Online Encyclopedia

MENTAWI

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 146 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MENTAWI, a chain of islands in the Dutch East Indies, off the west coast of Sumatra, between I° and 30 30' S. There are twenty-one islands in all, of which the majority lie close to or between the four largest—Siberut, Sikaban or Sipora, North Pageh and South Pageh. The two last (also called Pagi or Poggy) are sometimes termed the Nassau Islands. The total land area is 1224 sq. m. The islands are included in the administration of Padang, Sumatra. They are apparently volcanic. Coral reefs lie off the coasts and render them difficult of access. The natives in language and customs present affinities with some Polynesians, and have been held to be a survival of the eastward immigration of people of Caucasian stock which took place before those which established the " pre-Malay "peoples (such as the Dyaks and Battas) in the Malay Archipelago. The islands produce some coco-nuts, sago, trepang and timber.
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