SUMATRA, s. Sudden squalls, precisely such as are described by Lockyer and the others below, and which are common in the narrow sea between the Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, are called by this name.

1616.—“… it befel that the galliot of Miguel de Macedo was lost on the Ilha Grande of Malaca (?), where he had come to anchor, when a Samatra arose that drove him on the island, the vessel going to pieces, though the crew and most part of what she carried were saved.”—Bocarro, Decada, 626.

1711.—“Frequent squalls … these are often accompanied with Thunder and Lightning, and continue very fierce for Half an Hour, more or less. Our English Sailors call them Sumatras, because they always meet with them on the Coasts of this Island.”—Lockyer, 56.

1726.—“At Malacca the streights are not above 4 Leagues broad; for though the opposite shore on Sumatra is very low, yet it may easily be seen on a clear Day, which is the Reason that the Sea is always as smooth as a Mill-pond, except it is ruffled with Squalls of Wind, which seldom come without Lightning, Thunder, and Rain, and though they come with great Violence, yet they are soon over, not often exceeding an Hour.”—A. Hamilton, ii. 79, [ed. 1744].

1843.—“Sumatras, or squalls from the S. Westward, are often experienced in the S.W. Monsoon. … Sumatras generally come off the land during the first part of the night, and are sometimes sudden and severe, accompanied with loud thunder, lightning, and rain.”—Horsburgh, ed. 1843, ii. 215.

[SUMJAO, v. This is properly the imp. of the H. verb samjhana, ‘to cause to know, warn, correct,’ usually with the implication of physical coercion. Other examples of a similar formation will be found under PUCKEROW.

[1826.—“… in this case they apply themselves to sumjao, the defendant.”—Pandurang Hari, ed. 1873, ii. 170.]

[SUMPITAN, s. The Malay blowing-tube, by means of which arrows, often poisoned, are discharged. The weapon is discussed under SARBATANE. The word is Malay sumpitan, properly ‘a narrow thing,’ from sumpit, ‘narrow, strait.’ There is an elaborate account of it, with illustrations, in Ling Roth, Natives of Sarawak and Br. N. Borneo, ii. 184 seqq. Also see Scott, Malayan Words, 104 seqq. [c. 1630.—“Sempitans.” See under UPAS.

[1841.—“In advancing, the sumpitan is carried at the mouth and elevated, and they will discharge at least five arrows to one compared with a musket.”—Brooke, in Narrative of Events in Borneo and Celebes, i. 261.

[1883.—“Their (the Samangs’) weapon is the sumpitan, a blow- gun, from which poisoned arrows are expelled.”—Miss Bird, The Golden Chersonese, 16.]

SUNDA, n.p. The western and most mountainous part of the island of Java, in which a language different from the proper Javanese is spoken, and the people have many differences of manners, indicating distinction of race. In the 16th century, Java and Sunda being often distinguished, a common impression grew up that they were separate islands; and they are so represented in some maps of the 16th century, just as some medieval maps, including that of Fra Mauro (1459), show a like separation between England and Scotland. The name Sunda is more properly indeed that of the people than of their country. The Dutch call them Sundanese (Soendanezen). The Sunda country is considered to extend from the extreme western point of the island to Cheribon, i.e. embracing about one-third of the whole island of Java. Hinduism appears to have prevailed in the Sunda country, and held its ground longer than in “Java,” a name which the proper Javanese restrict to their own part of the island. From this country the sea between Sumatra and Java got from Europeans the name of the Straits of Sunda. Geographers have also called the great chain of islands from Sumatra to Timor “the Sunda Islands.”

[Mr. Whiteway adds: “The re was another Sunda near Goa, but above the Ghats, where an offspring of the Vijayanagara family ruled. It was founded at the end of the 16th century, and in the 18th the Portuguese had much to do with it, till Tippoo Sultan absorbed it, and the ruler became a Portuguese pensioner.”]

1516.—“And having passed Samatara towards Java there is the island of Sunda, in which there is much good pepper, and it has a king over it, who they say desires to serve the King of Portugal. They ship thence many slaves to China.”—Barbosa, 196.

1526.—“Duarte Coelho in a ship, along with the galeot and a foist, went into the port of Çunda, which is at the end of the island of Çamatra, on a separate large island, in which grows a great quantity of excellent pepper, and of which there is a

  By PanEris using Melati.

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