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(sä`bə), island (1990 est. pop. 1,100), 5 sq mi (13 sq km), a special municipality of the Netherlands, one of the NW Leeward Islands, West Indies. It was formerly part of the Netherlands AntillesNetherlands Antilles,
former autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisting of several islands in the West Indies. Earlier known as the Dutch West Indies and Netherlands West Indies, the island country consisted of Bonaire and Curaçao, both lying off
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. The rugged island is actually the cone of an extinct volcano rising to c.2,800 ft (850 m). Spiral roads winding up through steep cliffs and lush greenery make Saba a scenic island, but there are no sheltered harbors, and landing is difficult. The chief settlement, called The Bottom, is in the crater of the volcano. The Dutch settled the island in 1632.


see ShebaSheba,
biblical name of a region, called in Arabic Saba, of S Arabia, including present-day Yemen and the Hadhramaut. Its inhabitants were called Sabaeans or Sabeans. According to some passages in Genesis and First Chronicles, Sheba, a grandson of Noah's grandson Joktan, was the
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the name of the tribal union of the Sabaean people; also, the name of the Sabaean state, the kingdom of Saba, which was located in southern Arabia, in what is now the Yemen Arab Republic.

Some indirect evidence suggests that the Saba tribal union existed as early as the tenth century B.C.; however, the Sabaean state arose no later than the eighth century B.C. The city of Marib was the residence of the rulers—mkrbs and kings—of the kingdom of Saba.

According to classical authors, the kingdom of Saba was an important trade intermediary between India and Qataban, Ha-dhramaut, the countries of the east coast of Africa, and the Mediterranean states. In the middle of the first millennium B.C., it subjugated all the other states of southern Arabia. In the beginning of the first century B.C., a considerable part of the kingdom was conquered by the Himyarite kingdom. Late in the second century A.D., the combined forces of Saba, Aksum, and Hadhramaut routed the Himyarite army and made the Himyarite kingdom a dependency of Saba. In the early fourth century, the lands of the kingdom of Saba passed to the Himyarite state, and the kingdom ceased to exist.


A plant (Musa sapientum var. compressa) that is common in the Philippines; the fruit is a cooking banana.
A textile made from fibers of the saba plant.


1. an island in the NE Caribbean, in the Netherlands Antilles. Pop.: 2498 (2004 est.). Area: 13 sq. km (5 sq. miles)
2. another name for Sheba (sense 1)
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