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Adonara Island - STS008.jpg
Adonara, viewed from the Space Shuttle, 1983. The eruption plume from stratovolcano Ili Boleng is visible.
Nusa Tenggara Timur.png
LocationLesser Sunda Islands
ArchipelagoSolor Archipelago
Area529.75 km2 (204.54 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,659 m (5443 ft)
ProvinceEast Nusa Tenggara
Population126,469 (2020 Census)
Pop. density238.7/km2 (618.2/sq mi)

Adonara is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, located east of the larger island of Flores in the Solor Archipelago. To the east lies Lembata, formerly known as Lomblen. Adonara is the highest of the islands of the archipelago, reaching an altitude of 1,659 metres, and it has an area of 529.75 km2.[1] It is situated in the East Flores Regency of East Nusa Tenggara province.


The island is divided into eight districts (kecamatan), tabulated below with their areas (in km2) and their populations at the 2010 Census [2] and 2020 Census.[3]

Name Area
in km2
Adonara Barat
(West Adonara)
79.71 11,743 13,529 18 86263
Wotan Ulu Mado 86.31 7,871 9,968 12 86260
Adonara Tengah
(Central Adonara)
42.73 10,686 13,312 13 86264
Adonara Timur
(East Adonara)
91.06 26,161 30,299 21 86261
Ile Boleng 49.30 13,958 17,416 21 86253
Witihama 79.43 14,140 17,460 16 86266
Kelubagolit 44.41 10,210 12,650 12 86265
Adonara (a) 56.80 9,745 11,835 8 86262
Total Island 529.75 104,514 126,469 121

Note: (a) Adonara District covers only the northern part of Adonara Island ("Adonara Utara").


Local history on Adonara is documented from the sixteenth century, when Portuguese traders and missionaries established a post on the nearby island of Solor. By that time Adonara and the surrounding islands were ritually divided between a population of coastal dwellers known as Paji, and a population mainly settling the mountainous inland called Demon. The Paji were susceptible to Islam, while the Demon tended to fall under Portuguese influence. The Paji areas on Adonara contained three principalities, namely Adonara proper (centered on the north coast of the island), and Terong and Lamahala (on the south coast). Together with two principalities on Solor (Lohayong and Lamakera), they constituted a league called Watan Lema ("the five shores"). The Watan Lema allied with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1613, confirmed in 1646. The Adonara principalities had frequent feuds with the Portuguese in Larantuka on Flores, and were not always obedient to the Dutch authorities. In the course of the nineteenth century, the ruler of Adonara (proper) in the north strengthened his position in the Solor Archipelago; by then, he was also the overlord of parts of eastern Flores and Lembata. The Demon areas stood under the suzerainty of the principality of Larantuka, which in turn was under Portuguese rule until 1859, when it was ceded to the Netherlands. The principalities of Larantuka and Adonara (proper) were abolished by the Indonesian government in 1962. Some post-independence local officials trace their roots to past rulers, called raja, of Adonara (proper). These include:

A map of Adonara made in 1911


Adonara Island is a part of the Indonesian regency of East Flores. It can be reached by airplane from Jakarta to Kupang, then by ferry to Larantuka, then by boat.

The administrative centre of Adonara is the town of Waiwerang.


  1. ^ Monk, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 8. ISBN 962-593-076-0.
  2. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  3. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.


  • P. Arndt (1938), 'Demon und Padzi, die feindlichen Brüder des Solor-Archipelags', Anthropos 33.
  • Robert H. Barnes (1995), 'Lamakera, Solor: Ethnohistory of a Muslim Whaling Village of Eastern Indonesia', Anthropos 90.
  • Robert H. Barnes (2004), 'The murder of Sengaji Begu: A turning point in Dutch involvement in the Solor Archipelago', Masyarakat Indonesia 30:2
  • Benno M. Biermann (1924), 'Die alte Dominikanermission auf den Solorinseln', Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft 14.
  • Arend de Roever (2002), De jacht op sandelhout: De VOC en de tweedeling van Timor in de zeventiende eeuw. Zutphen: Walburg Pers.

Coordinates: 8°15′S 123°09′E / 8.250°S 123.150°E / -8.250; 123.150