1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cheribon

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CHERIBON, a residency of the island of Java, Dutch East Indies, bounded S. and W. by the Preanger regencies, N.W. by Krawang, N. by the Java Sea, and E. by the residencies of Tegal and Banyumas. Pop. (1897) 1,577,521, including 867 Europeans, 21,108 Chinese, and 2016 Arabs and other Asiatic foreigners. The natives consist of Middle Javanese in the north and Sundanese in the south. Cheribon has been for many centuries the centre of Islamism in western Java, and is also the seat of a fanatical Mahommedan sect controlled from Mecca. The native population is on the whole orderly and prosperous. The northern half of the residency is flat and marshy in places, especially in the north-western corner, while the southern half is mountainous. In the middle stands the huge volcano Cherimai, clad with virgin forest and coffee plantations, and surrounded at its foot by rice fields. South-south-west of Cherimai on the Preanger border is the Sawal volcano, at whose foot is the beautiful Penjalu lake. Sulphur and salt springs occur on the slopes of Cherimai, and near Palimanan there is a cavernous hole called Guwagalang (or Payagalang), which exhales carbonic acid gas, and is considered holy by the natives and guarded by priests. There is a similar hole in the Preanger. The principal products of cultivation are sugar, coffee, rice and also tea and pulse (rachang), the plantations being for the most part owned by Europeans. The chief towns are Cheribon, a seaport and capital of the residency, the seaport of Indramaya, Palimanan, Majalengka, Kuningan and Chiamis. Cheribon has a good open roadstead. The town is very old and irregularly built, and the climate is unhealthy; nevertheless it has a lively export trade in sugar and coffee and is a regular port of call. In 1908 the two descendants of the old sultans of Cheribon still resided there in their respective Kratons or palaces, and each received an annual income of over £1500 for the loss of his privileges. A country residence belonging to one of the sultans is situated close to Cheribon and is much visited on account of its fantastic architecture. Indramaya was a considerable trading place in the days of the early Portuguese and Dutch traders. Kuningan is famous for a breed of small but strong horses.