MADURA ISLAND (Dutch Madoera), an island of the Dutch East Indies, separated by the shallow Strait of Madura from the N.E. coast of Java. Pop. (1897), 1,652,580, of whom 1,646,071 were natives, 4252 Chinese and 558 Europeans. It extends from about 112 32' to 114 7' E., and is divided into two nearly equal portions by the parallel of 7 S.; the area is estimated at 1725 sq. m. It is a plateau-like prolongation of the limestone range of northern Java, with hills (1300 to 1600 ft. high) and dales. The formation of the coast and plains is Tertiary and recent alluvium. Hot springs are not infrequent; and in the valley between Gunong Geger and Banjar lies the mud volcano of Banju Ening. The coasts are clothed with tropical vegetation; but the soil is better fitted for pastoral than agricultural purposes. Fishing and cattle-rearing are the chief means of subsistence. Besides rice and maize, Madura yields coco-nut oil and jati. The manufacture of salt for the government, abolished in other places, continues in Madura. Hence perhaps the name is derived (Sansk. mandura, salt). Petroleum is found in small quantities.
The principal town is Sumenep; and there are populous Malay, Arab and Chinese villages between the town and the European settlement of Maringan. On a hill in the neighbourhood lies Asia, the burial-place of the Sumenep princes. Pamekasan is the seat of government. Bangkalang is a large town with the old palace of the sultan of Madura and the residences of the princes of the blood; the mosque is adorned with the first three suras of the Koran, thus differing from nearly all the mosques in Java and Madura, though resembling those of western Islam. In the vicinity once stood the Erfprins fort. Arisbaya (less correctly Arosbaya) is the place where the first mosque was built in Madura, and where the Dutch sailors first made acquaintance with the natives. The once excellent harbour is now silted up. Sampang is the seat of an important market. The Kangean and Sapudi islands, belonging to Madura, yield timber, trepang, turtle, pisang and other products.
Madura formerly consisted of three native states Madura or Bangkalang, Pamekasan and Sumenep. The whole island was considered part of the Java residency of Surabaya. The separate residency of Madura was constituted in 1857; it now consists of four" departments " Pamekasan, Madura, Sumenep and Sampang.
See P. J. Veth, Java, vol. iii. ; Kielstra, " Het Eiland Madoera," in De Gids (1890); H. van Lennep, " De Madoereezen," in De Indische Gids (1895), with detailed bibliography.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)