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Sumatera, Isle of Gold

For more than a thousand years, Sumatera was known by voyagers as isle of gold. This name pointed to an Indonesia's isle that positioned in Malaka Straits (or Malacca Straits), close to Malaka Peninsula (or Malacca Peninsula) and presently is one of the most busy sea traffic in the world. The "Sumatera" itself is a modern name given by (slip of the tongue of) western voyagers (mainly from Portuguese), originally was taken from Samudera Aca Pasai Sultanate which controls Malacca Straits between 1267-1521. This sultanate rose from the ruins of Srivijaya (Sriwijaya) Kingdom that dominates Southeast Asia between 671-1183.

But long time before this modern name of Samudera known as Sumatera, many ancient cultures mentioned this isle on their manuscript. Egypt, Greek, Arab, India, China and many more put this isle as a place where camphor and golds mined and produced. A few ancient sources mentioned Sumatera as place where raw materials to make mummies transported to ancient Egypt. And another Jew old script (Bible) told us about how King Solomon gathers his golds from Mount Ophir which located in West Sumatera and in presently modern map called as Mount Talamau. In one of great Hindu's scripture, Ramayana, Sumatera is called as Swarnadwipa that means Isle of Gold where Rama, the husband, looks for his wife, Shinta.

When you make a visit to Sumatera, try to see how people are mining gold with traditional and conventional equipments. In Jambi, there are about 4-5 spots of miner settlement that have about 5-10 millions rupiah a day in gross revenue. And you will find the same picture in other provinces of Sumatera, mainly in provinces of Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, and Sumatera Utara. That is why Sumatera was called as isle of gold, gold never meets its end here.

Traditional gold mining
Conventional equipments
Close to the death, mining close to a cliff side


Nowadays, Sumatera is part of Republic of Indonesia, the largest archipelago country on this planet. Ancient name of Sumatera have left marks in history writings, in this day Sumatera is trying to find its best role in Southeast Asian, trying to standing next to famous Singapore, and trying to attract more people to know what and where Sumatera is and then to visit Sumatera.