The largest town on the island is the main port of Waingapu, with a population of about 52,755.
The landscape is low, limestone hills, rather than the steep volcanoes of many Indonesian islands. There is a dry season from May to November and a rainy season from December to April. The western side of the island is more fertile and more heavily populated than the east.
Sumba has a highly stratified society based on castes. This is especially true of East Sumba, whereas West Sumba is more ethnically and linguistically diverse.
The Sumbanese people speak a variety of closely related Austronesian languages and have a mixture of Austronesian and Melanesian ancestry. The largest language group is the Kambera language, spoken by a quarter of a million people in the eastern half of Sumba.
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