Encyclopedia > Sumatra

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Sumatra, or Sumatera, is the 6th largest island of the world and is part of Indonesia. The longest axis of the island runs approximately northwest - southeast, crossing the equator near the center. To the southeast is Java. To the north is the Malay Peninsula, separated by the Straits of Malacca. To the east is Borneo.

An ancient name for Sumatra was Swarna Dwipa, or Isle of Gold, apparently based on the fact that mines in the Sumatran highlands were exporting gold from fairly early times.

The administrative regions of Sumatra (or the smaller islands nearby) are:

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