TERNATE, the northernmost of the line of islands off the western coast of Halmaheira, Dutch East Indies, which stretch southwards to the Bachian archipelago. It has an area of 25 sq.m., a width of six miles, and consists mainly of a conical volcano 5,600 ft. in height, with three peaks (Arfat, Madina and Kekan), its curious formation being due to many extremely destructive eruptions. Within the last four centuries there has been volcanic activity at Ternate on no less than 7o occasions, the worst re corded being the eruption in 1763, which overwhelmed the thriving little village and Ft. Takomi, which is situated on the north-west coast, and so completely devastated one slope with lava flow that it has since been known as Burnt cape (Batu Angus), whilst two small crater lakes were formed where the village stood. An eruption in 1840 destroyed nearly every house in the town of Ternate, and when A. R. Wallace was there in 1858 he experienced an earthquake and noted the destructive effects of former shocks. The northern half of the island has suffered most from volcanic activity. There, lava streams have flowed down the mountain side right to the sea, and there are numerous bare tracts of land, but on the southern and eastern coast there is forest and luxuriant vegetation, with a good deal of cultivated land on the flat strip by the shore ; vegetation extends even far up the mountain side. Rice and maize are grown, also sago, coffee, pepper, nutmegs and fruit (good mangoes and durians) ; Ternate was once a leading centre of spice cultivation. It now has a population of 18,924, including 58o Europeans and Eurasians, 77 Chinese and 474 Arabs, the native population being of very mixed blood, probably Malay preponderating, but with Papuan elements, having a language of their own, written in the Arabic character, and Mohammedan by religion (also Crang Seracci descendants of natives converted to Christianity by the Portuguese). Ternate is of importance as one of the two resi dences which make up the Government of the Moluccas, Am boyna being the other. Ternate residency is composed of the Ternate-Tidore group (13 islands, and the Kayua and Goraityi groups), the Halmaheira group (Gilolo, west Halmaheira, Weda, south, and Tobelo, north and north-eastern Halmaheira, with the island of Morotai), the Bachian and Obi groups, the Sula group (with the State of Banggai, in east Celebes and the Banggai islands), west New Guinea (with the island of Bisol), Sorong (north-west New Guinea, with the islands Waigiu, Salwatti and Battanta), Manokwari (the westerly part of north New Guinea), Yappen (the island of that name, with a strip of the coast of New Guinea from the Mamberano river to the Wapangga), Hollandia (the easterly part of North New Guinea, from the Mamberano river to the boundary between Dutch and British New Guinea), and the Schouten islands (the group of islands of that name). The population of the residency in 1927 was Ternate Town, population 6,374, lies on a flat strip of land on the south side of the island, at the foot of the mountain. It is a very picturesque settlement, the houses interspersed amongst a wealth of trees, with the volcano for a background, and, being close to other volcanic islands, one of which, Tidore, is so close that it helps to form the fine harbour of Ternate, and to the coast of Halmaheira, it has magnificent views. The port, which
possesses piers and a coaling jetty, is a regular place of call for vessels of the Royal Packet Navigation company, affording fre quent communication with Celebes, Amboyna and New Guinea.
Although it is the headquarters of a residency, Ternate has now only the shadow of its former greatness. Its trade is small (chiefly copra and nutmegs), its sultan is a pensioner of the Dutch Government and many of its inhabitants live by his bounty on his lands.
See A. R. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago (London, 189o).
(E. E. L.)