Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/350

This page needs to be proofread.


310

BOE.NA — BORNEO

mouth of the Turva valley, but enjoys a July mean mudbanks. All round the island there are but seven temperature of 59°. Its mineral springs and baths were places at which the steamers of the Dutch Packet known to the Romans, and were frequented all through Company call — Pontianak, Banjermasin, Kota Baiu, the Middle Ages. Their water is saline, with a temperature Pasir, Samarinda, Beru, and Balungan. The rivers play of 98-6° to 107-6°, and is used for drinking, as well as in a very important part in the economy of Borneo, as highmud baths, spray baths, steam baths, etc. In the Turva ways and as the lines along which run the main arteries of valley are the ferruginous springs and baths of Santa population. Within recent years the exploration of nearly Caterina, 5801 ft. above sea-level. The village of Bormio all the larger rivers has been advanced. The most imis two miles below the baths. Population of commune, portant are those having their outlet at the west coast: the Sambas, navigable in its lower course for vessels of 25 about 2000. feet draught, and the Kapuas, of volume varying with the Borna., a town of Germany, on the Wirha emptying tide and the amount of rainfall, normally navigable by into the Pleisse, 17 miles S. by E. by rail of the town small steamers and praus of 4 to 5 feet draught for 300 to and in the circle of Leipzig, kingdom of Saxony. The 400 miles, from Pontianak up to Sintang, and thence as industries include peat-cutting, iron-foundries, organ, far as Benut. The mid-part of this river, shallower and pianoforte, felt, and shoe factories. Population (1890), broader than in its lower course, gives rise to a region of 7485; (1900), 8422. inundations and lakes extending as far as the northern mountain-chain. Among its considerable tributaries may Borneo, next to New Guinea the largest island in mentioned the southern Melawi with its affluent the the world, is situated about the middle of the East Indian be Pinuh. Of less importance in the way of commerce and archipelago, and extends from 7° N. to 4 20 S. lat., and navigation, but noticeable in the way of the political from 108° 53' to 119° 22' E. long. It is some 750 miles division of the country, are the Simpang, Pawan, and long by 600 miles’ maximum breadth; its area, according to Kandawangan, with the chief native villages at their the more correct calculations of the Topographical Bureau mouths or on the seaboard near by. The Rejang, a at Batavia (1894), comprises 293,496 square miles. The river of Sarawak, is navigable for over 100 miles. The highest mountain chains and plateaus in the centie are southern rivers—Katingan, Kahayan or Great Dayak, the formed of granite and crystalline schists the oldest for- Kapuas Murung or Little Dayak, and the Barito—are mations of the island—varying with sandstone and grau- waters of capacious drainage, the Kahayan basin having wacke. The surrounding coasts of the Borneo of that age, an area of 16,000 squaie miles, and the Barito of 38,000 broken in all probability into a number of islands occupying square miles. These rivers are navigable for two-thirds of a much smaller area than does the present island, were a their course by larger steamers; but in many cases their Tertiary deposition, buttressed with the debris of the older mouths are barred by banks of sand or mud which cannot be formations borne down by rivers and with the chalk of foraminifera and corals. Bordering the mountain chains cleared by ships of more than 8 or 9 feet draught. Most of the larger affluents of the Barito are, in the greater part of and plateaus, the hills of Borneo are formed of Tertiary their course, also navigable. The largest river discharging strata with their eruptive rocks (andesite and basalt). at the east coast is the Kutei, which at a great distance from More recent formations, the diluvium, still embedding in its mouth has still a depth of three fathoms, and in all its it abundant platinum, diamonds, and metals of the primary physical features is comparable with the Kapuas and the formation, and the alluvium of sea and rivers, next filled up Barito. gulfs, bays, and basins of the earlier Borneo, spread out Climate. —Throughout Borneo the temperature averages 78’S0 to its coasts, built up its higher and lower plains, and thus 80° Fahr., with very slight variations. The rainy W. (b. V. and pieced out the island to its modern dimensions. The N.W.) wind prevails at all the meteorological stations, not the explorations of Professor Molengraaff have proved that comparatively dry S.E. wind. Even at Banjermasin the K.A. there is no proper nucleus of mountains whence chains wind brings an annual rainfall of 60 inches, against 33 inches ol _ . ramify in different directions. The centre, however, of rain carried by the S.E. wind. Minerals. —Since 1875, Dr Posewitz and mining engineers have the island is occupied by three mountain chains and a more exactly defined the distribution of diamonds, gold, platinum, plateau, namely—1st. The folded chain of the Lpper quicksilver, iron, tin, &c, and have discovered new mineral regions. Kapuas, dividing the western division of Dutch Borneo The exploitation of the mines suffers, however, from inadequate fromSarawak, extending W.S.W. to E.N.E., ending probably means of export, the high duties payable to the native princes, competition among the rival companies, and the olten too in Beru, and attaining near the sources of the Kapuas a the quantities of minerals found in the mines. In West Borneo height of 5500 to 6000 feet. To this chain belongs the limited the production of gold during 1895-99 amounted to from one to two plateau of the Baram river. 2nd. The Schwaner plateau, million florins annually. The Asahan mines of Orange r* assau and south of the Kapuas, with summits ranging from 3000 up to of Kutei yield some thousands of tons annually. In Sarawak a coal at Sadong yields nominally 130 tons daily, though now 7500 feet in the Bukit Raja, a plateau dividing the waters mine actually much less. Another coal mine at Brooketon yields 50 of the Kapuas from the rivers of South Borneo. 3rd. The tons daily, an output which cannot but increase indefinitely. high plateau of Madi (3000 to 4000 feet), clothed with It is only now that a serious attempt is being maffe to tropical high fens. 4th. The Muller chain of mountains, work the mineral oil known to exist in Sarawak. The Borneo between the Madi plateau and the Kapuas chain, a Company are working gold mines in Upper Sarawak under a volcanic region presenting heights that were once active large staff of Europeans, and the mines are known to offer good volcanoes, such as Bukit Terata (4700 feet), long extinct. l>r°Fluna and Flora.—Animals of economic value are the seaThe chains and plateaus extend all in a W. to E. direction. swallows, whose edible nests are prized as the best m the archibees yielding wild wax; the elephant; the civet; the They are homologous in structure with the mountains, not pelago: ciawan a species of fish found in the rivers and valued lor its of Celebes or Halmaheira, but of Malacca, Banka, and spawn, which is salted; the turtle; and the trepang &c. PearlBilliton. Rimmed round with low alluvial lands, and shell is also of commercial importance. Besides the ordinal y resting on a submarine plateau of no great depth, the products of the forests, rice is cultivated near the rivers and lakes on ladangs in the forests; sugar-cane of superior quality in coasts of Borneo are marshy,_ sandy, sometimes of the and and Montrado ; cotton on the banks oi the Negara (a character of sawahs, presenting cliffs or. mudbanks o Sambas tributary of the Barito), sometimes exported in small quantities. the sea, which round the shore has a maximum depth of Indigo, coffee, and pepper have been cultivated since 1855 m the but 1 to 3 fathoms. The coast offers, therefore few access- western division of Dutch Borneo, and tobacco m both the eastern western divisions, but rarely by Europeans, and of small ible ports The towns and seaports are to be found at and commercial value. such river mouths as are not barricaded by sandbanks or