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SARAVIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 207 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SARAVIA, a town of the province of Negros Occidental, island of Negros, Philippine Islands, on the N.W. coast and the coast road, 16 m. N.N.E. of Bacolod, the capital. Pop. (1903) 13,132. The town is in a rich sugar-producing region, and sugar culture is the only important industry. The language is Panay-but a tract, 8o m. in length, of Brunei territory still remains between the mouths of the Baram and Limbang rivers. The frontier of the southern portion of Sarawak is formed by the Serang, Kelingkang and Batang Lupar ranges of mountains. The inland or eastern boundary is formed by the broken range of mountains which constitutes the principal watershed of the island. Of these the highest peaks are: Batu Puteh (5400 ft.), Tebang (IO,000 ft.), Batu Bulan (7000 ft.), Ubat Siko (4900 ft.), Bela Lawing (7000 ft.) and Batu Leihun (6000 ft.), from which the Rejang and Baram rivers, on the Sarawak side, and the Koti and Balungun rivers, on the Dutch side, take their rise. North of Sarawak is the Pamabo mountain range (8000 ft.),whence flow the rivers Limbang and Trusan, and the mountains Batu Lawei (8000 lt.) and Lawas (6000 ft.). The interior is mountainous, the greatest elevations being Mount Mulu (9000 ft.), of limestone formation, Batu Lawei (8000 ft.), Pamabo (8000 ft.), Kalulong, Dulit, Poeh and Penrisam. The Rejang is the largest river, the Baram ranking second, the Batang Lupar third and the Limbang fourth. The Rejang is navigable for small steamers for about 16o m., the Baram for about loo m., but there is a formidable bar at the mouth of the Baram. The chief town of Sarawak, Kuching, with a population of about 30,000, is situated on the Sarawak river 20 M. from its mouth, and can be reached by steamers of a thousand tons. The fauna is rich. The most important mammals are the maias, or orang utan, the gibbon, the proboscis, semnopithecus and macacus monkeys; lemurs, cats, otters, bears, porcupines, wild pigs, wild cattle, deer and pangolin. Bats, shrews, rats and squirrels are included among the smaller mammals, while sharks, porpoises and dugongs are found along the coast. Of birds, Sarawak has over five hundred species; fish and reptiles are abundant; the jungle swarms with insect life, and is rich in many varieties of fern and orchid. The mineral wealth gives promise of considerable development. The Borneo Company for some years have successfully worked gold from the quartz reefs at Ban, on the Sarawak river, by the cyanide process, as well as antimony and cinnabar. Antimony occurs in pockets in various localities, notably at Sariki, in the Rejang district, and at Burok Buang and Telapak, in the Baram district and in the river Atun. Cinnabar has also been found in small quantities at Long Liman and in the streams about the base of Mount Mulu. Sapphires of good quality, but too small to be of commercial value, are found in large numbers in the mountain streams of the interior. Coal is worked at Sadong and Brooketon, and shipped to Singapore. The great coal-field of Selantik, along the Kelingkang range in the Batang Lupar district, is being developed. Indications of coal seams have also been found in the river Mukah; at Pelagus in the Rejang; at Similajau and Tutau and on Mount Dulit, in the Baram district. Timber is one of the most valuable products, but with the exception of bilian (iron wood) from the river Rejang, little is exported. The most important timbers are bilian, merebo, rasak, kruin, tapang, kranji, benaga, bintangor, gerunggang, medang, meranti and kapor. Except near the banks of the rivers, which have been cleared by the natives for farming purposes, the whole country is thickly clothed with timber. The industrial establishments also comprise sago-mills, brick-works, cyanide-works and saw-mills. In 1904 the total trade of Sarawak (Foreign and Coastwise) reached a value of $16,466,241 as compared with $4,564,200 in 1890. The remarkable increase in trade is shown by the following table: 9O. I904. Gold . . $84,370 $1,819,200 Pepper . . 125,442 2,611,478 Sago flour . ?5,026 830,319 Rubber 35,181 351,735 Gutta . . 78,829 637,348 Gambier 20,060 173,500 The revenue increased from $457,596 in 1894 to $1,321,879 in 1904; and the expenditure increased in the same period from $486,533 to $1,225,384. The Public Debt of Sarawak on the 1st of January 1905 was $25,000. The population of the state, in addition to a small number of Europeans, government officials and others, a few natives of British India, and a large number of Chinese traders and pepper planters, consists of semi-civilized Malays in the towns and villages of the coast districts and of a number of wild tribes of Indonesian affinities in the interior. Of these the most important are the Dyaks, Milanaus, Kayans, Kenyahs, Kadayans and Muruts. No census has ever been taken. " Without the China-man," said the Raja (Pall Mall Gazette, 19th September 1883), " we could do nothing. When not allowed to form secret societies he is easily governed, and this he is forbidden to do on pain of death." The Milanaus, who live in the northern districts, have adopted the Malay-dress, and in many cases have become Mahommedans; they are a contented and laborious people. Slavery has been abolished, except among certain of the inlan tribes among whom it still obtains in a very mild form: Visayan.
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