Ombay, or Maloewa

Ombay, Or Maloewa (Maluwa), an island between Celebes and the north-west coast of Australia, lies to the north of Timor, from which it is separated by the Strait of Ombay, lat. 8° 8'-8° 28' S., long. 124° 17' -125° 7', and has an area of 961 square miles. The population amounts to over 200,000. The hills of Ombay are volcanic, and the coasts steep and difficult to approach. The inhabitants are dark brown, have thick lips, flat nose, and woolly hair, appearing to be of mixed Negro and Malay origin. They are armed with the bow, spear, and creese, and live on the produce of the chase, with fish, cocoa-nuts, rice, and honey. A portion of the island formerly belonged to the Portuguese, but since Aug. 6, 1851, it is entirely a Netherlands possession. The Dutch postholder resides at the village of Alor, to which iron wares, cotton goods, etc., are brought from Timor, and exchanged for wax, edible nests, provisions, and other native products. Ombay has oxen, swine, goats, etc., and produces maize. cotton, and pepper. Amber is also found, and the Boeginese of Celebes import European and Indian fabrics, exchanging them for the produce of the island. which they carry to Singapore (Chambers). The Dutch missionary societies are the only Protestant Christians who labor in Ombay, and thus far but little progress has been made in converting these Malayan Negritos.

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