They consist of the Sirani or Christian descendants of the Portuguese, of Malays, with a Papuan element, Galela men from the north of Halmahera, immigrants from Celebes, with some Chinese and Arabs.
The China Sea on the north has a maximum depth of 2715 fathoms off the Philippines, the Sulu Basin reaches 2550 fathoms, and the Celebes Basin 2795 fathoms. Some of the channels between the islands are of very great depth, Macassar Strait exceeding 1000 fathoms, the Molucca Passage exceeding 2000 fathoms, and the Halmahera Trough sinking as deep as 2575 fathoms. The deepest of all is the Banda Basin, a large area of which lies below 2500 fathoms and reaches 3557 fathomsin the Kei Trench.
Coast of Halmahera, S.
By an agreement of 1879 the sultan exercises authority over some parts of Halmahera, the Papuan Islands, the western half of New Guinea and the islands in Geelvink Gulf.
It includes the Sunda Islands, the Moluccas, New Guinea, and the Philippine Islands, but excludes the Andaman-Nicobar group. The equator passes through the middle of the archipelago; it successively cuts Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes and Halmahera, four of the most important islands.
And 124° 22' and 135° E., and include: (I) the Moluccas proper or Ternate group, of which Halmahera is the largest and Ternate the capital; (2) the Bachian, Obi, and Xulla groups; (3) the Amboyna group, of which Ceram (Serang) and Buru are the largest; (4) the Banda Islands (the spice or nutmeg islands par excellence); (5) the southeastern islands, comprising Timor-Laut or Tenimber, Larat, &c.; (6) the Kei Islands and the Aru Islands, of which the former are sometimes attached to the south-eastern group; and (7) the south-western islands or the Babar, Sermata, Leti, Damar, Roma and Wetar groups.
At the close of the 16th century this part of the archipelago was divided among four rulers settled at Ternate, Tidore, Halmahera and Bachian.
Eruptive rocks of supposed Cretaceous age are met with in these outer islands, but Tertiary and recent volcanic lavas are confined to the innermost arc. Halmahera lies outside these arcs.
It comes, however, within the great volcanic zone which stretches from the north of Sumatra, through Java and the other Sundanese islands, round to Amboyna, Tidore, Ternate, Halmahera and the Philippines.
HALMAHERA [" great land"; also Jilolo or Gilolo], an island of the Dutch East Indies, belonging to the residency of Ternate, lying under the equator and about 128° E.
Of the four peninsulas of Halmahera the northern and the southern are reckoned to the sultanate of Ternate, the north-eastern and south-eastern to that of Tidore; the former having eleven, the latter three districts.
The Portuguese and Spaniards were better acquainted with Halmahera than with many other parts of the archipelago; they called it sometimes Batu China and sometimes Moro.
Missionary work, carried on in the northern peninsula of Halmahera since 1866, has been fairly successful among the heathen natives, but less so among the Mahommedans, who have often incited the others against the missionaries and their converts.
These mountain systems are homologous in structure with those, not of Celebes or of Halmahera, but of Malacca, Banka and Billiton.
TERNATE, a small island in the Malay Archipelago, off the west coast of Halmahera, in o 48' N., 127° 19' E.
The residency consists of the following groups of islands: the Halmahera group, the Bachian and the Obi group, the Sula Islands, the islands near the western half of New Guinea (Gebeh, Vaigeu, Salawati, Misol, collectively called the Papuan Islands), the western half of New Guinea as far as 141° E., with the islands in Geelvink Gulf on the north coast of New Guinea (Schouten Islands, Yapen, &c.), along with others on the south coast.
The Dutch government exercises direct authority only over parts of Ternate, Halmahera, Bachian and Obi islands.