the general name for a group of nationalities and tribes inhabiting the northern part of Halmahera Island and neighboring smaller islands in Indonesia. The North Halmaherans, who number more than 220,000 (1974, estimate), speak various North Halmaheran languages and Indonesian. Most profess Islam, some are Christians, and others preserve ancient traditional beliefs. The highest level of social development has been achieved by the inhabitants of Temate, Tidore, and Bacan, among whom the first sultanates emerged in the 16th century. Among the Galela, Tobelo, Loda, and other peoples, the communal clan system is breaking down.
Some North Halmaherans engage in land cultivation, the chief crops being root crops, sago and coconut palms, and spices. Other occupations include fishing, swine breeding (among non-Muslims), and poultry raising. Some North Halmaherans collect forest produce. Weaving and pottery-making are practiced. Boatbuilding is widespread and commercial shipping is well developed.