Bawean Island is one of islands located at Java Sea, approximately 80 miles or 120 km on the north og Gresik. Administratively this island is part of Gresik regency, East Java. Before the colonialism, in 1601, Bawean Island was reigned by King Babileono that adhered animism, then Dutch entered the island in 1789. Before 1974, the island was part of Surabaya regency, before Gresik regency established.
Bawean Island consists of 2 districts, Sangkapura and Tambak. The total inhabitants is 70.000, constitute of Javanese, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Madura mix culture and language. Mostly they work as fishermen or farmers, besides working abroad as labor in Malaysia or Singapore. The majority of the inhabitants is Bawean ethnic, and then followed by Javanese, Madurese and other ethnics such as Bugis, mandar, Palembang and Mandailing. The original language in Bawean is Bawean language, not Madurese.
In Malaysia and Singapore, Bawean ethnic is called with Boyan. Bawean derives from Sanskrit means sun. According to legend, round 1350, several seamen from Majapahit Empire were trapped by storm and they were cast ashore on Bawean Island when the sun rose. In the early 16th Century, Islam arrived on the Island, carried by Maulana Umar Mas’ud. The grave of Maulana Umar Mas’ud is pilgrimage destination of locals or outsiders. The grave is situated in Sangkapura, on the south coast. On the north coast, there is a grave of a woman ullema, Waliyah Zainab, on Sumber high land.
Bawean Island is also known as Pulau Putri or Laddies Island, as there are many young men leave the Island for living, especially to Java or abroad. Bawean people create community in Malaysia and Singapore. The diameter of Bawean Island is 12 kilometers and 70 meters long. Bawean is an interesting tourist attraction, especially its beaches. There is a lake in the middle of the island, Lake Kastoba. And there are other islets (gili) that are intereting to visit.
Bawean Island is the home of deer species, Axis kuhli. Bawean island hasplenty of fruit trees, mangosteen, salak, Dorian for local consumption. The shore of Bawean is rich of fish.
Bawean inhabitants are mostly Moslem, and non Moslem usually are immigrant. Bawean has onyx stone, and typical fruit called buah merah, that is different than buah merah from Papua. Its shape is like apple.