Halmahera (hälmähâˈrä) [key] or Jailolo jĪlôˈlô, island (1990 pop. 138,000), c.7,000 sq mi (18,100 sq km), E Indonesia, between New Guinea and Sulawesi, on the equator. The largest of the Moluccas and irregular in shape, it consists of two intersecting mountain ranges (rising to c.5,000 ft/1,520 m), which form four rocky peninsulas separated by three deep bays. There are several active volcanos, lush jungles, streams, and a few lakes. The indigenous population, mostly Malayans, engage in subsistence farming, hunting, and fishing. The chief products are spices, resin, sago, rice, tobacco, and coconuts. There are anchorages at Galela and Weda. Known to the Portuguese and the Spaniards as early as 1525, Halmahera came under Dutch influence in 1660. Taken by the Japanese (1942) in World War II, it was frequently bombed by the Allies. The island has been the scene of Muslim-Christian violence in recent years. The island is sometimes called Jilolo, Djailolo, or Gilolo.
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