Alor Island

Template: Infobox Island / Maintenance / image missing

Alor ( Ombai, Malua ) is 2104.76 km ², the largest island of the Indonesian Alor archipelago of the Lesser Sunda Islands and.


The island is part of the administrative district ( kabupaten ) Alor, which is formed from the entire Alor Archipelago. It belongs to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. Capital of the governmental district is Kalabahi, the only town on Alor. It is equipped with about 60,000 inhabitants, is also the economic center of the archipelago.

East of Alor are the islands of Atauro Wetar and the East Timorese, the south is Timor. Alor is separated from these islands through the Strait of Ombai. To the north, on the Floressee away, lie the Tukangbesi Islands. To the west lies beyond the Pantarstraße, the island pantar.

Alor is, like the other islands of the Inner Banda arc volcanic origin and very rugged. The highest mountains are the Kolan ( 1765 m) and Muna (1440 m). The region around Kalabahi is the only flat area. This is one reason why the Dutch colonialists, the island's capital and main port of small - Alor ( Alor - Kecil ) 1911 laid by Kalabahi.


On the Alor Archipelago at least 14 different indigenous languages ​​are spoken. Some estimates even of 50 languages. Besides the two Austronesian languages ​​Bahasa Alor ( Aloresisch, Bahasa Lamaholot ) and Kalabahi Malay are all other languages ​​on the island of Papua languages ​​, referred to in other sources of non- Austronesian languages. All these languages ​​are threatened, some have less than 500 surviving speaker and many children do not learn the local languages ​​. Bahasa Alor is only spoken in a few fishing villages, enemso on some other islands of the archipelago. It is related to languages ​​from the east of Flores. Bahasa Indonesia, the official language is increasingly taught as a first language.


The Portuguese were the first Europeans in the region in the 16th century. Alor was considered the home of cannibals who did not want to convert to Catholic Christianity itself. Only later succeeded Calvinists to convert a portion of the population. In the past, Islam has established itself in parts of the island. In Great - Alor ( Alor Besar ) a Quran is preserved from the 12th century, which was brought in 1500 by the Moluccan island of Ternate of five missionaries here. Iang Gogo, one of these brothers, the princess Bui Haki Bunga Bali (on pantar ) is married and settled in Great - Alor, his brothers ending in Tuabang, Baranusa (both on pantar ), Solor and in Kuilerabaing ( Südwestalor ) settled. Descendants Iang Gogos are later settled in small - Alor ( Alor Kecil ), Aimoli, Alila, Ampera, Dulolong and other villages. The Portuguese visited the smaller islands to Timor rarely, but is charged officially claim to sovereignty. As trade goods beeswax, slaves and tortoise shells were used.

1851 sold the Portuguese governor José Joaquim Lopes de Lima without authorization from Lisbon, the claims of Portugal to the Alor Archipelago and other areas in the Lesser Sunda Islands, which were nominally under Portuguese suzerainty, for 200,000 florins to the Netherlands. Lopes de Lima fell out of favor and was deposed and arrested when Lisbon learned of the contract. On his return to Portugal, he died in Batavia. In 1854, the agreements were renegotiated. The Lisbon Treaty finally the sale was confirmed. The ratification took place in 1859. However, remained far from the old connections between Alor and Portuguese Timor exist. In 1886, the locals Alors were still paying an annual tribute to the Liurai of Liquiçá, in the form of rice, maize, cotton and others.


The infrastructure is poorly developed. Agriculture, self-catering still dominates the picture. The government is trying to change that with the help of international organizations. Thus, in the village Apui vanilla is grown. In addition, tamarind, almonds and other nuts are grown. In the forests sandalwood is obtained.

Recent studies have discovered minerals, such as gypsum, kaolin, petroleum and natural gas, tin, gold and diamonds. Black pebbles are exported as decorative items since 1980 from the archipelago.

In Alor Archipelago are some of the best snorkelling and diving areas of Indonesia. However, there are strong currents that make it advisable to dive only with a knowledgeable local accompaniment. The advent of excessive fishing has destroyed but some coral reefs.

The IATA airport code of the airport of Alor is ARD. It is located ten kilometers from Kalabahi. During the dry season Kalabahi is running five times a week from Kupang, the provincial capital, from a Kasa of Merpati Airlines. Since mid- 2003, a flight route Kupang Kalabahi - Kisar - Ambon is offered with return flight the next day.

Ferries depart every week from Kupang (West Timor ) to Kalabahi. The journey takes 20 hours. Twice a week there is a ferry route Larantuka ( Ostflores ) - Lewoleba ( Lembata ) - Baranusa ( pantar ) - Kalabahi in 20 hours. Once a week there is a ferry from Atapupu (West Timor ) to Kalabahi in nine hours. In addition, the Pelni passenger ships Serimau and Awu run weekly on Kalabahi. Due to the strong winds and big waves to connect to Alor is often interrupted during the rainy season.

Freighter usually go from Alor to Surabaya, Makassar and the Moluccas. The main port Alors has a capacity of 600 tons gross tonnage.

In Kalabahi taxis provide ( Bemos ) for public transport. At other places in Alor buses, in the mountainous interior of the island jeeps, called Pansars. About the waterway connecting smaller boats places and neighboring islands.