|Location||Southeast Asia and Oceania|
|Major islands||Halmahera, Seram, Buru, Ambon, Ternate, Tidore, Aru Islands, Kai Islands, Lucipara Islands|
|Area||78,897 km2 (30,462 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,027 m (9931 ft)|
|Ethnic groups||Alfur, Nuaulu, Bugis|
The Maluku Islands ( /, / ; Indonesian: Kepulauan Maluku) or the Moluccas ( // ) are an archipelago in the east of 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 as a geographical and cultural intersection of 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 unclear and has been a matter of debate for many experts.
The first recorded word that can be identified with Maluku comes from Nagarakretagama, an Old Javanese eulogy of 1365. Canto 14 stanza 5 mentioned Maloko, which Pigeaud identified with Ternate or Moluccas. : 17 : 34
A theory holds that Maluku comes from the name Moloko Kie Raha or Moloku Kie Raha. In Ternate language, raha means "four", while kie here means "mountain". Kie raha or "four mountains" refers to Ternate, Tidore, Bacan, and Jailolo (the name Jailolo has been used in the past to refer to Halmahera island), all of which have their own kolano (a local title for kings). It is unclear what the meaning of Moloko or Moloku is. One possible meaning is in Ternate language, it meant "to hold or grasp", in which case Moloko Kie Raha could be understood to mean "Confederation of the Four Mountains". Another possibility is that the word originates from the word maloko, which is a combination of the particle ma- and the root loko in North Halmahera languages means variety of words relating to location of mountains, in which case "Maloko Kie Raha" in the phrase "Ternate se Tidore, Moti se Mara Maloko Kie Raha" means "Ternate, Tidore, Moti, and Mara the place of the four mountains” or with the shifting of pronunciation of loko towards luku, means "Ternate, Tidore, Moti, and Mara the world of the four mountains".
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. [ 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. Remnants of Majapahit expeditions were also found in oral as well as archaeological sites. Example of oral history includes story from Letvuan, Kai Kecil island, of a Balinese envoys of Gajah Mada by the name of Kasdev, his wife Dit Ratngil, and eight of their children. Archaeological sites of ancient tombs were found in Sorbay bay south of Letvuan seemed to support the story as well as some cultural practices of Kei of Balinese origin, other archaeological finds in Kei islands include Shiva statue from Kei Besar island. Another oral story was of 14th century Majapahit expedition to Negeri Ema, Ambon Island, by an envoy named Nyi Mas Kenang Eko Sutarmi alongside 22 of her retinues, and a spear bearer trying to form alliance and trading relationship with Negeri Ema's leader by the name of Kapitan Ading Adang Anaan Tanahatuila. The meeting was facilitated by Malessy Soa Lisa Maitimu, however it failed to reach agreement. As Sutarmi failed, she decided to stay in exile while her retinues settled and married locals of Ema, and her spear bearer settled on the coast but was killed later by Gunung Maut troops. Archaeological finds relating to this expedition include a water source with Sun symbols with nine rays, and heirlooms of spears and Totobuang kept by Maitimu family and village office of Negeri Ema, alongside many potteries.Other archaeological finds showed possible Arab merchants began to arrive in the fourteenth century, bringing Islam. The conversion to Islam occurred in many islands,
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; the Portuguese-Ternate wars raged throughout the reigns 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 in course of Dutch–Portuguese War 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 ] 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 ] Some refugees also went to the Netherlands where, decades later, they precipitated in the 1975 Dutch train hostage crisis.
Maluku is one of the first provinces of Indonesia, proclaimed in 1945 and lasting 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 (330,000 sq mi), 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 (3,027 m, 9,931 ft) on Seram is the highest mountain. A number of islands, such as Ternate (1,721 m, 5,646 ft) 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 feral 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 (86 °F) while the wet's average maximum is 23 °C (73 °F). 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.
The population of Maluku Province in 2020 was 1,848,923 and that of North Maluku Province was 1,282,937.Hence the total population of the Maluku Islands as a region in 2020 was 3,131,860.
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
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.
The Maluku Islands are divided into two provinces: Maluku and North Maluku.
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, and the official estimate as at mid 2021 was 1,299,177.
Seram is the largest and main island of Maluku province of Indonesia, despite Ambon Island's historical importance. It is located just north of the smaller Ambon Island and a few other adjacent islands, such as Saparua, Haruku, Nusa Laut and the Banda Islands.
The Barat Daya Islands are a group of islands in the Maluku province of Indonesia. The Indonesian phrase barat daya means 'south-west'.
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. The official estimate as at mid 2021 was 1,862,626. 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.
Ternate is a city in the Indonesian province of North Maluku and an island in the Maluku Islands. It was the de facto provincial capital of North Maluku before Sofifi on the nearby coast of Halmahera became the capital in 2010. It is off the west coast of Halmahera, and is composed of eight islands: Ternate, the biggest and main island of the city, and Moti, Hiri, Tifure, Mayau, Makka, Mano, and Gurida. In total, the city has a land area of 162.17 square kilometres and had a total population of 185,705 according to the 2010 census, and 205,001 according to the 2020 census, with a density of 1,264 people per square kilometre. It is the biggest and most densely populated city in the province, is the economic, cultural, and education center of North Maluku, and acts as a hub to neighbouring regions. It was the capital of the Sultanate of Ternate in the 15th and 16th centuries, and fought against the Sultanate of Tidore over control of the spice trade in the Moluccas before becoming a main interest to competing European powers.
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.
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 possible 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.
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.
The Sultanate of Tidore was a sultanate in Southeast Asia, centered on Tidore in the Maluku 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 Sultanate of Bacan was a state in Maluku Islands, present-day Indonesia that arose with the expansion of the spice trade in late medieval times. It mainly consisted of the Bacan Islands but had periodical influence in Ceram and the Papuan Islands. It fell under the colonial influence of Portugal in the 16th century and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) after 1609. Bacan was one of the four kingdoms of Maluku together with Ternate, Tidore and Jailolo, but tended to be overshadowed by Ternate. After the independence of Indonesia in 1949, the governing functions of the sultan were gradually replaced by a modern administrative structure. However, the sultanate has been revived as a cultural entity in present times.
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 Oranje is a 17th-century Dutch fort on the island of Ternate in Indonesia.
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.
Fort Kastela is a ruined Portuguese fortress located at the southwest coast of Ternate. It is famous for being the first colonial fortification constructed in the Spice Islands (Maluku) of Indonesia. Built by the Portuguese in 1522, it is also referred to in different languages as São João Baptista de Ternate or Fortaleza de Ternate (Portuguese), Ciudad del Rosario (Spanish) or Gammalamma. Today it is locally known as Kastella/Kastela.
The Sultanate of Jailolo was a premodern state in Maluku, modern Indonesia that emerged with the increasing trade in cloves in the Middle Ages. Also spelt Gilolo, it was one of the four kingdoms of Maluku together with Ternate, Tidore, and Bacan, having its center at a bay on the west side of Halmahera. Jailolo existed as an independent kingdom until 1551 and had separate rulers for periods after that date. A revivalist Raja Jailolo movement made for much social and political unrest in Maluku in the 19th century. In modern times the sultanate has been revived as a symbolic entity.
The Portuguese–Ternate wars were a series of conflicts in the Spice Islands in eastern Indonesia between the Portuguese colonizers and their allies on one hand, and the Sultanate of Ternate and its allies, on the other. Hostilities broke out from time to time after the establishment of Portugal in Maluku in 1522, and culminated in an open war from 1570 to 1575, resulting in the expulsion of the Portuguese from Ternate and most of the Spice Islands. The strongly Catholic and Muslim identities of the combatants gave the struggle elements of a war of religion, although this aspect was frequently blurred by cross-faith alliances. It was also an economic war since the Portuguese aim was to control export of the profitable trade in cloves. Portuguese-Ternatan rivalry later merged with attempts of expansion by the Spanish in the Philippines. The Portuguese were eventually defeated in 1605 by an alliance between the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and Ternate, ending their active involvement in Maluku affairs. However, they were soon replaced by the Spanish who maintained an Iberian presence in the region up to 1663.
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.