Sumbawa is an Indonesian island, located in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, with Lombok to the west, Flores to the east, and Sumba further to the southeast. It is in the province of West Nusa Tenggara.
Sumbawa is 15,448 km² (three times the size of Lombok) with a population of around 1.5 million. It marks the boundary between the islands to the west, which were influenced by religion and culture spreading from India, and the region to the east that was not so influenced.
Four principalities in western Sumbawa were dependencies of the Majapahit Empire of eastern Java. Because of Sumbawa’s natural resources it was regularly invaded by outside forces – Japanese, Dutch, Makassarese. The Dutch first arrived in 1605, but did not effectively rule Sumbawa until the early 20th century. The Balinese kingdom of Gelgel ruled western Sumbawa for a short period as well. It was also home to the Sultanate of Bima.