Bawean Island

Bawean Island

Pulau Bawean is an island that located approximately 150 km north of Surabaya, in the Java Sea, off the coast of Java. It is administratively part of Gresik Regency, East Java. It is approximately 15 km in diameter and is circumnavigated by a single narrow road. Bawean is dominated by an extinct volcano at its center that rises to 655 m above sea level.

The island is populated for about 75,000 people, but more than 26,000 of them (that is about 70% of the male population) were temporarily living outside, working in other parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia). As a result, females constituted about 77% of the actual population of the island, which is thus often referred to as the island of women (Indonesian: Pulau Putri). The people who live in this island are coming from several tribes in Indonesia like Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java, Sumatra, Madura and the indigenous of Bawean People. Most people are speak in Bawean language, which similar to Madura language, or some speak in each traditional tribe language.

The territory of the island is divided into two regions, Sangkapura and Tambak. More than half the population (about 48,000) lives in the city of Sangkapura that located on the southern coast of the island. The island has rich nature with many endemic species, such as Bawean Deer which is only found on the island and is included to the IUCN Red List. There are several large underwater petroleum and gas fields around the island.

The word Bawean comes from the Sanskrit, which means there is sunlight. According to legend, in 1350, there was a group of sailors from the kingdom of Majapahit trapped by the storm in the Java Sea and ended up stranded on the island of Bawean at sunrise. At ancient book of Negarakertagama mentioned that the island was named Buwun.

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