SUMBAWA (Dutch Soembawa), one of the Little Sunda islands in the Dutch East Indies, east of Lombok, from which it is separated by the narrow Alas Strait.
The deep bay of Sale or Sumbawa on the north divides the island into two peninsulas, and the isthmus is further reduced by the narrower Bay of Chempi on the south.
Tambora, forming a minor peninsula east of Sumbawa Bay, is said to have lost a third of its elevation in the eruption of 1815, but is still 9055 ft.
Politically Sumbawa, with its four independent states, belongs to the confederated states of the government of Celebes and its dependencies, a situation to be explained by the fact of the old supremacy of the Macassaresi over Sumbawa, Flores and Sumba.
The independent states are Sumbawa proper, Dompo, Sangar and Bima.
Sumbawa proper occupies the western peninsula.
The residence of the sultan is Sumbawa on the north coast.
A considerable trade is carried on in the export of horses, buffaloes, goats, dinding (dried flesh), skins, birds' nests, wax, rice, katyang, sappanwood, &c. Sumbawa entered into treaty relations with the Dutch East India Company in 1674.
The explorers reached Amboyna and Ternate, after gaining some knowledge of Java, Madura, Sumbawa and other islands, possibly including New Guinea.
Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Celebes, Banka and Billiton, with their adjacent islands - and the Little Sunda Islands, of which the more important are Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba and Timor.
It is separated from Bali by the Strait of Lombok and from Sumbawa by the Strait of Alas.