SALEYER (Dutch, Saleijer), a group of islands belonging to the government of Celebes and its dependencies in the Dutch East Indies, numbering altogether 73, the principal being Saleyer, Tambalongang, Pulasi and Bahuluwang; between 5 36' and 7 25' S. and 119 50' and 121 30' E. The mainisland, Saleyer, is over 50 m. long and very narrow; area, 248 sq. m. The strait separating it from Celebes is more than 100 fathoms deep and, running in a strong current, is dangerous for native ships to navigate. The strata of the island are all sedimentary rocks: coralline limestone, occasionally sandstone; everywhere, except in the north and north-west, covered by a fertile soil. The watershed is a chain running throughout the island from N. to S., reaching in Bontona Haru 5840 ft., sloping steeply to the east coast.
The population, mainly a mixed race of Macassars, Buginese, the natives of Luvu and Buton, is estimated at 57,000 on the main island and 24,000 on the dependent isles. They use the Macassar language, are for the most part nominally Mahommedans (though many heathen customs survive), and support themselves by agriculture, fishing, seafaring, trade, the preparation of salt (on the south coast) and weaving. Field work is largely performed by a servile class. Raw and prepared cotton, tobacco, trepang, tortoise-shell, coco-nuts and coco-nut oil, and salt are exported. There are frequent emigrations to Celebes and other parts of the archipelago. For that reason, and also on account of its excellent horses and numerous buffaloes, Saleyer is often compared with Madura, being of the same importance to Celebes as is Madura to Java.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)