Kepulauan Kangean is the east most of Madura Island, located on Java Sea. This island is consists of 60 islands, covering 487 km2. The biggest island is Kangean Island, 188 km 2, Paliat Island and Sapanjang Island. Kangean Island is part of Sumenep regency. There are 3 districts in Kangean, Arjasa, Sapeken, and Kangayan. Arjasa district is located on the west part of Kangean, and Kangayangan covers the east part of Kangean, and Sapeken covers small islets and dominating east part of Kangean such as Sapeken, Paliat, Sadulang Besar, Sadulang Kecil, Pagerungan Besar and Pagerungan Kecil.
Kangean is located 100 km from Sumenep. Transportation to access this island is Ferry boat operated by PT Dharma lautan Indonesia and Sumekar Line (owned by Sumenep govt). The trip duration from Kalianget Port,Sumenep to Batu Gulok Port, Kangean is 8 hours. Express Boat also operated by private company with shorter duration, only 3.5 hours.
Kangean people are known for their hospitality and very religious. They have various dialects. For Sapeken and islands in the vicinity, they are used to speak various language such as Bajo, Mandar, Makasar and few other languages in Sulawesi. This is related to the history the sociaty of those small islands who were sailors from Sulawesi. Kangean Island people speak kangean language, people think that Kangean language similar to Madurese, but Madurese do not understand Kangean language.
Kangan Island inhabitants are developed already, numerous youngsters graduated from universities in Java.
Kangean derives from ‘Ka-aengan’ (Madurese) means soaked by water. When tide low, this island can be seen from distance and when tide high it is soaked by water, that’s why the island is called with kangean. By Sumenep kings, in the past, this island was the island to exile for people who did a big crime. As Kangean is important producers of fish, akar bahar, rocks, woods, and crops. People from Sumenep, or other islands such as Kalimantan and Sulawesi moved to this island. Kangean is a relatively new island inhabited that they dont recognize Hindu religion.
In Dutch colonial era, this island was ignored by Dutch. In 1763, Dutch officials came to the island, in 1798 again Dutch officials came for a case of civil conflicts in Kangean caused by hunger that government officers killed by civilians.
There is a cave in Kangean, Gua Kuning. People considered Gua Kuning as the meditation cave of Putri Kuning, mother of Jaka Thole.
There us a grave located in one of small island in Kangean. This island is Mamburit Island and the grave is called as Bhuju’ Mamburit. According to Kangeanese, the grave is where the head of Sajid buried. Sajid known as an ullema disseminated Islam who was casted ashore. His body was gone.
In Dutch period, Sapeken Island was included in Kangean was the producers of fish in Madura, beside also produced kopra, and woods. Kangean was the only place in Madura produced Boschwezen, during colonial time. There were workers from Java worked in Boschwezen, called as Tambajangan. Dutch also gave permit to a formosa named Khan Tian Ting to establish a company to produce charcoal, the biggest company of charcoal in Madura ever.