Sumbawa


Sumbawa
/soohm bah"wah/, n.
one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, in Indonesia: destructive eruption in 1815 of Mt. Tambora. 5965 sq. mi. (15,449 sq. km). Dutch, Soembawa.

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Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia.

Its irregular coastline includes Bima Bay, one of the best harbours in Indonesia. The island, 175 mi (282 km) long and 55 mi (88 km) wide, is mountainous. Its highest point is volcanic Mount Tambora (9,354 ft [2,851 m]), which erupted in 1815, killing 50,000 people. Sumbawa was once part of the Majapahit empire. In 1674 the Sumbawanese nobility signed agreements that gave the Dutch East India Company some power over the island; the Dutch gained direct control in the early 20th century. Sumbawa became part of independent Indonesia in 1950. Agricultural products include rice, corn, coffee, and copra.

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      island of the Lesser Sunda Islands, west-central Nusa Tenggara Barat provinsi (West Nusa Tenggara province), southern Indonesia. Sumbawa has several deeply cut bays producing numerous peninsulas and the excellent harbour of Bima. The island has an area of 5,965 square miles (15,448 square km). It is largely mountainous, with rocky coasts and only a few small plains. Volcanic Mount Tambora (Tambora, Mount) (9,354 feet [2,851 metres]) erupted in 1815, killing 50,000 persons and causing 35,000 more to emigrate. Because shifting cultivation followed by grazing was long practiced there, large areas of the island are now covered only by thornbush. Agriculture consists of wet rice cultivation and the raising of corn (maize), beans, tubers, and some coffee and copra; cattle, goats, and horses are raised, partly for export. Sumbawa town has an airport, and a fair-weather road links it to the other main towns, Besar and Bima.

      The inhabitants are of Malay ancestry, with the people in the west closely related to the Sasak of Lombok and those of Bima in the east much like the Makasarese in language and customs; Papuan traits are strong in the eastern interior. Islam is the prevailing religion. Once part of the Javanese Majapahit kingdom, the Sumbawanese nobility in 1674 signed agreements with the Dutch that gave the Dutch East India Company some power over the island. In World War II it was occupied by Japan.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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