1902 Encyclopedia > Sumatra

Sumatra




SUMATRA, in Malay called Pulu Partcha or Indalas, is one of the largest and most important islands of the East Indian Archipelago. It stretches from north-west to south-east for a distance of 1047 miles, -- Tandjong Batu, the northmost point, being situated in 5º 59´ S. lat. The greatest breadth is about 230 miles.

In area it is estimated that Sumatra, with its 170, 744 square miles 638-1, -- is thirteen times the size of Holland, of which country the island is in large measure a dependency.

The portion half runs obliquely parallel to the Malay Peninsula, from which it is separated by the Strait of Malacca, and the southern end is separated by the narrow Sunda Strait from Java. Unlike Java, Sumatra has a series of considerable islands (Nias Islands, Mentawei Islands, &c.) arranged like outworks in front of the coast that faces the open Indian Ocean.

The general physical features of the island are simple and striking: a range of lofty mountains extends throughout its whole length, their western slopes descending rapidly towards the ocean and their eastern lookingout over a vast alluvial tract of unusual uniformity.

This mountain range is known as Bukit Barisan or Chain Mountain. It varies in average height from 1500 to 6000 feets, a consists of three or four ridges separated by plateau-like valleys. Among its more remarkable summits are Ya Mura or Gold Mountain, near the north end (6879 feet); Seret Berapi or Merapi (5857 feet), in 0º 44´ N. lat.; Pasaman or Mount Ophir (10, 866) ; Merapi (9563) ; Indrapura, in 1º 36´ S. lat. (11, 800), which has the reputation of being the culminating point of the whole island ; Dempo (10,000) ; and Abong Abong (10,000). The summit of Indrapura was reached by the Central Sumatran Expedition of 1877-79.

Towards the north end of the island the spurs of the main chain sometimes extend towards the neighbourhood of the east coast. Owing to this configuration of the island, the western courses of the western side are comparatively short: only very few of them are large enough to be navigable. Those of the eastern slope, on the other hand -- such as the Tamiang, the Simpang, the Asahan, the Kubu, the Siak, the Indragiri, the Jambi, the Kampas, the Palembang -- are longer, and can not unfrequently carry vessels of considerable burden. In their lower courses they form enormous inosculating deltas.

The mountainous regions contain numerous lakes, many of them evidently the craters of extinct volcanoes. When, as sometimes happens, two or three of these craters have merged into one, the lake attains a great size. Amongst the larger lakes may be mentioned the Tao Silalahi, with its offshoots Tao Muara and Tao Balige; Manindji, to the west of Fort de Kock; Sinkarah, south-east of Fort de Kock; Korintji, inland from Indrapura; Ranau, inland from Tampah; and the lake of the X. Kotas, in the Padang Highlands.

Volcanoes.
Sumatra still possesses several centres of volcanic eruption, and in 1883 its southern extremity shared with Java in the disasters of the Krakatoa outbreak. Indrapura sends up from time to time heavy columns of smoke. Merapi, 638-2 the most active of the volcanoes in the island, was in full eruption in the years 1807,1822, 1834, 1845, 1863-64, and 1872. Mt Talang in the Padang Highlands, also has three craters, one of which is filled with molten sulphur. Junghuhn registered sixteen Sumatran volcanoes, and other have since been discovered.

Geology. A large part of the Sumatran highlands consists of very old (probably Silurian or Devonian) slates and clay schists, combined with hornblende talc and other schists, and traversed by veins of quartz. Granite also plays a considerable part, though it does not come so much to the surface. Carboniferous rocks (marls, sandstones, limestones, &c.) are in some places well developed.

Between the Carboniferous period and Tertiary there is a great blank all through the island. Augite-andesite of late Eocene origin has greatly modified the surface of the country, and constitutes, inter alia, the main part of the Barisan range. 638-3

The Tertiary formation is strongly developed in four different divisions. They are usually considered to be Eocene; but this determination rests on badly preserved fossils. The oldest or breccia division consists of debris of carboniferous limestone, syenites, and granites, sometimes in the form of breccia proper, sometimes in that of sandstones or marl clays. The fish remains found in the marls have led some palaeontologists to assign a greater antiquity than that of Eocene to these strata, while others, again, consider them to be Miocene.

Above this division (apparently absent in south Sumatra) comes the second of sandstones, clay rocks, coal-beds, and coal. The coal appears to be the result of a vegetation which grew in situ. Above the coal is sandstone, sometimes 1000 feet thick.

The third division consists of marly sandstones of evidently marine origin ; it is well developed in west Sumatra, but is absent from the south of the island.

The fourth division is a limestone, rich in remains of corals, mollusks, echinids, and especially in Orbitoides; it is well developed both in the west and in the south. Miocene deposits are more abundant in the south than in the west. At Lubu Lintang in the Benkulen residency that Ebuma fossils are characteristics. 638-4

Minerals. Sumatra possesses various kinds of mineral wealth. Gold occurs in the central regions; gold mines have long been worked in Menangkabau and the interior of Padang, and gold-washing is carried on in several of the streams.

Tin, which forms the staple of the neighbouring island of Bangka or BANCA (q.v), is found more especially is Siak and the "division" of the L. Kotas. Copper mines are working in the Padang Highlands (most largely in the district of Lakes Sinkarah) and at Muki in Achin.

Iron is not unfrequent, and magnetic iron is obtained at the "Iron Mountain" near Fort van der Capellen (Tanah Datar). Coal seams exist in the Malabuh valley (Achin) 638-5 in the Sinamu valley, and on both sides of the Ombilin (Umbilin) river ; the Ombilin field was brought into notice more especially by Mr D. D. Veth of the 1877-79 expedition.

Lignite of good quality is found in several localties. Oil wells are worked at Langkat and other places; and arsenic, saltpeter, alum, naphtha, and sulphur may be collected in the volcanic districts.

Administrative Divisions.
The process by which the Dutch have advanced to their present position in Sumatra has been a very gradual one, and even yet, though their supremacy is effective all round the coast, much of the interior remains practically unpossessed. The following are the more important political subdivisions of the country.

A.The Dutch government of the West Coast (area 46,212 square miles), extending along the shore of the Indian Ocean from Trumon, 2º 53’ N. lat., to the Mandjuta, 2º 25´ S. lat., comprises the residencies Padang, Tapanuli, and the Padang Highlands (Padangsche Bovenlanden).






The governor of the whole government has his residence at Padang. The residency of Padang is bounded south by Benkulen and north by Tapanuli. It contains a large number of separate districts, mostly corresponding to natural divisions formed by mountain-spurs or river valleys. Among the rest are Indrapura, Tapan, Lunang, and Silaut, which form the regency of Indrapura, and are the remains of the ancient kingdom of that name.

Administratively Padang is divided into Ayer Bangis and Rau, Priaman, Padang, Painan. The headquarters of Ayer Bangis and Rau is Talu, to the north of Mt Ophir. Ayer Bangis itself is on the coast, and has a good roadstead on one of the islands that protect its bay. At Rau is the Dutch fort of Amerongen, and to the north-west the old fort of Balong or Sevenhoven.

Padang is a town of some 2000 houses and 15,000 inhabitants, with a Chinese settlement and a European quarter. It is the chief market in Sumatra for gold. Indrapura lies about 8 miles up the river of its own name, and is now only an unimportant village of bamboo huts.

The residency of Tapanuli is divided into Siboga (which includes the Nias Islands), Natal, Mandeling and Angkola, Padang Lawas. The town of Siboga has considerable commercial importance, the bay on which it stands being one of the finest in all Sumatra. Tapanuli, the ancient capital, and Sinkil, a commercial town, also deserve to be mentioned, In Natal (properly Natar) the leading places are Jambur, Sinkuang, and Natar. Padang Sidempuan, the chief town of Mandeling and Angkola, lies to the south of Mt. Lubu Raya. Fort Elout was formerly the military' centre in Great Mandeling.

The residency of the Padang Highlands lies east of Padang proper. The whole surface is mountainous, and the natural districts are very numerous. Again, Batipu and the X. Kotas, 639-1 the L. Kotas, Tanah Datar, and the XIII. and IX. Kotas form the five administrative divisions. Bukit Tinggi, or, as it is usually called, Fort de Kock, is the capital of the residency; other places of note are Bondjol, Padang Pandjang Payakombo, Fort van der Capellen, Pagar Rujung (the residence of the last prince of Menangkabau), Priyangan (the remains of another capital of Menangkabau), Sinkarah, and Solok.

To the government of the West Coast belong the following islands:-- Banyak Islands, a small limestone group, well wooded and sparsely peopled; Nias Islands, with an area of 2523 square miles; Batu Islands (Pulu Pingi, Pulu Baai, Tanah Masa, Tanah Balla, &c.; area 630 square miles); Mentawei and Pageh or Nassau Islands (area 4200 square miles); Engano (area 360 square miles), annexed by Holland in 1863 and seldom visited. The Nias Islands are a very interesting group (see Dr Schreiber in Petermann's Mittheil., 1881). There are no volcanoes, but earthquakes are very frequent. In the north the villages are mainly perched on steep hills reached by ladders; in the south they are larger and occupy low-lying sites.

B. The residency of Benkulen or Bencoolen (i.e., Bang Kulon, "west coast") lies along the west coast from the Mandjuta to the south end of Sumatra. It is divided into eight districts :-Mokko-Mokko; Lais or Sungei Lama ; the district (ommelanden) of Benkulen; the capital Benkulen; Seluma; Mana and Pasumah Ulu Mana; Kauer; and lastly Kru. Among the noteworthy places are Mokko-Mokko, with the old English fort Anna; Bantal; Lais (Laye), the former seat of the English resident; and Benkulen, the capital, with 12,000 inhabitants, Fort Marlborough, and a Chinese kampong (see BENCOOLEN).

C. The residency of the Lampong districts, separated from Palembang by the Masudji river, is partly mountainous (Lampong Peak 6800 feet), partly so flat as to be under water in the rainy season. It is divided into the districts of Telok Betong, Tulang Bawang, Seputih, Sekampong, Katimbang, and Semangka. The more important places are Telok Betong, chief town of the residency, Menggala (with a good trade), Gunung Sugi, Sukadana, Tandjong Karang, Beniawang.

D. The residency of Palembang consists of the former kingdom of this name, various districts more or less dependent on that monarchy, and (since 1839) the kingdom of Jambi. With the exclusion of this last it is divided into the administrative districts of Palembang; Tebing Tinggi; Lematang Ulu, Lematang Ilir, and the Pasumah country; Komering Ulu, Ogan Ulu, Inim, and the Ranau districts; Musi Ilir; Ogan Ilir, Komering Ilir, and Blidah; and Iliran and Banyu Asin. In the kingdom of Jambi the government is left in the hands of the native chief. The town of Palembang is a large place of 50,000 inhabitants (2500 Chinese), with extensive barracks, hospitals, &c., a mosque (1740), considered the finest in the Dutch Indies, and a traditional tomb of Alexander the Great. A good description of the town and its river approaches is given by Mr. Forbes.

E. The kingdom of Indragiri (along with Kwanten and the districts of Reteh and Mandah) is administratively subject to the residency of Riouw.

F. The residency of the East Coast was formed in 1873 of the territory of Siak and its dependencies and the state of Kampar. It consists of five divisions, -- the island Bengkalis, Siak proper, Labuan Batu, Asahan, Deli. The island has an area of 529 square miles and a population of 5000. Deli is the most important part of the residency, -- having been since 1870 the seat of the Amsterdam Deli Company, engaged in growing tobacco, coffee, &c.

G. In 1878 the Achin (Atjeh) kingdom was turned into a Dutch government, but the greater part of the territory is still but little known. Compare ACEH (ACHIN), vol. i. p. 95 sq.

Flora. Though Sumatra is separated from Java by so narrow a strait, the botanist at once finds that he has broken new ground when he crosses to the northern island, and the farther he advances inward the more striking becomes the originality of the flora.

The alang fields, which play a great part in Java, have even a wider range in Sumatra, descending to within 700 or 800 feet of sea-level; whereever a space in the forest is cleared this aggressive grass begins to take possession of the soil, and if once it be fully rooted the woodland has great difficulty in re-establishing itself.

Among the orders more strongly represented in Sumatra than in Java are the Dipterocarpaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, scleroecarp Myrtaceae, Melastomaceae, Begonias, Nepenthes, Oxalidaceae, Myristicaceae, Ternströmiaceae, Connaraceae, Amyridaceae, Cyrtandraceae, Epacridaceae and Eriocaulaceae. Many of the Sumatran forms which do not occur in Java are found in the Malay Peninsula.

In the north the pine tree (Pinus Merkusii) has advanced almost to the equator, and in the south are a variety of species characteristic of the Australian region.

The distribution of species does not depend on elevation to the same extent as in Java, where the horizontal zones are clearly marked; and there appears to be a tendency of all forms to grow at lower altitudes than in that island.

A remarkable feature of the Sumatran flora is the great variety of trees that vie with each other in stature and beauty, and as a timber-producing country the island ranks high even among the richly wooded lands of the archipelago. 639-2 The process of reckless deforestation is, however, beginning to tell on certain districts, -- the natives often destroying a whole tree for a plank or rafter.

The principal cultivated plants, apart from sugar cane and coffee, are rice (in great variety of kinds), the cocoa-nut palm, the areca palm, the areca and the sago palms, maize (jagung), yams, and sweet potatoes; and among the fruit trees are the Indian tamarind, the blimbing, pomegranate, jambosa, guava, papaw, orange, and lemon.

Even before the arrival of Europeans Sumatra was known for its pepper plantations; and these still form the most conspicuous feature of the south of the island. For the foreign market coffee is the most important of all the crops, -- the Padang districts being the chief seat of its cultivation. The average value of the coffee brought to market in Padang in the three years 1880-82 was £521,000. Benzoin was formerly obtained almost exclusively from Sumatra from the Styrax Benzoin. 639-3

Fauna. Snellemann confirms the statement of Wallace that no trace has been found of the orang-outan (Simia satyrus). The siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), an ape peculiar to the island, fills the woods with the cry "uwa uwa." The ungko (Hylobates agilis) is not so common. A fairly familiar form is the simpei (Semnopithecus melalophus). No apes are found on the plateau of Alahan Pandjang and the slopes of the mountains above 1500 metres. The tjigah (Cercocebus cynomolgus) is the only ape found in central Sumatra in a tame state. The pig-tail ape (Macacus nemestrinus) as Raffles described it in his "Descriptive Catalogue of a Zoological Collection made in Sumatra," Trans. Linn. Soc., 1820, vol. xiii. p. 243 -- is employed by the natives of Benkulen to ascend the cocoa-nut trees for the purpose of gathering the nuts.

The Galeopithecus volans ("kubin," "flying cat," or "flying lemur") is fairly common.

Bats of from twenty to twenty-five species have been registered; in central Sumatra they dwell in thousands in the limestone caves. The Pteropus edulis ("kalong," "flying fox") is to be met with almost everywhere, especially in the durian trees.

The tiger frequently makes his presence felt, but is seldom seen, and less frequently hunted; he prefers to prowl in what the Malays call tiger weather, that is, dark, starless, misty nights. The "clouded tiger" or rimau bulu (Felis macrocelis) is also known, as well as the Malay bear and wild dog.

Paradoxurus musanga ("coffee-rat" of the Europeans) is only too abundant; Arctictis binturong appears to be rare. The Sumatran hare (Lepus netscheri), discovered in 1880, adds a second species to the Lepus nigricollis, the only hare previously known in the East Indian Archipelago. The Mantis javanicus is the only representative of the Edentata.

The Pachydermata are strongly characteristic of the Sumatran fauna: not only are the rhinoceros (Rh. sumatranus), the Sus vittatus, and the Tapirus indicus common, but the elephant (altogether absent from Java) is represented by a peculiar species. The Sumatran rhinoceros differs from the Javanese in having two horns, like the African variety. Its range does not extend more than 8500 feet above sea-level, and that of the elephant not above 4900 feet.

The wild Bos sundaicus does not appear to exist in the island. The Antilope sumatrensis (kambing-utan) has been driven to the loneliest parts of the uplands. Cervus equinus is widely distributed, Cervus muntjac less so. 640-1

Inhabitants. The bulk of the Sumatran population is Malayan; but to what extent the Malay has absorbed pre-Malayan blood is still open to investigation. The Kubus, a race or tribe still found in an emphatically savage state in the interior, have been by some regarded as the remains of an aboriginal stock; but Mr. J. G. Garson, reporting on Kubu skulls and skeletons submitted to him by Mr. Forbes, comes to the conclusion that they are decidedly Malay, though the frizzle in the hair might indicate a certain mixture of Negrito blood (Journ.Anthrop. Inst., 1884) They speak the Malay dialect of the district to which they belong.





One of the most interesting of all the savage or semi-savage peoples is the Battaks [Bataks] or Batahs. About these a great deal has been written since Junghuhn published his Die Battaländer in 1847. It is not known whether they were settled in Sumatra before the Hindu period. Their language contains words of Sanskrit origin and others most readily referred to Javanese, Malay, Menangkabau [Minangkabau], Macassar, Sundanese, Niasese, and Tagal influence. At the present time they occupy the country to the south-east of Achin, in the centre of which lies the great Toba Lake; but it is evident that they formerly possessed, or at least were present in, various other districts both north and south. The process of absorption into the Achin and Malay population which is now rapidly going on seems to have been long at work. In many points the Battaks [Bataks] are quite different from the Malay type. The average stature of the men is about 5 feet 4 inches, of the women 4 feet 8 inches. In general build they are rather thickset, with broad shoulders and fairly muscular limbs. The colour of the skin ranges from dark brown to a yellowish tint, the darkness apparently quite independent of climatic influences or distinction of race. The skull is rather oval than round. In marked contrast to the Malay type are the large black long-shaped eyes, beneath heavy black or dark brown eyebrows. The cheek bones are somewhat prominent, but less so than among the Malays. J: B. Neumann 640-2 reckons the inhabitants of the whole river basin of which he treats at 50,000. The Battak [Batak] language, 640-3 especially the Toba dialect, has been studied by Van der Tuuk (Batakch Woordenboek).

On the borders of Palembang and Benkulen live the Redjangers, a peculiar tribe who still employ a distinctive written character, which they cut with a kris on bamboo or lontar. The same character is employed by the Pasumahs, who bear traces of Javanese elements or influence. Full details as to the various forms are given by Van Hasselt, Volksbeschr. en Taal van Mid.-Sumatra (1877-79 expedition).

The original stock of the Achinese [ Acehnese] appears, according to K. H. F. van Langen (Tijdschr. voor Ind. Taal-, Land-, en Volken-Kunde, Batavia, xxviii.), to have consisted of the Mantirs, who seem to have been driven inland by the Battaks and the Cheties (Tjeties) or Hindus. The Achinese language is at present spoken in four main dialects, of which the purest or most cultured is that of the XXV. and XXVI. Mukims. It shows, besides the Mantir element, Malay, Battak [Batak], Hindu, and Arabic influence.

The inhabitants of the Nias Islands have a special tongue, which has been studied by Herr Sundermann.

The physical conditions of large tracts render it certain that as a whole the island cannot be thickly peopled. In 1881 the Government Almanac gave the population of the Dutch possessions as 2,142,873 (2894 Europeans, 2,098,984 natives, 11,289 Chinese, 1929 "Arabs," and 27,777 Orientals of other stock). To this considerable additions must be made, as the kingdom of Achin [Aceh] (356,000 at least), as well as lndragiri and Kwanten (about 30,000). Perhaps a fair estimate for the whole is somewhat under 3,500,000.The Nias Islands would add 230,000 to the total. The most populous region is the government of the West Coast.

History. As far as is known, Sumatran civilization and culture are of Hindu origin; and it is not improbable that the island was the first of all the archipelago to receive the Indian immigrants who played so important a part in the history of the region. Certain inscriptions discovered in the Padang Highlands seem to certify the existence in the 7th century of a powerful Hindu kingdom in Tanah Datar, not far from the site of the later capital of Menangkaban. In these inscriptions Sumatra is called the "first Java." The traces of Hindu influence still to be found in the island are extremely numerous, though far from being so important as those of Java. There are ruins of Hindu temples at Butar in Deli, near Pertibi, on the Panbi river at Jambi, in the interior of Palembang above Lahat, and in numerous other localities. One of the principal Hindu ruins is at Muara Takus on the Kampar river. 640-4 The buildings (including a stupa 40 feet high) may possibly date from the 11th century. At Pagar Rujung are several stones with inscriptions in Sanskrit and Menangkabau [Minangkabau] Malay. Sanskrit words occur in the various languages spoken in the island; and the Ficus religiosa, the sacred tree of the Hindu, is also the sacred tree of the Battaks [Bataks].

At a later period the Hindu influence in Sumatra was strengthened by an influx of Hindus from Java, who settled in Palembang, Jambi, and Indragiri, but their attachment to Sivaism prevented them from coalescing with their Buddhist brethren in the north.

In the 13th century Mohammedanism began to make itself felt, and in course of time took a firm hold upon some of the most important states. In Menangkabau [Minangkabau], for instance, the Arabic alphabet displaced the Kawi (ancient Javanese) character previously employed. Native chronicles derive the Menangkabau [Minangkabau] princes from Alexander the Great; and the Achinese [ Acehnese] dynasty boasts its origin from a missionary of Islam. The town of Samudera was at that period the seat of an important principality in the north of the island, whose current name is probably a corruption of this word. 640-5 Mr. Wenniker in 1881 found a village called Samndra near Pasei (Passir), which possibly indicates the site.

Subjoined are a few leading events in the recent history of Sumatra:
-- The island, or rather the portions possessed by the Dutch, were British from 1811 to 1816.
-- 1821. Second expedition against Palembang; Palembang captured 23rd June 1822. Menangkabau recognized Dutch authority.
-- 1825. Benkulen taken over from the English in May.
-- 1837. Cultivation of coffee extended in West Coast region by Governor A. v. Michiels.
-- 1840. Extension of the West Coast government to Sinkil.
-- 1851. Revolt suppressed in Palembang; expedition to the Lampong districts.
-- 1858. Cholera rages in the island; Raja Tiang Alam, ringleader of the revolt in Palembaug, surrenders.
-- 1858. Expedition against Jambi; sultan dethroned and treaty made with his successor.
-- 1860. Redjang added to Palembang residency.
-- 1863. Expedition against Nias.
-- 1865. Expedition against Asahan and Serdang (East Coast).
-- 1872. Agreement with the British Government in regard to Sumatra.
-- 1873. War in Achin [Aceh] commenced.
-- 1874. Capture of the kraton of Achin [Aceh].
-- 1876. Capture of the VI., IV., and IX. Mukims (Achin) [Aceh]; expedition against Kota Jutan (East Coast); emancipation of slaves on West Coast.
-- 1878. Benkulen [Benkoolen] made a residency; civil administration of Achin [Aceh] and dependencies entrusted to a governor.

Further Reading. The literature dealing with Sumatra is very extensive. Of the older works the best known is Marsden's History of Sumatra, 1811. A full list of other authorities will be found in Veth's Aardrijkskundig Woordenboek van Nederl. Indië, 1869.

Among recent works by far the most important is Midden-Sumatra; Reizen en Onderzoekingen der Sumatra Expeditie, 1877-1879 (1882), edited by Prof. P. J. Veth. See also Brau de Saint-Pol Lias, Ile de Sumatra, 1884; Bastian, Indonesien; Buijs, Twee Jaren op Sumatra's Westkust; M. Fauque, "Rapport sur un Voyage à Sumatra," in Archives des Missions Scient., 3rd ser. vol. xii. ; Kielstra, Besehrijving van der Atjeh Oorlog, 1885-86, and "Sumatras West-Kurst van 1819-1825," in Bijd. tot Land, &c., -Kunde, 1887. (H. A. W.)


Footnotes

(638-1) The triangulation of Sumatra was commenced in June 1883 by the measurement of a base line 4857 metres (nearly 3 1/5 miles) long in the neighbourhood of Padang.

(638-2) For an account of changes in the principal crater see Verbeek’s paper in Natuurk. Tidschr. Van Ned. Indië, 1885.

(638-3) For the geology see R.D.M. Verbeek, Die Tertiärformation von Sumatra und ihren Thierresten; "Topographische en Geologische Beschrijving van Zuid-Sumatra" in Jaarboek van het Mijnwesen in Ned. Indië, 1881, pl. i. ; and short papers in Geol. Mag., 1877, 1878, &c. See also the 2nd part of Midden-Sumatra, by D. D. Veth,1882.

(638-4) Full details and a geological bibliography will be found in H. van Cappelle, Het Karakter van de Nederlandsch-Indische Tertiaire Fauna, Sneek, 1885.

(638-5) See Indische Gids, 1880, paper and map.

(639-1) "Kota" means settlement or township, and a great many of the district are named from the number of kotas they contain; thus in Agam we have the VII. Kotas, the VIII. Kotas, &c.

(639-2) The Central Sumatra Expedition alone collected specimens of about 400 kinds of timber.

(639-3) See Miquel, Flora Ind. Batavae; Suppl. 1, "Prodr. Florae Sumatranae," 1860.

(640-1) For the birds see Forbes’s Naturalist’s Wanderings. On this, as on other branches of natural history, elaborate treatises appear in Midden-Sumatra.

(640-2) "Het Pane en Bila Stroomgebied," in Tijdsch. Ned. Aardrijksk. Gen., 1886.

(640-3) Mr. C. A. van Ophuijsen has published (in Bijd. tot Land-, Taal-, en Volkenkunde, 1886) an interesting collection of Battak poetry. He describes a curious leaf languages used by Battak lovers, in which the name of some leaf or plant is substituted for the word with which it has greatest phonetic similarity.

(640-4) See descriptions of it in Tijdschr. van Ind. Taal-, Land-en Volken-Kunde, 1860 and 1879, and Verhandel. Batav. Gen. van Kunst en Wetensch., 1881.

(640-5) All the facts relating to this derivation are given in Yule and Burnell, Glossary of Anglo-Indian Words, s.v. "Sumatra."



The above article was written by: Hugh A. Webster, formerly Librarian, Edinburgh University; editor of the Scotish Geographical Magazine; sub-editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.



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