Lombok (native, Tanak Sassak), an island of the Indian archipelago, separated by the strait of Lombok from Baii on the west, and by the strait of Alias from Sumbawa on the east; area, about 1,850 sq. m.; pop. about 250,000. The island is nearly square, with a narrow peninsula projecting from the S. E. angle. It is crossed by two mountain ranges, nearly parallel; that on the N. side culminates in the peak of Mt. Rinjani, an extinct volcano, 8,000 ft. high; the other range follows the S. shore. Between these two is an undulating plain which is well watered and very fertile. There are many rivers, most of which empty into the two straits. The island is of volcanic formation, while in the straits on either side are several small coral islands. The coasts along these straits are indented with several very fine harbors. Oranges, bananas, jambas, and rambu-tans grow abundantly, and there are extensive forests of cocoa trees. Rice is cultivated with great skill, and large crops are produced. Cotton, coffee, maize, and tobacco are also raised. Hogs, goats, and fowls abound, and small hardy horses, oxen, and buffaloes are bred for exportation. Among the native birds are green doves, black cuckoos, golden orioles, and white cockatoos. No tiger or other feline animal exists on the island.
In passing eastward across the strait of Lombok, there is a sudden change in the fauna, from an Asiatic to an Australian character. The inhabitants of Lombok are said to be more civilized than those of the neighboring islands. They are especially skilful in the manufacture of firearms and cutlery, and their krises or daggers are in demand throughout the archipelago. The exports are cattle, hides, horns, cotton, tobacco, cocoa oil, dried beef, and timber; the chief imports are opium, liquors, coarse cloths, raw silk, metals, and porcelain. The chief town is Amponam, on the strait of Lombok. Four miles inland from this is the village of Mata-ram, the capital. The government is an absolute monarchy, mildly administered. The governing class are Brahmans, but the common people are all Mohammedans. The numerous petty chiefs are frequently at war with one another. In 1815 a great eruption of a volcano on Sumbawa, 60 m. away, sent such showers of ashes over Lombok that many of its fertile fields were rendered desolate, and thousands of the inhabitants perished.
From this calamity it has but slowly recovered.