Bawean island from Satellite (47000 feet from sea level)
small island of Bawean lies approximately seventy kilometres
off the north coast of East Java and about a hundred and twenty
from Gresik, to which administrative district the island belongs.
The inhabitants, who live mainly from farming and fishing, number
today around sixty six thousand. They have their own language,
which is similar to that spoken on nearby Madura, though in one
district Javanese is more frequently heard.
The word BAWEAN is said to stem from the sanskrit, meaning 'there
is sunlight'. According to legend, a group of Javanese sailors
found themselves in danger of drowning in a storm, when the sun
rose and lit up the peaks of Bawean Island. Here, they were able
to take refuge. The year was 1350 A.D.. A hundred and fifty years
later, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the religion
of Islam was introduced by one Maulana Umar Mas'ud. His tomb,
as well as those of other early Muslim missionaries, are considered
sacred and attract pilgrims from all over Indonesia.
Although the distance around this small island is just fifty
five kilometres, Bawean has quite a number of attractions, notably
beaches. The island is also famous for its unique breed of deer,
found nowhere else.