Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world with more than 250.000.000 people --- There are 316 ethnic groups which speak 670 dialects in Indonesia --- There are 17.508 islands in Indonesia, which is the largest Archipelago in the world and only 6.000 of them have a name with only 1.000 are inhabited --- If you could spend only 1 day on each island of Indonesia, you would need 48 years to see all of them? (Transportation between islands not counted) --- Indonesia has the longest coastline in the world, with 100.000 kms long --- Indonesia is probably the last country in the world, which has still unexplored territories, and is not completly mapped? (specially around Irian Jaya) --- There are about 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, and 150 out of them are active, which represents 75% of all active volcano on the planet


Travelling to Banda Naira Island

Banda Naira A Spice Island Teeming With History
Text and Photos by Sari Widiati

The island's beauty has attracted notables such as Mick Jagger, Francis Ford Coppola and Sarah Fergusson.

A Ship Cross the Gunung Api Banda
When the Portuguese landed at Banda in 1611, they thought they were the first to discover the Spice Islands. Actually, the Moros had been trading there for over a hundred years. And like the Portuguese, when the Moros first set foot on Banda, they thought they were the first ones there. But from talking with Chinese residents of Banda, they learned the Chinese had been trading at Banda for 600 years before that. This means that since the early tenth century AD, Banda Naira has attracted the world's nations to compete for nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans), the island's main commodity, which has been known since the days of the Roman Empire.

This brief excerpt is from the book "History of Banda Naira" by Des Alwi – a native son and witness to history, and the best reference to the history of these islands lying southeast of Ambon. But it's even better if you come and see for yourself, because Banda Naira is certainly worth visiting. Much of the nation's history was carved out here, and its natural beauty is breathtaking.

Other nations knew these islands in Maluku as the "Spice Islands" because they were the world's main source of nutmeg, mace and cloves (Syzygium Aromaticum). Starting in the 15th century, for four centuries the Portuguese, the British and the Dutch fought for control of the trade.

The Banda Naira island chain in the province of Maluku stretches through the Banda Sea and comprises Naira, Banda Besar, Gunung Api, Ai, Run, Hatta (Rosengain), Sjahrir (Pulau Pisang), Nailaka, Manukang (Pulau Suanggi), and Pulau Karaka. (The last three are uninhabited.) In his book, Des Alwi tells an important historic tale about Pulau Run.

On 31 December 1601, Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to the Honourable East India Company (Gentlemen Adventurers Company Limited) for their first journey to the Moluccas. In her instructions, she declared that the United Kingdom consisted of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Run Island – Britain's first colony anywhere in the world, long before India, America or any other places in Asia.

In 1621, the Dutch defeated the British in nearly all the Banda islands, except for Run.

Kora-kora competition
The Dutch wanted to completely control all the islands and expel the British. They only succeeded after persuading the British to exchange Run for a Dutch colony on the east coast of North America'– New Amsterdam, whose original Indian name was Manahatta, now better known as Manhattan, or New York City. This was finally agreed in the Breda Treaty of 1667.

You can imagine how important Run must have been in those days, though things have certainly changed. Manhattan is a world-famous metropolis with billions of dollars of transactions every hour, while Run is isolated and mostly unheard of.

1 Komentar:

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