Short History of Sumbawa
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.
Historical evidence indicates that people on Sumbawa island were known in the East Indies for their honey, horses, sappan wood for producing red dye, and sandalwood used for incense and medications. The area was thought to be highly productive agriculturally.