic expansion in the Pacific and the spread of Islam from the west across Indonesia. In other places in Indonesia, such as in the Moluccas and Sulawesi, the divide is more rigid and has been the source of bloody sectarian clashes.

History

Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka’s language, culture and religion.

The Dominican order was extremely important in this island, as well as in the neighbouring islands of Timor and Solor. When in 1613 the Dutch attacked the Fortres of Solor, the population of this fort, lead by the Dominicans, moved to the harbor town of Larantuka, on the eastern coast of Flores. This population was mixed, of Portuguese and local islanders descent and Larantuqueiros, Topasses (people that wear heats) or, as Dutch knew them, the ‘Black Portuguese’ (Swarte Portugueezen).

The Larantuqueiros or Topasses became the dominant sandalwood trading people of the region for the next 200 years. This group used Portuguese as the language for worship, Malay as the language of trade and a mixed dialect as mother tongue. This was observed by William Dampier, a British Brigadier visiting the Island in 1699:

“These [the Topasses] have no Forts, but depend on their Alliance with the Natives: And indeed they are already so mixt, that it is hard to distinguish whether they are Portugueze or Indians. Their Language is Portugueze; and the religion they have, is Romish. They seem in Words to acknowledge the King of Portugal for their Sovereign; yet they will not accept any Officers sent by him. They speak indifferently the Malayan and their own native Languages, as well as Portugueze.” [1]

In 1846, Dutch and Portuguese initiated negotiations towards delimiting the territories but these negotiations led to nowhere. In 1851 the new governor of Timor, Solor and Flores, Lima Lopes, faced with an impoverished administration, agreed to sell eastern Flores and the nearby islands to Dutch in return for a payment of 200000 florin. Lima Lopes did so without the consent of Lisbon and was dismissed in disgrace, but his agreement was not rescinded and in 1854 Portugal ceded all its historical claims on Flores.

After this, Flores became part of the territory of Dutch East Indies until the independence of Indonesia, when it became part of this country. [2]

Tourism

Bena Village

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three coloured lakes in the district of Ende and close to the town of Moni. These crater lakes are in the caldera of a volcano, and fed by a volcanic gas source, resulting in highly acidic water. The coloured lakes change colours on an irregular basis, depending on the oxidation state of the lake[4] from bright red through green and blue. The latest colours (late 2004) were said to be turquoise, brown and black.

There are good snorkelling and diving locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, combined with the after effects of a devastating tsunami in 1992, the reefs have slowly been destroyed.

Labuanbajo (on the western tip of Flores) is a town often used by tourists, from where they can visit Komodo and Rinca. Labuanbajo also attracts scuba divers, as whale sharks inhabit the waters around Labuanbajo.

Tourists can visit Luba and Bena villages to see traditional houses in Flores. Larantuka, on the isle’s eastern end, is known for its Holy Week festivals.

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In addition to tourism, the main economic activities on Flores are agriculture, fishing and seaweed production. The primary food crops being grown on Flores are rice, maize, sweet potato and cassava, while the main cash crops are coffee, coconut, candle nut and cashew.[5] Flores is one of the newest origins for Indonesian coffee. Previously, most Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) from Flores was blended with other origins. Now, demand is growing for this coffee because of its heavy body and sweet chocolate, floral and woody notes.[6]

Kelimutu Lake 3 Colours :

Sumba Island


Sumba

 

This article is about the Indonesian island. For the village in the Faroe Islands, see Sumba, Faroe Islands.

 

 

Sumba
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 9°40′S 120°00′E / 9.667°S 120°E / -9.667; 120
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 11,153 km2 (4,306.2 sq mi)
Area rank 73rd
Country
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Largest city Waingapu (pop. 10,700)
Demographics
Population 611,954 (as of 2009)
Density 54.8 /km2 (141.9 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Malay and Melanesian

The Lesser Sunda Islands; Sumba is in the center

This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (April 2009)

Sumba is an island in eastern Indonesia, is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, and is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Sumba has an area of 11,153 km², and the population was officially at 611,422 in 2005. To the northwest of Sumba is Sumbawa, to the northeast, across the Sumba Strait (Selat Sumba), is Flores, to the east, across the Savu Sea, is Timor, and to the south, across part of the Indian Ocean, is Australia.

History

Historically, this island exported sandalwood and was known as Sandalwood Island [1].

Before colonization, Sumba was inhabited by several small ethnolinguistic groups, some of which may have had tributary relations to the Majapahit Empire. In 1522 the first ships from Europe arrived, and by 1866 Sumba belonged to the Dutch East Indies, although the island did not come under real Dutch administration until the twentieth century.

Despite contact with western cultures, Sumba is one of the few places in the world in which megalithic burials, are used as a ‘living tradition’ to inter prominent individuals when they die. Burial in megaliths is a practice that was used in many parts of the world during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, but has survived to this day in Sumba.[citation needed] Another long-lasting tradition is the sometimes lethal game of pasola, in which teams of horse-riders fight with spears [2].

Geography

Traditional Sumbaneese houses near Bondokodi, West-Sumba

Topography of Sumba

The Sumbanese people speak a variety of closely related Austronesian languages, and have a mixture of Malay and Melanesian ancestry. Twenty-five to thirty percent of the population practises the animist Marapu religion. The remainder are Christian, a majority being Dutch Calvinist, but a substantial minority being Roman Catholic. A small number of Sunni Muslims can be found along the coastal areas. The largest town on the island is the main port of Waingapu, with a population of about 10,700. The landscape is low, limestone hills, rather than the steep volcanoes of many Indonesian islands. There is a dry season from May to November and a rainy season from December to April. The western side of the island is more fertile and more heavily populated than the east.

Sumba is one of the poorer islands of Indonesia [3]. The health situation on the island is unfortunately dramatic as a high percentage of the population still suffer from malaria and infantile death is high. A Frenchman[who?] is developing a new program to provide wells to some small/isolated communities.[citation needed]

Administration

Sumba is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into four regencies (local government districts); these are: Sumba Barat (West Sumba), Sumba Barat Daya (Southwest Sumba), Sumba Tengah (Central Sumba) and Sumba Timur (East Sumba).

Ecology

Due to its distinctive flora and fauna Sumba has been categorised by the World Wildlife Fund as the Sumba deciduous forests ecoregion. Originally part of the Gondwana southern hemisphere supercontinent Sumba is within the Wallacea ecozone, having a mixture of plants and animals of Asian and Australasian origin. Most of the island was originally covered in deciduous monsoon forest while the south facing slopes, which don’t have such a dry season, were evergreen rainforest.

Fauna

There are a number of mammals but the island is particularly rich in birdlife with nearly two hundred birds of which seven endemic species and a number of others are found only here and on some nearby islands. The endemic birds include four vulnerable species; the secretive Sumba Boobook owl, Sumba Buttonquail, Red-naped Fruit-dove and Sumba Hornbill as well as three more common species; the Sumba Green-pigeon, Sumba Flycatcher, and Apricot-breasted Sunbird.

Threats and preservation

Most of the original forest has been cleared for the planting of maize, cassava and other crops so only small isolated patches remain. Furthermore this clearance is ongoing due to the growing population of the island and this a threat to the birdlife [4]. In 1998 two national parks have been designated on the island for the protection of endangered species: the Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park and Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park.

Sumbawa Island


Sumbawa

 

Sumbawa
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 8°47′S 118°5′E / 8.783°S 118.083°E / -8.783; 118.083
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 15,448 km2 (5,964.5 sq mi)
Area rank 57th
Highest elevation 2,850 m (9,350 ft)
Highest point Tambora
Country
Indonesia
Province West Nusa Tenggara
Demographics
Population 1,219,590 (as of 2005)
Density 100 /km2 (300 /sq mi)

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Court of Bima, picture taken between 1925-1932

Rice fields

Rice barns

Dancers in Sultan’s palace

Sumbawa is an Indonesian island, located in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, with Lombok to the west, Flores to the east, and Sumba further to the southeast. It is in the province of West Nusa Tenggara.

Sumbawa is 15,448 km2 or 5,965 sq mi (three times the size of Lombok) with a population of around 1.5 million. It marks the boundary between the islands to the west, which were influenced by religion and culture spreading from India, and the region to the east that was not so influenced.

History

Four principalities in western Sumbawa were dependencies of the Majapahit Empire of eastern Java. Because of Sumbawa’s natural resources it was regularly invaded by outside forces – Japanese, Dutch, Makassarese. The Dutch first arrived in 1605, but did not effectively rule Sumbawa until the early 20th century. The Balinese kingdom of Gelgel ruled western Sumbawa for a short period as well. It was also home to the Sultanate of Bima.

Historical evidence indicates that people on Sumbawa island were known in the East Indies for their honey, horses[1], sappan wood for producing red dye[2], and sandalwood used for incense and medications. The area was thought to be highly productive agriculturally.

 Administration

Sumbawa is divided into 4 regencies and one kota (city). They are:

 Geography

To the west is Alas Strait, Saleh Bay in the middle, the Flores Sea in the middle.

There are a number of smaller surrounding islands, most notably Moyo Island, Sangeang Island and Komodo Islands to the east.

 Demographics

Islam was introduced via the Makassarese of Sulawesi.

Sumbawa has historically had two major linguistic groups who spoke languages that were unintelligible to each other. One group centered in the western side of the island speaks Basa Semawa (Indonesian: Bahasa Sumbawa) which is similar to the Sasak language from Lombok; the second group in the east speaks Nggahi Mbojo (Bahasa Bima). The kingdoms located in Sumbawa Besar and Bima were the two focal points of Sumbawa. This division of the island into two parts remains today; Sumbawa Besar and Bima are the two largest towns on the island, and are the centers of distinct cultural groups that share the island. The official estimate of population as at 2005 was 1,219,590.

 Volcanoes

Sumbawa lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is a volcanic island, including Mount Tambora (8°14’41”S, 117°59’35”E) which exploded in 1815, the most destructive volcanic eruption in modern history (roughly four times larger than the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, between Java and Sumatra, in terms of volume of magma ejected). The eruption killed as many as 72,000. It also apparently destroyed a small culture of Southeast Asian affinity, known to archaeologists as the Tamboran kingdom. It launched Template:Convert/cukm of ash into the upper atmosphere, which caused 1816 to be the “year without a summer“. [1]

 

 

 

 

 Island use

The Western half of Sumbawa is used by Newmont Mining Corporation as a mine with high sources in gold and copper.