CELEBES (cer e-bez). The interesting and pictur esque island of Celebes is one of the largest in the group lying between Asia and Australia, known as the Malay Archipelago or the East Indies. To the west of it lies Borneo, to the east the Moluccas, and to the north, separated by the Celebes Sea, are the Philippine Islands. Celebes is of peculiar shape, consisting mainly of four peninsulas extending to the east and south; it has been compared to a star fish with rays torn off from one side. The area is about 72,000 square miles, somewhat greater than that of the state of Missouri.
The central and northern parts of the island are mountainous, and there are several active volcanoes.
The scenery is varied and picturesque, and the vege tation is luxuriant. There are extensive forests of oak, teak, cedar, clove, and nutmeg trees, sago and other palms, pepper vines, sandalwood, mango, silk, cotton, and betel-nut trees. Though crossed by the Equator and lying entirely in the torrid zone, the climate of the island is more healthful than most tropical regions on account of the sea breezes. Among the chief products are coffee, sugar, spices, indigo, and tobacco. There are deposits of gold, copper, tin; some diamonds and other precious stones.
The island was first visited by the Portuguese in 1512, but has been in possession of the Dutch since 1660. The inhabitants, who are chiefly Malays, are a sturdy, industrious, and fairly intelligent people.
They are largely ruled by native princes or rajas, and recognize the authority of the Dutch government.
The capital is Macassar, in the southwestern penin sula. Population, about 2,000,000, of whom about 1,400 are Europeans.