Tanimbar Islands

Tanimbar Islands

[tuh-nim-bahr, tan-uhm-bahr]
Tanimbar Islands or Tenimbar Islands, group of about 30 islands, c.2,100 sq mi (5,440 sq km), E Indonesia, in the Banda Sea, between the Aru Islands and Timor, in the Moluccas. The largest of the group is Yamdena. Saumlaki is the chief town. Important products are copra, tortoiseshell, and trepang. The group is also called Timorlaut.

Group of about 30 islands, southeastern Moluccas, Indonesia. It includes the large island of Yamdena, some 70 mi (110 km) long and 30 mi (50 km) wide, and the nearby islands of Larat and Selaru. Though there is a lack of fresh water, the soil supports corn, rice, coconut palms, and fruits. The Dutch claimed the group in 1639 but did not establish rule until 1900. The islands became part of Indonesia in 1949.

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The Tanimbar Islands, also called Timor Laut, are a group of about 30 islands in the Maluku province of Indonesia.


The Aru Islands and Kai Islands lie to the northeast, and Babar Island and Timor lie to the west. The islands separate the Banda Sea and the Arafura Sea. The total land area of the Islands is 5440 km² (2100 sq mi).

The largest of the group is Yamdena. Yamdena Island has a range of thickly forested hills along its eastern coast, while its western coast is lower. Saumlaki is the chief town, located on the south end of Yamdena. Other islands include Larat, Selaru, and Wuliaru.

The population is approximately 61,000, of whom 44,000 are Christian, and 17,000 Muslim and unknown.

The tiny island of Tanimbarkei is part not part of Tanimbar, but of the Kai Islands and inhabited by less than 1000 very traditional people.


Important products are copra, tortoiseshell, and trepang (an edible sea cucumber).

See also

In recent times offshore exploratory drilling by a Japanese led consortium has identified gas reserves that have the potential to support LNG production. Feasibility studies are currently being developed.

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