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Sumbawa or Soembawa (both: sōmbäˈwä) [key], island (1990 pop. 965,674), 5,964 sq mi (15,447 sq km), Indonesia, one of the Lesser Sundas, between the Flores Sea and the Indian Ocean. Bima, with an excellent harbor, is the port for Raba, the chief town. Sumbawa is mountainous, rising to 9,168 ft (2,794 m); there are many volcanic peaks, most notably Tambora, whose 1815 eruption was one of the most violent of modern times. The island is nearly split in two, from north to south, by Saleh Bay, in central Sumbawa. The soil has been somewhat depleted, but corn, beans, and other subsistence crops are produced. Cattle raising is important.

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

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