- Nusa Tenggara Timur
English East Nusa Tenggaraprovinsi (province) of Indonesia that includes the eastern Lesser Sunda Islands of Sumba, Flores, Solor, Alor, Sawu, Roti, Semau, Adonora, Komodo, Rinca, Lomblen, and Pantar and the western half of Timor. The name Nusa Tenggara is Indonesian for “southeast islands.” The province fronts the Flores Sea to the northwest, the Banda Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the south, the Timor Sea and Timor Timur (East Timor) province to the east, and Sumba Strait to the west. Physiographically Nusa Tenggara Timur comprises the islands that encircle the Savu Sea.The islands that now compose the province formed part of the Majapahit empire of eastern Java in the 14th century and were included in the Muslim Mataram kingdom of Java in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries the Portuguese and the Dutch were in frequent conflict in the area, and Timor became a Dutch colony in 1859. The Japanese occupied Nusa Tenggara Timur during World War II. It was incorporated into the Republic of Indonesia in 1950.The islands in the province present a splintered topography of volcanic mountains that reach an elevation of 7,814 feet (2,382 m) at Mount Mandasawu on Flores and 7,962 feet at Mount Mutis on western Timor. The mountain peaks are lower on the islands in the northeastern part of the province. Coral atolls and reefs border much of the narrow coastal lowland. The islands have a long dry season, and there are few perennial streams and no major rivers. Sandalwood and eucalyptus woodlands, scrub, and grasslands are common.Agriculture is the main source of livelihood; the chief products include rice, corn (maize), coconuts, sandalwood, cotton, and coffee. Horses are raised, and deep-sea fishing is important. Industries include cotton spinning, weaving, dyeing, pharmaceutical production, and tanning. Road transport is confined mostly to the coastal lowlands on all the islands. The population is mostly Papuan and Malay, some of whom on Timor are Christians. Kupang on Timor is the provincial capital, and Ende on Flores is the other major town. Area 18,485 square miles (47,876 square km). Pop. (1990) 3,268,644; (1995 est.) 3,582,800.
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