Buton (also Butung or Boeton), is an island in Indonesia located off the southeast peninsula of Sulawesi.
In the precolonial era, the island, then usually known as Butung, was within the sphere of influence of Ternate
. Especially in the sixteenth century it served as an important secondary regional center within the Ternaten empire, controlling regional trade and collecting tribute to be sent to Ternate.
Sultan Murhum, the first Islamic monarch on the island, is remembered in the name of the island's major harbor, Murhum Harbor, in Baubau.
Its largest town is Bau-Bau
. Major nearby islands include Wowoni
(North), Muna and Kabaena (West) and Siumpu (Southwest). The Tukangbesi Islands
lie just to the east where Tukang Besi
is spoken, and is separated by the Gulf of Kolowana Watabo
(Teluk Kolowana Watabo
Island is to the south.
The island is largely covered by rainforest
and is known for its wildlife. It is one of only two habitats of the anoa
, a type of buffalo
The island is a major producer of asphalt
and other minerals.