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Mindanao

island, miles, mountain, forests, coast, province and springs

MINDANAO, men-di-now', Philippines, the most southeastern and second largest island of the archipelago, lying between lat. 5° 35' and 9° 50' N. and between long. 121° 53' and 126° 28' E., about 220 miles northeast of Borneo. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean and on the west by the Sulu Sea; area, 35,457 square miles; with its dependent island, 36,293 square miles.

Topography and Climate.— The outline of the island is very irregular and the coast is uneven and much indented with deep bays and inlets; the shore line is 1,592 miles and the width of the island from east to west 386 miles. The island is very mountainous, particularly in interior, nterior, the mountain system consisting of a number of irregular ranges extending gener ally north and south, and as a rule approaching near the coast. The mountain formation shows the effect of earthquake and volcanic action, and there are many volcanoes, some of which are active. The principal peaks are Apo (10,312 feet), near the southeastern coast, and Malindang (8,560 feet) in the northwest. The island is drained chiefly by two large rivers, both over 200 miles long, the Grande de Min danao (q.v.), flowing southwest and west, on the western side of the central mountain range, and the Butuin or Agusin, flowing northwest, on the eastern side of the same range. There are numerous other small streams and nine large mountain lakes. There are iron springs at Placer, in the province of Surigao; sulphur springs at Mainit, Surigao and Balingasag, Misamis, and medicinal thermal springs at Malibato. As the island is within 10° of the equator, the climate is hot and humid, but more equable than that of Luzon; rains are frequent and heavy, the annual fall being 100 inches.

Forests and Fauna.— The island is covered with forests of valuable woods for ship and house-building and furniture making; among these are the molave narra (similar to the yel low pine), teak, ebony and cypress; the gum and resin-producing trees and medicinal and dye plants also grow abundantly. Animal life is abundant in these forests ; over 200 species of birds have been classified, of which 17 species are peculiar to Mindanao and Basilan; deer, wild hogs, monkeys and the haguang or colugo (q.v.) are numerous. Reptiles, includ

ing the giant lizard, iguana and large snakes., particularly the boa, also infest the forests and crocodiles the river.

Industrial Resources.— The staple, agricul tural products are rice, sugar, cotton, corn, tobacco, indigo, coffee and hemp; other prod ucts of special value are cloves, nutmegs, cin namon and other spices, betel nuts and betel peppers. The most important industry is the cultivation and shipment of hemp and forest products; large herds of cattle and horses are raised; and there is a little weaving of hemp and cotton fabrics for home use. Less than 2 per cent of the land is under cultivation. Edible birds' nests are also gathered and ex ported. Communication is largely by water, as there are few roads except in the immediate vicinity of the chief towns, and the towns and villages are situated on the coast or on the large lakes and rivers. Gold is obtained in small quantities by the natives, and is doubtless abundant; coal, sulphur, copper and platinum are also reported.

People and Government.— About a third of the population of Mindanao is composed of Christianized Malays; there are also tribes of the Moro race who are Mohammedan in re ligion; the interior is peopled by pagan tribes and the northern and eastern coasts by Visayan Filipinos. The island was first occupied by United States troops in 1899. Civil government was provided for Mindanao and adjacent is lands under the Philippine Commission in 1903, under the name of the Moro Province. In 1914 the department of Mindanao and Sulu was cre ated, the military governor of the old Moro province giving place to a civil governor in vested with wide powers and whose construc tive task it will be to bring a turbulent and suspicious Mohammedan population into har monious relations with the Christian Filipinos. There was a serious outbreak of cholera in 1915. Pop. 499,634. See PHILIPPINE ISLANDS; Moans.