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The MALUKU ISLANDS or the MOLUCCAS (/məˈlʌkəz/ ) are an archipelago within Indonesia
Indonesia
. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera
Halmahera
Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone . Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi , west of New Guinea
New Guinea
, and north and east of Timor
Timor
.

The islands were known as the SPICE ISLANDS due to the nutmeg , mace and cloves that were originally exclusively found there, and the presence of these sparked colonial interest from Europe in the 16th century.

The Maluku Islands
Maluku Islands
formed a single province from Indonesian independence until 1999, when it was split into two provinces. A new province, North Maluku
North Maluku
, incorporates the area between Morotai and Sula , with the arc of islands from Buru and Seram
Seram
to Wetar remaining within the existing Maluku Province
Maluku Province
. North Maluku
North Maluku
is predominantly Muslim, and its capital is Sofifi on Halmahera
Halmahera
island. Maluku province has a larger Christian population, and its capital is Ambon . Though originally Melanesian , many island populations, especially in the Banda Islands , were exterminated in the 17th century during the spice wars . A second influx of Austronesian immigrants began in the early twentieth century under the Dutch and continues in the Indonesian era.

Between 1999 and 2002, conflict between Muslims and Christians killed thousands and displaced half a million people.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Administrative divisions

* 3 History

* 3.1 Early history * 3.2 Portuguese * 3.3 Dutch * 3.4 After Indonesian independence * 3.5 1999–2003 inter-communal conflict

* 4 Geology and geography * 5 Biota and environment * 6 Climate * 7 Demographics * 8 Economy * 9 See also

* 10 References

* 10.1 Notes * 10.2 General

* 11 Further reading * 12 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The name _Maluku_ is thought to have been derived from the term used by Arab traders for the region, _Jazirat al-Moluk_ ("the island of the kings"), from the word malik (pl. moluk) . However, since the name itself has been mentioned in a 14th-century Majapahit
Majapahit
eulogy, Nagarakretagama , that predates the arrival of Islam
Islam
in Maluku at the late fifteenth century, other sources claim that the name is come from local language which means _the head of a bull_ or _the head of something large_.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

The Maluku Islands
Maluku Islands
were a single province from Indonesian independence until 1999 when they were split into North Maluku
North Maluku
and Maluku .

North Maluku
North Maluku
province includes Ternate
Ternate
(the former site of the provincial capital), Tidore , Bacan , Halmahera
Halmahera
(the largest of the Maluku Islands) Morotai , the Obi Islands , and the Sula Islands .

HISTORY

Map by Willem Blaeu (1630)

EARLY HISTORY

Arab merchants began to arrive in the 14th century, bringing Islam
Islam
. Peaceful conversion to Islam
Islam
occurred in many islands, especially in the centres of trade, while aboriginal animism persisted in the hinterlands and more isolated islands. Archaeological
Archaeological
evidence here relies largely on the occurrence of pigs' teeth, as evidence of pork eating or abstinence therefrom.

PORTUGUESE

Drawing of Ternate
Ternate
by a presumably Dutch artist. Inset shows Saint John Baptist Portuguese-built fort on the island

The most significant lasting effects of the Portuguese presence was the disruption and reorganization of the Southeast Asian trade, and in eastern Indonesia—including Maluku—the introduction of Christianity. The Portuguese had conquered the city state of Malacca in the early 16th century and their influence was most strongly felt in Maluku and other parts of eastern Indonesia. After the Portuguese annexed Malacca
Malacca
in August 1511, one Portuguese diary noted 'it is thirty years since they became Moors
Moors
' - giving a sense of the competition then taking place between Islamic and European influences in the region.

Afonso de Albuquerque
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, Francisco 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
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 nor 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
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
Ternate
became an expanding, fiercely Islamic and anti-European state under the rule of Sultan Baab Ullah (r. 1570–1583) and his son Sultan Said.

Following Portuguese missionary work, there have been large Christian communities in eastern Indonesia
Indonesia
through to contemporary times, which has contributed to a sense of shared interest with Europeans, particularly among the Ambonese. By the 1560s there were 10,000 Catholics in the area, mostly on Ambon, and by the 1590s there were 50,000 to 60,000. The central and southern parts of Maluku are populated by a majority of Christians. Fort Duurstede in Saparua , 1846

DUTCH

Main articles: Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
and Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies

The Dutch arrived in 1599 and competed with the Portuguese in the area for trade. Tanimbar warriors

AFTER INDONESIAN INDEPENDENCE

With the declaration of a single republic of Indonesia
Indonesia
in 1950 to replace the federal state, a Republic of South Maluku (Republik Maluku Selatan, RMS) was declared and attempted to secede. and led by Chris Soumokil (former Supreme Prosecutor of the Eastern Indonesia
Indonesia
state) and supported by the Moluccan members of the Netherlands
Netherlands
special troops. This movement was defeated by the Indonesian army and by special agreement with the Netherlands
Netherlands
the troops were transferred to the Netherlands. The commencement of Indonesian transmigration of (mainly Javanese) populations to the outer islands (including Maluku) during the 1960s is thought to have aggravated independence and issues of religious / ethnic politics. There has been occasional ethnic and nationalist violence on the islands.

Maluku is one of the first provinces of Indonesia, proclaimed in 1945 until 1999, when the Maluku Utara and Halmahera
Halmahera
Tengah Regencies were split off as a separate province of North Maluku
North Maluku
. Its capital used to be Ternate
Ternate
, on a small island to the west of the large island of Halmahera
Halmahera
, but has been moved to Sofifi on Halmahera
Halmahera
itself. The capital of the remaining part of Maluku province remains at Ambon .

1999–2003 INTER-COMMUNAL CONFLICT

Main article: Maluku sectarian conflict

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.

GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY

Map of Wallacea ; upper right corner facing North. The red line denotes the western border of Wallacea. The eastern border corresponds to the light Australia- New Guinea
New Guinea
shelf.

The Maluku Islands
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
Halmahera
and Seram
Seram
are sparsely populated, while the most developed, Ambon and Ternate
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 Binaya (3027 m) on Seram
Seram
is the highest mountain. A number of islands, such as Ternate
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. Ternate
Ternate
Island , as seen from Halmahera
Halmahera

The geology of the Maluku Islands
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
Maluku Islands
comprise some of the most geologically complex and active regions in the world, resulting from its position at the meeting point of four geological plates and two continental blocks.

BIOTA AND ENVIRONMENT

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
Java
or Sumatra
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
Maluku Islands
has fascinated naturalists for centuries; Alfred Wallace 's book, _The Malay Archipelago
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
Timor
. In 1997 the Manusela National Park , and in 2004, the Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park , were established, for the protection of endangered species. _ The Malay Archipelago
Archipelago
_ by Alfred Wallace (1869), king and twelve-wired birds-of paradise.

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
Halmahera
and Seram. North Maluku
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
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 observations about small islands that can be applied to the Maluku Islands
Maluku Islands
include:

* a higher proportion of the landmass will be affected by volcanic activity , earthquakes, landslips, and cyclone damage; * Climates are more likely to be maritime influenced; * Catchment areas are smaller and degree of erosion higher; * A higher proportion of the landmass is made up of coastal areas; * A higher degree of environmental specialisation, including a higher proportion of endemic species in an overall depauperate community; * Societies may retain a strong sense of culture having developed in relative isolation; * Small island populations are more likely to be affected by economic migration.

CLIMATE

Central and southern Maluku Islands
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.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Moluccans People of Tidore during visit by hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19)

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 mixed to form local pidgin dialects of Ternatean and Ambonese, 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. Austronesian peoples added to the native Melanesian population around 2000 BCE. Melanesian features are strongest in the islands of Kei and Aru and amongst the interior people of Seram
Seram
and Buru islands. Later added to this Austronesian- Melanesian mix were Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch descent. More recent arrivals include Bugis trader settlers from Sulawesi and Javanese transmigrants .

ECONOMY

Cloves and nutmeg are still cultivated, as are cocoa, coffee and fruit. Fishing is a big industry across the islands but particularly around Halmahera
Halmahera
and Bacan . The Aru Islands produce pearls, and Seram exports lobsters . Logging is a significant industry on the larger islands with Seram
Seram
producing ironwood and teak and ebony are produced on Buru.

SEE ALSO

* Maluku culture * List of Maluku Governors

* Indonesia
Indonesia
portal

REFERENCES

NOTES

* ^ "Welcome to Maluku". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 11 April 2017. * ^ IRJA.org Archived 14 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). _A History of Modern Indonesia
Indonesia
Since c.1300, 2nd Edition_. London: MacMillan. p. 24. ISBN 0-333-57689-6 . * ^ Andaya, Leonard Y. (1993). _The world of Maluku : eastern Indonesia
Indonesia
in the early modern period_. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1490-8 . * ^ Monk, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). _The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku_. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 7. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ Lape, PV. (2000). _Contact and Colonialism in the Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia_; Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Bulletin 20 (Melaka Papers, Vol.4); "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-23. , p. 2–3 * ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). _A History of Modern Indonesia
Indonesia
Since c.1300, 2nd Edition_. London: MacMillan. p. 26. ISBN 0-333-57689-6 . * ^ Lach, DF. (1994) _Asia in the Making of Europe: The Century of Discovery (Vol 1)_, Chicago University Press * ^ E. C. Abendanon and E. Heawood (December 1919). "Missing Links in the Development of the Ancient Portuguese Cartography of the Netherlands
Netherlands
East Indian Archipelago". _The Geographical Journal_. Blackwell Publishing. 54 (6): 347–355. JSTOR 1779411 . doi :10.2307/1779411 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Ricklefs, M. C. (1991). _A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition_. London: MacMillan. p. 25. ISBN 0-333-57689-6 . * ^ "Troubled history of the Moluccas". BBC News. 26 June 2000. Retrieved 2007-05-17. * ^ Monk, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). _The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku_. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 9. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ _K_ _L_ _M_ Witton, Patrick (2003). _Indonesia_. Melbourne: Lonely Planet. p. 818. ISBN 1-74059-154-2 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Monk (1996), page 9 * ^ Monk,, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). _The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku_. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 9. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ Monk,, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). _The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku_. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 4. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Monk,, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). _The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku_. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ Beller, W., P. d'Ayala, and P. Hein. 1990. _Sustainable development and environmental management of small islands._ Paris and New Jersey: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation and Parthenon Publishing Group Inc.; Hess, A, 1990. Overview: sustainable development and environmental management of small islands. In _Sustainable development and environmental management of small islands._ eds W. Beller, P. d'Ayala, and P. Hein, Paris and New Jersey: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation and Parthenon Publishing Group Inc. (both cited in Monk) * ^ Taylor, Jean Gelman (2003). _Indonesia: Peoples and Histories_. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. pp. 5–7. ISBN 0-300-10518-5 .

GENERAL

* Andaya, Leonard Y. (1993). _The World of Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period_. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0-8248-1490-8 . * Bellwood, Peter (1997). _Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian archipelago_. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0-8248-1883-0 . * Donkin, R. A. (1997). _Between East and West: The Moluccas and the Traffic in Spices Up to the Arrival of Europeans_. American Philosophical Society. ISBN 0-87169-248-1 . * Milton, Giles (1999). _Nathaniel's Nutmeg_. London: Sceptre. ISBN 978-0-340-69676-7 . * Monk, Kathryn A., Yance De Fretes, Gayatri Reksodiharjo-Lilley (1997). _The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku_. Singapore: Periplus Press. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * Van Oosterzee, Penny (1997). _Where Worlds Collide: The Wallace Line_. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-8497-9 . * Wallace, Alfred Russel (2000; originally published 1869). _The Malay Archipelago_. Singapore: Periplus Press. ISBN 962-593-645-9 .

FURTHER READING

* George Miller (editor), _To The Spice Islands And Beyond: Travels in Eastern Indonesia_, Oxford University Press, 1996, Paperback, 310 pages, ISBN 967-65-3099-9 * Severin, Tim _The Spice Island Voyage: In Search of Wallace_, Abacus, 1997, paperback, 302 pages, ISBN 0-349-11040-9 * Bergreen, Laurence _Over the Edge of the World_, Morrow, 2003, paperback, 480 pages * Muller, Dr. Kal _Spice Islands: The Moluccas_, Periplus Editions, 1990, paperback, 168 pages, ISBN 0-945971-07-9

EXTERNAL LINKS

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