Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Bachian

BACHIAN, one of the East Indian islands belonging to the group of the northern Moluccas, situated immediately south of the equator, and lying with its subordinate islands, MandioliandKasiruta,betweenl27and 127and50 E.long. It is of an irregular form, consisting of two distinct moun tainous parts, vnited by a low isthmus, which a slight sub sidence would submerge. The area is estimated at about GOO geographical square miles. Sandstone, coralline limestone, and pebbly conglomerate are the prevailing rocks. Of volcanic formations no traces were discovered by Mr Wallace, but other travellers speak of hot springs that seem to point to volcanic activity. The sulphur spring at Taubenkit has a temperature of 125 Fahr.; and a more remarkable example of the same phenomenon exists at Sayowang on the east coast. The highest mountain in the southern half of the island is Gunong Sabella, which is regarded by the natives as the seat of evil spirits. It was partially ascended by Bernstein in ISO 1. A large portion of the surface is richly wooded, and sago, cocoa-nuts, and cloves are abundantly pro duced, while, in spite of the extermination of nutmeg-trees by the Dutch, at least one extensive grove remains. Bachian is remarkable as the most eastern point on the globe in habited by any of the Quadrumana. The interior of the island is uninhabited, and none of the dwellers on the coast are indigenous. They consist of the Sirani or Christian descendants of the Portuguese, of Malays, with a Papuan element, Galela men from the north of Jilolo, and a colony from Tomore, in the eastern peninsula of Celebes. The Sirani preserve various marks of their Portu guese origin, wear a semi-European dress, and celebrate Sunday with dancing and music. The government of the island is vested in a sultan, under the protection of the Dutch, to whom it is becoming of considerable importance from the discovery of coal and other minerals. The chief town or village, called Amassing by the natives, but often spoken of as Bachian, is situated on the isthmus.