There really was an island called Mompracem

Mompracem - the island of freedom

"My Mompracem!…", he said (Sandokan) with a voice non translatable, "on this island I have left my heart."

(Original: “La mia Mompracem!...” - disse con accento intraducibile. “Vi ho lasciato il cuore su quell’isola.” - Emilio Salgari: Sandokan alla Riscossa)

Mompracem - this is the place of longing, not only for Sandokan, but also for many Salgaris readers who want to go where their imaginations can run free. Many readers have wondered if this island really exists. Mompracem has become a symbol and Sandokan is unthinkable without his island, the island of freedom. In the course of Salgari's eleven Sandokan novels, this island is lost to enemies several times and must be reconquered. Sandokan's entourage, all battle-hardened men, begin to howl when Sandokan tries to give up the island to settle elsewhere with his beloved Marianna. Marianna realizes that there is no point in separating Sandokan from Mompracem. So Mompracem is very, very important. It was not without reason that I named my homepage Mompracem, and therefore a more detailed answer to the question of whether the island existed is now given.

According to Emilio Salgari, the island of Mompracem is the adopted home of Sandokan and his followers, who are called "tigrotti" ("young tigers") by Salgari. Sandokan settled on this island after being expelled from his actual home, Marudu, and from Mompracem he fought against the European colonialists and the natives allied with them.

This is how Mompracem has become the ultimate symbol of freedom..

t remains unclear whether the historic Sandokan settled on this island after the fall of Marudu, but the existence of Mompracem is confirmed on old maps.

It is drawn there between Labuan and Brunei and was considered an extremely important point of orientation for seafarers. The name "Mompracem" appears for the first time on Portuguese maps of the 16th century and persists in several spelling variants until the 19th century, when the same island is listed as "Keraman" (or: Kuraman), but etymologically both names mean the same .

I published an article about it in 2013:

Gerlich, Bianca: “Finding the Island Mompracem. The Problem of Mapping the Northwest Coast of Borneo from 16th to 20th Century. ”In: Oriente Moderno, Volume 93, Issue 1, January 1, 2013. pp. 32-78.

For the island of Mompracem you can find information about the history of its cartography, the meaning of its name, the current situation and of course pictures of it.

Song "Mompracem Viva" from the film "Sandokan alla riscossa", in which Sandokan has to recapture the island of Mompracem.