|Location||Oceania, Southeast Asia|
|Major islands||Halmahera, Seram, Buru, Ambon, Ternate, Tidore, Aru Islands, Kai Islands, Lucipara Islands|
|Area||74,505 km2 (28,767 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,027 m (9931 ft)|
|Provinces|| Maluku |
|Ethnic groups||Alfur, Nuaulu, Bugis|
The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas ( // ) (Molukken) are an archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north and east of Timor. Lying within Wallacea (mostly east of the biogeographical Weber Line), the Maluku islands have been considered part of both Asia and Oceania.
The islands were known as the Spice Islands because of the nutmeg, mace and cloves that were exclusively found there, the presence of which sparked colonial interest from Europe in the sixteenth century.
The Maluku Islands formed a single province from Indonesian independence until 1999, when it was split into two provinces. A new province, North Maluku, incorporates the area between Morotai and Sula, with the arc of islands from Buru and Seram to Wetar remaining within the existing Maluku Province. North Maluku is predominantly Muslim, and its capital is Sofifi on Halmahera island. Maluku province has a larger Christian population, and its capital is Ambon. Though originally Melanesian, [ citation needed ]many island populations, especially in the Banda Islands, were massacred in the seventeenth century during the Dutch–Portuguese War, also known as The Spice War. A second influx of immigrants primarily from Java began in the early twentieth century under the Dutch and continues in the Indonesian era, which has also caused a lot of controversy as the Transmigrant programs have done so and even thought to have led to the Maluku Riots.
Between 1999 and 2002, conflict between Muslims and Christians killed thousands and displaced half a million people.
The etymology of the word Maluku is not very clear, and it has been a matter of debate for many experts.A common theory says that the term Maluku originates from the Arabic phrase Jaziratul Muluk (جزيرة الملوك), which means "Country of the Kings" (muluk is the plural form of malik, which means king). Thus the kingless Ambon archipelago, the Banda archipelago and island groups to the south were at that time not included in the original sense of the term. The name has been mentioned in the fourteenth-century Majapahit eulogy, Nagarakretagama by the local language with the meaning "the head of a bull" or "the head of something large". Though there is speculation that Majapahit writers sourced their name from the Arabic name. However, the term is known in texts from the 14th century, before there was likely any significant Arab influence, putting this etymology in doubt.
Another idea is the name Maluku comes from the concept of “Maluku Kie Raha”.“Raha” means four, while “kie” here means mountain. referring to 4 mountains of Ternate, Tidore, Bacan, and Jailolo (Halmahera) which have their own kolano (title for local kings). Therefore the Maluku can come from: “Moloku” here means to grasp or hold. However the root word “loku” comes from local malay creole word for a unit, therefore not an indigenous language. Using these the meaning of “Moloku Kie Raha” is “confederation of four mountain”. The other idea is the word “Maloko” which is a combination of “Ma” whish is for support and “Loko” refer to area, which combining the words. The phrase “Maloko Kie Raha” means “the place/world which have four mountains”. In tamil language pepper mean "milaku", possible its named after tamil trader for spicy.
The Maluku Islands were a single province from Indonesian independence until 1999 when they were split into North Maluku and Maluku.
North Maluku province includes Ternate (the former site of the provincial capital), Tidore, Bacan and Halmahera (the largest of the Maluku Islands).
Australo-Melanesians were the first people to inhabit the islands at least 40,000 years ago, and then a later migration of Austronesian speakers around 2000 BC. Arab merchants began to arrive in the fourteenth century, bringing Islam. The conversion to Islam occurred in many islands,[ citation needed ] especially in the centres of trade, while aboriginal animism persisted in the hinterlands and more isolated islands. Archaeological evidence here relies largely on the occurrence of pigs' teeth, as evidence of pork eating or abstinence therefrom.
In August 1511 the Portuguese conquered the city-state of Malacca. The most significant lasting effects of the Portuguese presence were the disruption and reorganization of the Southeast Asian trade, and in eastern Indonesia—including Maluku—the introduction of Christianity.
One Portuguese diary noted 'it is thirty years since they became Moors'.
Afonso de Albuquerque learned of the route to the Banda Islands and other 'Spice Islands', and sent an exploratory expedition of three vessels under the command of António de Abreu, Simão Afonso Bisigudo and Francisco Serrão.On the return trip, Serrão was shipwrecked at Hitu island (northern Ambon) in 1512. There he established ties with the local ruler who was impressed with his martial skills. The rulers of the competing island states of Ternate and Tidore also sought Portuguese assistance and the newcomers were welcomed in the area as buyers of supplies and spices during a lull in the regional trade due to the temporary disruption of Javanese and Malay sailings to the area following the 1511 conflict in Malacca. The spice trade soon revived but the Portuguese would not be able to fully monopolize or disrupt this trade.
Allying himself with Ternate's ruler, Serrão constructed a fortress on that tiny island and served as the head of a mercenary band of Portuguese seamen under the service of one of the two local feuding sultans who controlled most of the spice trade. Both Serrão and Ferdinand Magellan, however, perished before they could meet one another.
The Portuguese first landed in Ambon in 1513, but it only became the new centre for their activities in Maluku following the expulsion from Ternate. European power in the region was weak and Ternate became an expanding, fiercely Islamic and anti-European state under the rule of Sultan Baab Ullah (r. 1570–1583) and his son Sultan Saidi Berkat (r. 1583-1606).
Following Portuguese missionary work, there have been large Christian communities in eastern Indonesia through to contemporary times, which has contributed to a sense of shared interest with Europeans, particularly among the Ambonese.
The Dutch arrived in 1599 and competed with the Portuguese in the area for trade.The Dutch East India Company allied with the Sultan of Ternate and conquered Ambon and Tidore in 1605, expelling the Portuguese. A Spanish counterattack from the Philippines restored Iberian rule in parts of North Maluku up to 1663. However the Dutch monopolized the production and trade in spices through a ruthless policy. This included the genocidal conquest of the nutmeg-producing Banda Islands in 1621, the elimination of the English in Ambon in 1623, and the subordination of Ternate and Tidore in the 1650s. An anticolonial resistance movement led by a Tidore prince, the Nuku Rebellion, engulfed large parts of Maluku and Papua in 1780-1810 and co-opted the British. During the French Revolutionary Wars and again in the Napoleonic Wars, British forces captured the islands in 1796-1801 and 1810, respectively, and held them until 1817. In that time they uprooted many of the spice trees for transplantation throughout the British Empire.
With the declaration of a single republic of Indonesia in 1950 to replace the federal state, a Republic of South Maluku (Republik Maluku Selatan, RMS) was declared and attempted to secede.[ citation needed ] and led by Chris Soumokil (former Supreme Prosecutor of the Eastern Indonesia state) and supported by the Moluccan members of the Netherlands special troops. This movement was defeated by the Indonesian army and by special agreement with the Netherlands the troops were transferred to the Netherlands.[ citation needed ]
Maluku is one of the first provinces of Indonesia, proclaimed in 1945 until 1999, when the Maluku Utara and Halmahera Tengah Regencies were split off as a separate province of North Maluku. Its capital used to be Ternate, on a small island to the west of the large island of Halmahera, but has been moved to Sofifi on Halmahera itself. The capital of the remaining part of Maluku province remains at Ambon.[ citation needed ]
Religious conflict erupted across the islands in January 1999. The subsequent 18 months were characterized by fighting between largely local groups of Muslims and Christians, the destruction of thousands of houses, the displacement of approximately 500,000 people, the loss of thousands of lives, and the segregation of Muslims and Christians.
The Maluku Islands have a total area of 850,000 km2, 90% of which is sea. There are an estimated 1027 islands. The largest two islands, Halmahera and Seram are sparsely populated, while the most developed, Ambon and Ternate are small.
The majority of the islands are forested and mountainous. The Tanimbar Islands are dry and hilly, while the Aru Islands are flat and swampy. Mount Binaiya (3027 m) on Seram is the highest mountain. A number of islands, such as Ternate (1721 m) and the TNS islands, are volcanoes emerging from the sea with villages sited around their coasts. There have been over 70 serious volcanic eruptions in the last 500 years and earthquakes are common.
The geology of the Maluku Islands share much similar history, characteristics and processes with the neighbouring Nusa Tenggara region. There is a long history of geological study of these regions since Indonesian colonial times; however, the geological formation and progression is not fully understood, and theories of the island's geological evolution have changed extensively in recent decades.The Maluku Islands comprise some of the most geologically complex and active regions in the world, resulting from their position at the meeting point of four geological plates and two continental blocks.
Biogeographically, all of the islands apart from the Aru group lie in Wallacea, the region between the Sunda Shelf (part of the Asia block), and the Arafura Shelf (part of the Australian block). More specifically, they lie between Weber's Line and Lydekker's Line, and thus have a fauna that is rather more Australasian than Asian. Malukan biodiversity and its distribution are affected by various tectonic activities; most of the islands are geologically young, being from 1 million to 15 million years old, and have never been attached to the larger landmasses. The Maluku islands differ from other areas in Indonesia; they contain some of the country's smallest islands, coral island reefs scattered through some of the deepest seas in the world, and no large islands such as Java or Sumatra. Flora and fauna immigration between islands is thus restricted, leading to a high rate of endemic biota evolving.
The ecology of the Maluku Islands has fascinated naturalists for centuries; Alfred Wallace's book, The Malay Archipelago , was the first significant study of the area's natural history, and remains an important resource for studying Indonesian biodiversity. Maluku is the subject of two major historical works of natural history by Georg Eberhard Rumphius: the Herbarium Amboinense and the Amboinsche Rariteitkamer.
Rainforest covered most of northern and central Maluku, which, on the smaller islands has been replaced by plantations, including the region's endemic cloves and nutmeg. The Tanimbar Islands and other southeastern islands are arid and sparsely vegetated, much like nearby Timor. [ citation needed ]In 1997 the Manusela National Park, and in 2004, the Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park, were established, for the protection of endangered species.
Nocturnal marsupials, such as cuscus and bandicoots, make up the majority of the mammal species, and introduced mammals include Malayan civets and wild pigs.Bird species include approximately 100 endemics with the greatest variety on the large islands of Halmahera and Seram. North Maluku has two species of endemic birds of paradise. Uniquely among the Maluku Islands, the Aru Islands have a purely Papuan fauna including kangaroos, cassowaries, and birds-of-paradise.
While many ecological problems affect both small islands and large landmasses, small islands suffer their particular problems. Development pressures on small islands are increasing, although their effects are not always anticipated. Although Indonesia is richly endowed with natural resources, the resources of the small islands of Maluku are limited and specialised; furthermore, human resources in particular are limited.
General observationsabout small islands that can be applied to the Maluku Islands include:
Central and southern Maluku Islands experience the dry monsoon between October to March and the wet monsoon from May to August, which is the reverse of the rest of Indonesia. The dry monsoon's average maximum temperature is 30 °C while the wet's average maximum is 23 °C. Northern Maluku has its wet monsoon from December to March in line with the rest of Indonesia. Each island group have their own climatic variations, and the larger islands tend to have drier coastal lowlands and their mountainous hinterlands are wetter.
Maluku's population is about 2 million, less than 1% of Indonesia's population.
Over 130 languages were once spoken across the islands; however, many have now switched to the creoles of Ternate Malay and Ambonese Malay, the lingua franca of northern and southern Maluku, respectively.
A long history of trade and seafaring has resulted in a high degree of mixed ancestry in Malukans. BCE. Melanesian features are strongest in the islands of Kei and Aru and amongst the interior people of the islands Seram and Buru. Later added to this Austronesian-Melanesian mix were some Indian and Arab strain. More recent arrivals include Bugis trader settlers from Sulawesi and Javanese transmigrants.Austronesian peoples added to the native Melanesian population around 2000
Cloves and nutmeg are still cultivated, as are cocoa, coffee and fruit. Fishing is a big industry across the islands but particularly around Halmahera and Bacan. The Aru Islands produce pearls, and Seram exports lobsters. Logging is a significant industry on the larger islands with Seram producing ironwood and teak and ebony are produced on Buru.
The Banda Islands are a volcanic group of ten small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea, about 140 km (87 mi) south of Seram Island and about 2,000 km (1,243 mi) east of Java, and constitute an administrative district (kecamatan) within the Central Maluku Regency in the Indonesian province of Maluku. The islands rise out of 4-to-6-kilometre deep ocean and have a total land area of approximately 172 square kilometres (66 sq mi). They had a population of 18,544 at the 2010 Census and 20,924 at the 2020 Census. Until the mid-19th century the Banda Islands were the world's only source of the spices nutmeg and mace, produced from the nutmeg tree. The islands are also popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling. The main town and administrative centre is Bandanaira, located on the island of the same name.
The Bacan Islands, formerly also known as the Bachans, Bachians, and Batchians, are a group of islands in the Moluccas in Indonesia. They are mountainous and forested, lying south of Ternate and southwest of Halmahera. The islands are administered by the South Halmahera Regency of North Maluku Province. They formerly constituted the Sultanate of Bacan.
North Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It covers the northern part of the Maluku Islands, bordering the Pacific Ocean to the north, the Halmahera Sea to the east, the Molucca Sea to the west, and the Seram Sea to the south. The provincial capital is Sofifi on the largest island of Halmahera, while the largest city is the island city of Ternate. The population of North Maluku was 1,038,087 in the 2010 census, making it one of the least-populous provinces in Indonesia, but by the 2020 Census the population had risen to 1,282,937.
The Barat Daya Islands are a group of islands in the Maluku province of Indonesia. The Indonesian phrase barat daya means 'south-west'.
Rinca, also known as Rincah, Rindja, and Rintja, is a small island near Komodo and Flores island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, within the West Manggarai Regency. It is one of the three largest islands included in Komodo National Park. The island is famous for Komodo dragons, giant lizards that can measure up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) long. Rinca is also populated with many other species such as wild pigs, buffalos and many birds.
Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It comprises the central and southern regions of the Maluku Islands. The main city and capital of Maluku province is Ambon on the small Ambon Island. The land area is 62,946 km2, and the total population of this province at the 2010 census was 1,533,506 people, rising to 1,848,923 at the 2020 Census. Maluku is located in Eastern Indonesia. It is directly adjacent to North Maluku and West Papua in the north, Central Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi in the west, Banda Sea, East Timor and East Nusa Tenggara in the south and Arafura Sea and Papua in the east.
Tidore is a city, island, and archipelago in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia, west of the larger island of Halmahera. Part of North Maluku Province, the city includes the island of Tidore together with a large part of Halmahera Island to its east. In the pre-colonial era, the Sultanate of Tidore was a major regional political and economic power, and a fierce rival of nearby Ternate, just to the north.
Geologically, the Sunda Shelf is a southeast extension of the continental shelf of Southeast Asia. Major landmasses on the shelf include the Java, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Madura, Bali and their surrounding smaller islands. It covers an area of approximately 1.85 million km2. Sea depths over the shelf rarely exceed 50 metres and extensive areas are less than 20 metres resulting in strong bottom friction and strong tidal friction. Steep undersea gradients separate the Sunda Shelf from the Philippines, Sulawesi, and the Lesser Sunda Islands.
Alfur, Alfurs, Alfuros, Alfures, Alifuru or Horaforas people is a broad term recorded at the time of the Portuguese seaborne empire to refer all the non-Muslim, non-Christian peoples living in inaccessible areas of the interior in the eastern portion of Maritime Southeast Asia.
Francisco Serrão was a Portuguese explorer and a cousin of Ferdinand Magellan. His 1512 voyage was the first known European sailing east past Malacca through modern Indonesia and the East Indies. He became a confidant of the Sultan Bayan Sirrullah, the ruler of Ternate, becoming his personal advisor. He remained in Ternate where he died around the same time Magellan died.
Pamana Island is a small island off Rote Island in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province of Lesser Sunda Islands, and the southernmost point of Asia. It lies exactly on latitude 11°S. Administratively this island is part of Rote Ndao Regency. It borders the Ashmore and Cartier Islands to the south.
Moyo is an island in Indonesia's West Nusa Tenggara province. It is off the north coast of Sumbawa Island, and has an area of 349 km2. Moyo Island is located in Sumbawa Regency within the Nusa Tenggara province, just north of Sumbawa. The island has an area of 32,044 hectares, about 8° south of the equator. The island is proposed as part of Moyo Satonda National Park along with Satonda Island.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a colonial presence in what is now Indonesia. Their quest to dominate the source of the spices that sutained the lucrative spice trade in the early 16th century, along with missionary efforts by Roman Catholic orders, saw the establishment of trading posts and forts, and left behind a Portuguese cultural element that remains in modern-day Indonesia.
Continental crustal fragments, partially synonymous with microcontinents, are pieces of continents that have broken off from main continental masses to form distinct islands and often several hundred kilometers from their place of origin. Continental fragments include some seamounts and underwater plateaus.
The Sultanate of Ternate, previously also known as The Kingdom of Gapi is one of the oldest Muslim kingdoms in Indonesia besides Tidore, Jailolo, and Bacan. The Ternate kingdom was established by Momole Cico, the first leader of Ternate, with the title Baab Mashur Malamo, traditionally in 1257. It reached its Golden Age during the reign of Sultan Baabullah (1570–1583) and encompassed most of the eastern part of Indonesia and a part of southern Philippines. Ternate was a major producer of cloves and a regional power from the 15th to 17th centuries.
Sultanate of Tidore was a sultanate in Southeast Asia, centered on Tidore in the Spice Islands. It was also known as Duko, its ruler carrying the title Kië ma-kolano. Tidore was a rival of the Sultanate of Ternate for control of the spice trade, and had an important historical role as binding the archipelagic civilizations of Indonesia to the Papuan world.
The Treaty of Zaragoza, also called the Capitulation of Zaragoza was a peace treaty between Castile and Portugal, signed on 22 April 1529 by King John III of Portugal and the Castilian emperor Charles V, in the Aragonese city of Zaragoza. The treaty defined the areas of Castilian and Portuguese influence in Asia, in order to resolve the "Moluccas issue", which had arisen because both kingdoms claimed the Maluku Islands for themselves, asserting that they were within their area of influence as specified in 1494 by the Treaty of Tordesillas. The conflict began in 1520, when expeditions of both kingdoms reached the Pacific Ocean, because no agreed meridian of longitude had been established in the Orient.
Fort Tolukko is a small fortification on the east coast of Ternate facing Halmahera. It was one of the colonial forts built to control the trade in clove spices, which prior to the eighteenth century were only found in the Maluku Islands. It has been variously occupied by the Portuguese, the native Ternate Sultanate, the Dutch, the British and the Spanish. It was abandoned as a fort in 1864, renovated in 1996, and is now a tourist attraction.
The Lesser Sunda Islands are an archipelago in Maritime Southeast Asia, north of Australia. Together with the Greater Sunda Islands to the west they make up the Sunda Islands. The islands are part of a volcanic arc, the Sunda Arc, formed by subduction along the Sunda Trench in the Java Sea.
But the economic importance of the Bandas was only fleeting. With the Napoleonic wars raging across Europe, the British returned to the Bandas in the early 19th century, temporarily taking over control from the Dutch. The English uprooted hundreds of valuable nutmeg seedlings and transport them to their own colonies in Ceylon and Singapore, breaking the Dutch monopoly and consigning the Bandas to economic decline.
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