Based on analysis of prehistoric objects found (such as complex sarcophagus, decorated stoneware, machetes, and axes), shows that West Nusa Tenggara had previously been inhabited by people who come from Southeast Asia.
The natives in this region is called the Sasak people, most of whom live on the island of Lombok. Meanwhile, on the island of Sumbawa are also natives consisting of two groups, namely ethnic Sumbawa (Samawa) and Bima. However, with the wave of migrants from Bali, Makassar, Java, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara, the indigenous people entered the farm and then stay in the interior.
The existence of this region can not be separated from the heyday of Majapahit Empire in the 14th century who conquered all the kingdoms both located on the island of Lombok and Sumbawa. In the book Negarakertagama by Empu Prapanca in 1365, it was written that West Lombok was named Lombok Mirah and East Lombok was named Sasak Adi, Taliwang, Dompo (Dompu), Sape, Sanghyang Fire, Bhima (Bima), Seram (Seran) and Hutan Kedali (Utan).
In the early reign of the kings in West Nusa Tenggara, the influence of Hinduism is very strong. It can not be separated from the influence of the Majapahit empire expansion into the region. But with the collapse of the Majapahit kingdom makes the influence of Hinduism began to decrease with the onset of the influence of Islam in the coastal communities.
The advent of the Demak Sultanate in Central Java has huge impact on the spread of the teachings of Islam in the West Nusa Tenggara. The influence of Islam in the West Nusa Tenggara are generally brought by the Malays. The influence of Islam in Bima can not be separated from the support of King I Maliingkaang Daeng-Mannyonriq of Makassar, which was then known as Karaeng Matoaya which plays an important role in the spread of Islam in the region.
The influence of Islam in the Bima Sultanate emerged since the reign of King Manuru Salehi around 1605 and began to grow rapidly during the reign of King Abdul Kahir . King Abdul Kahir is also known as the Sultan of Bima I, because he is the king who first embraced Islam in Bima, so it is considered as a separator with previous Bima king who embraced Hinduism. Islam became the official religion of the Kings in West Nusa Tenggara.
The Europeans who first came to the land of Nusa Tenggara is the Portuguese who landed on the island of Solor and Timor 1605. At the same time the Dutch have also come to the island Hitu and Ambon in Maluku. The first Dutch ship who entered the area is the Ter Ver which docked in Kupang in 1611. The arrival of the Dutch led to a long dispute between the Portuguese and the Dutch in Nusa Tenggara. The Dutch provide assistance to the local kings who resisted to the Portuguese. The Netherlands then expand its influence in Nusa Tenggara, to perform a variety of agreements with small kings around the island of Sumbawa.
The penetration of the Dutch colonial administration that was so strong in Indonesia are increasingly bringing real impact on the survival of Indonesian society in general. One result is very broad, in the eastern part of Indonesia, the Sultanate of Gowa began to decline in its supremacy 17th century. Gowa nobility who do not submit to the colonial government fled from Makassar and build pockets of resistance in West Nusa Tenggara. To face such resistance, the colonial government began to concentrate power in the Nusa Tenggara Barat. This is reinforced by the emergence of Lombok as international trade traffic, so the desire of the Dutch to rule West Nusa Tenggara directly become apparent.
Faced with such a situation, the Dutch colonial government sent Stephen van Hegen for a close look at the Bima situation in 1660. The arrival of the Dutch influence political and economic situation in this area. In 1669, under the Government of the Kingdom of Bima led by Sultan Ambela Abdul Khair Sirajuddin, held a peace and friendship ties with the colonial government with the contents of the agreement as follows:The Sultanate of Bima and Dompu will not attack Makassar
To keep the peace, only members of the Dutch East India Company may be visiting the area Bima
Bima and Makassar will not make any contact at all.
Foreign traders from Europe, India, Java, Malaya, Arabic, Aceh, and Champa must not engage in trade with Bima, except by special permit from the Dutch East India Company.
The agreement with the Sultan of Bima and Dompu must recognize the existence of the Dutch colonial. Since then, the Netherlands seeks to consolidate its control by blocking the Bima port to prevent the arrival of aid from Makassar or other foreign countries. The effort was done so that the existing port in Bima and Lombok Island is considered to be strategic not fall into British hands.
The Dutch supremacy in the region are very strong, causing the king and the people in the region can not move freely. This condition has become worse with the eruption of Mount Tambora on April 5, 1815, which shook the entire region and the consequences could be felt throughout the Moluccas, Java, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Kalimantan. Mount Tambora's eruption resulted in the disappearance of the two kingdoms, namely Tambora and Papekat. More than 10,000 people were killed.
The existence of the status of the province, the West Nusa Tenggara not come by itself. The struggle demanded the formation of West Nusa Tenggara province took place over quite a long time. West Nusa Tenggara province, previously had been part of the State of East Indonesia in the conception of the Republic of Indonesia States, and be part of the small Sunda province after recognition of Indonesian sovereignty.
Along with the dynamics and after some time the process of changing the constitutional system after the proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia, then formed province of West Nusa Tenggara. The province, formally gain the status of the province as they are now, since 1958, started from the enactment of Law No. 64 of 1958 Date August 14, 1958 on the Establishment of Regions Autonomous of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara, and the first Governor of the province is AR. Moh. Ruslan Djakraningrat.
West Nusa Tenggara has landscape that can be divided into two kinds. The first is the island of Lombok with the coastline fairly straight, with central to the eastern part in the form of mountains and the eastern coastal lowlands form. The second is the Sumbawa island with squiggly coastlines because of the many headlands and bays, with the central part is covered with hills and limestone mountains
Selong (capital of East Lombok Regency) is a city that has the highest altitude, which is 148 m above sea level, while the lowest Raba at 13 m above sea level. Of the seven mountains on the island of Lombok, Mount Rinjani is the highest mountain with an altitude of 3,775 m, while Mount Tambora on Sumbawa is the highest mountain with an altitude of 2,851 m.
As other parts of Indonesia, the climate in NTB also has a tropical climate. Based on statistics from the meteorological institute, the maximum temperature in 2001 ranged from 30.9 ° - 32.1 °C and minimum temperature ranged between 20.6 ° - 24.5 & degC. The highest temperatures occur in September and the lowest is in November. As the tropics, NTB has an average relative humidity is high, which is between 48-95%.
West Nusa Tenggara has relatively little rainfall compared to the western region of Indonesia. Maximum rainfall in the province occurs in January and minimum rainfall occurs in August.
The area of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) has a very beautiful natural scenery, be it the mountains or the beach. This has caused many tourists from other parts of Indonesia and other countries to flock the province due to its stunning scenery.
In addition to the panorama of beautiful tourist attraction, food crops and horticulture are developed and cultivated by the community profitable for farmers, among others, are: soybean, peanut, corn, green beans, peppers, onion, mango, banana and pineapple. In addition to the nine kinds of commodities in the regions, other horticultural commodities that can be developed are potatoes, carrots, apples, and grapes.
As for fisheries, NTB Divide into 3 areas of fisheries development, namely:The island of Lombok, with a priority on the development of marine aquaculture and freshwater fisheries, brackish water aquaculture (ponds), catching public waters;
The western part of Sumbawa Island priority on the development of brackish water aquaculture (ponds), mariculture, arrest, public waters and freshwater aquaculture;
Eastern part of Sumbawa Island with priority on the development of catching, mariculture, public waters, and freshwater aquaculture.
West Nusa Tenggara is one of the major manufacturers and suppliers of livestock and seeds to the needs of various regions in Indonesia. The carrying capacity of livestock-based agribusiness development, among others, the potential availability of cattle in quality and quantity, land resources, and fodder, support all production, pet patterns as a group, are non communicable diseases as well as the bank still has domestic and export markets. NTB cow is a kind of Bali cattle, which included leading commodity NTB and has domestic and export markets. In addition to cows and buffaloes, and other supporting commodities are pigs, goats and horses, chickens, and ducks.
The province is administratively divided into eight regencies (kabupaten) and two municipalities (kotamadya), listed below with their areas and their populations at the 2010 Census and at the latest (2014) Estimates:
The Indonesian Government is currently considering the division of Nusu Tenggara Barat Province to create a separate Sumbawa Island province. There is no information as to whether the remaining part of the present province (i.e. the districts comprising Lombok Island) would then be renamed.
Lombok is mainly inhabited by the Sasak ethnic group, with a minority Balinese population, and Sumbawa is inhabited by Sumbawa and Bima ethnic groups. Each of these groups has a local language associated with it as well. The population of the province was 4,496,855 (at the 2010 census); 70.4% of the population lives on Lombok (at the 2010 census), which has only 22.9% of the area. The latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,702,389. The province is considered to be one of the least developed of Indonesia's 33 provinces. In 2005, Nusa Tenggara Barat was reported as the most affected area for malnutrition and kwashiorkor. Life expectancy in Nusa Tenggara Barat amounting to only 54 years is the lowest in Indonesia (69 years) and infant mortality rate is the highest.