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Aru Islands

Aru Islands or Aroe Islands (both: äˈrō) [key], group of about 95 low-lying islands, 3,306 sq mi (8,563 sq km), E Indonesia, in the Moluccas, in the Arafura Sea, SW of New Guinea. The largest island is Tanahbesar; Dobo, the chief port of the group, is on Wamar, just off Tanahbesar. Products include sago, coconuts, tobacco, mother-of-pearl, trepang, tortoiseshell, and bird of paradise plumes. The inhabitants are of a mixed Papuan and Malay stock. The islands were discovered by the Dutch, who colonized them after 1623. Arru is another spelling.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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