Territorial Divisions of Borneo
Borneo is politically divided into Borneo Proper or Bruni [Brunei] (inclusive of Sarawak), the territory of the sultan of Sulu, and the Dutch possessions and protectorate.
Borneo Proper, or Bruni [Brunei]
Bruni [Brunei] is an independent country, governed by a sultan, who is nominally absolute; but the real power is distributed among the subordinate chiefs, who act each as much as possible as his own master. The inhabitants are all serfs of the sultan or the chiefs, who may dispose of their property, their wives, or their children in the most arbitrary manner. Mahometanism is the state religion.
The capital, also called Bruni [Brunei], is a large and flourishing city. The estimates of its population have all along greatly varied. Among the most recent is one which makes it 30,000 or 40,000, while the population of the whole kingdom is given at 225,000.
A considerable traffic is carried on with Malacca, Singapore, China, Rio, Sambas, Pontianak, and other places in the Dutch possessions. There is all extensive fishing in the river, the produce of which furnishes the people with a large proportion of their food. The fishermen form a distinct caste, and the same is the case with the workers in brass, the blacksmiths, the goldsmiths, the matmakers, &c. The manufacture of goldlace and silk embroidery is carried to great perfection.
Sarawak and Sulu Territory
For accounts of Sarawak and the Sulu territory the reader is referred to separate articles: SARAWAK and SULU / SULU ISLANDS.
The Dutch territory forms two great divisions, the western and the south-eastern.
The western, governed by a resident, is subdivided into two parts, Pontianak and Sambas, the former administered by the resident himself and the latter by an assistant-resident and the sultan of Sambas. Pontianak includes Landak, Tajan, Mampawa, Sintang, Selimbou, Upper-Kapuas, and Montrado, while to Sambas belong the districts of Pamangkut and Seminis.
The south-eastern division is subdivided into an eastern and a southern part. Under the southern are Kota-Waringin, Pembuang, Sampitite, Great and Little Dyak, Bekompai, Duson, Banjermassin, and Tanah-Laut; and under the eastern are Tanah-Bumbu, Kusan, Passir, Kuti, Sambiliung, Gunong-Tebur, Bulungan (the three last being also known as Berou), and the Tidung lands. The east coast, from Sebamban in Tanah Bumbu to Kaniungan in 1° 3' N. lat., belongs immediately to the Dutch Government. In the western division several important military roads have been constructed, and the resources of the country are being opened up.
Read the rest of this article:
Borneo - Table of Contents