The Portuguese reached Maluku in 1511, but the Dutch, who arrived in 1599, colonized the region later. Once known as the Mollucas, the famed Spice Islands, were once fought over by Indian, Arab, Chinese and later European traders.
Maluku Province is blessed with fabulous sea gardens, idyllic, tropical beaches and spectacular landscapes rich with an enormous variety of endemic plant and animal species. The forest-coated mountains of the islands are home to brilliantly colored king fishers, the red-crested Mollucan cockatoo, and many multi-colored lorikeets and parrots. There are over 1,000 islands in the province most of which are uninhabited, 90% of Maluku is water, which flows over one of the world’s most active volcanic belt. Maluku is also remarkable in that it lies across the most visible zone of transition between Asian and Australian fauna and flora, and also because of its Malay-based cultures of western Indonesia and Melanesia. Forts scattered all over the islands stand as reminders of Maluku’s history, when in the 16th and 17th centuries Europeans established their influence and powered in the region. They also left their mark on many other aspects of life in the islands including music, dance and religion, making the local culture a fascinating blend of east and west.
The main gateway into Maluku is through the provincial capital of Ambon, which is served by regular flights to most parts of the archipelago. Air and sea transportation connects the islands themselves together very well with 79 seaports and 25 airports. Good roads on many of the islands provide easy access to the more remote interest places. Further to the east, is a torrid land rising from the sea with snowcaps covering 5,000 meter-high mountain peaks, towering over glacier lakes and some of the most impenetrable jungles in the world. The land is Papua, which is Indonesia’s largest and most eastern province. It is a land of exceptional natural splendor, with beautiful scenic beaches, immense stretches of marshlands, cool grassy meadows and powerful rivers cutting gorges and tunnels through dark, dense primeval forests
The people of the island can be divided into more than 250 sub-groups, which are closely related to the islands along the southern rim of the Pacific and include among others, the Marind-anim, Yah’ray, Asmat, Mandobo, Dani and Afyat. Those in the central highlands still preserve their customs and traditions and, because communications have always been difficult here, different tribes have lived for centuries in isolation of each other for the most part, resulting in an incredibly diverse cultures and languages mixture. Jayapura Provincial capital is built on hills that slope down to the sea and is accessible by boat and plane. It was here in fact, that General MacArthur assembled his fleet for the invasion of the Philippines during the Second World War, remains of which can still be found.
Maluku people have been sailors and traders for thousands of years. The earliest archaeological evidence of human occupation of the region is about thirty-two thousand years old, but the evidence of even older settlements in Australia may mean that Maluku had earlier visitors. The evidence of increasingly long-distance trading relationships and of more frequent occupation of many islands, begins about ten to fifteen thousand years later. Onyx beads and segments of silver plate used as currency on the Indian subcontinent around 200BC have been unearthed on some of the islands. In addition, local dialects employ derivations of the Malay word then in use for ‘silver’, in contrast to the term used in wider Melanesian society, which has etymological roots in Chinese, a consequence of the regional trade with China that developed in the 500s and 600s.
Although the cultures varied across this dispersed group of islands, there is a sense in which the Moluccas were a cosmopolitan society, in that traders from across the region took residence in Moluccan settlements, or in nearby enclaves, to conduct the spice business. Arab and Chinese traders frequently visited or lived in the region.
In 1513 the Portuguese landed on Ambon Island, which produced some cloves, but also played an entropy role in the region. A Portuguese fort and a degree of security followed, helped by a buffer of indigenous Christian converts who were settled about the fort and formed the nucleus of what became Ambon city (the current capital of Maluku province). But the Portuguese presence on Ambon Island was regularly challenged by attacks from indigenous Muslims on the island’s northern coast, in particular Hitu, which had trading and religious links with major port cities on Java’s north coast. Indeed, the Portuguese never managed to control the spices local trade, and failed in attempts to establish their authority over Banda Island, the nearby centre of nutmeg production. The Spaniards took control of Ternate and Tidore. While the Roman Catholicism slowly spread among the Ambon native population (for a time the missionary Saint Francis Xavier who resided in Ambon) most of the region remained as Moslems
The Dutch arrived empts to monopolize their traditional trade. After the Ambonese helped in 1599 and reported indigenous discontent with Portuguese at the Dutch to construct a fort at Hitu Larna, the Portuguese begun a campaign of retribution against, which the Ambonese invited Dutch aid. After 1605 Frederik Houtman became the first Ambon Dutch governor.
The Dutch East-India Company was a company with three obstacles in its way: the Portuguese, controlling the aboriginal populations, and the British. Again smuggling would be the only alternative to a European monopoly. Among other events in 17th century, the Bandanese attempted independent trade with British, the East-India Company’s response was to decimate the native population of Banda Islands sending the survivors fleeing to other islands and installing slave labors.
Though other races re-settled the Banda Islands, the rest of Maluku remained uneasy under foreign control and even after the Portuguese had a new trading station at Macassar there were native revolts in 1636 and 1646. Under the company control northern Maluku had administered by Dutch residency of Ternate, and the southern by “Amboyna” (Ambon).
During the Japanese occupation in World War II, the Moluccans fled to the mountains but begun a campaign of resistance also known as the South Mollucan Brigade. After the war’s end the island’s political leaders had successful discussions with the Netherlands about independence. Complicated by Indonesian demands, the Round Table Conference Agreements were signed in 1949 transferring Maluku to Indonesia with mechanisms for the islands to choose or opt out of the new Indonesia. The Agreements granted Moluccans the right to determine their ultimate sovereignty.
With the declaration of a unitary republic of Indonesia in 1950 to replace the federal state, South Maluku attempted to secede. This movement was led by Ch. Soumokil (former Supreme Prosecutor of the Eastern Indonesia State) and supported by the Moluccan members of the Netherlands special troops. Lacking support from the locals, this movement was crushed by Indonesian army and by the special agreement with Netherlands the troops were transferred to Netherlands.
Maluku is one of the first Indonesia provinces, proclaimed in 1945 until 1999, when North Maluku and Central Halmahera Regencies were split off as a separate province of North Maluku. Its capital is Ternate, on a small island to the west of the large Halmahera Island. The capital of Maluku province remains at Ambon.
The beach that across to Namalatu Beach is has coral form till the beach. If see the beach when it has ebb, it will present a beautiful nature scenery that cannot enjoyed in other beach. This beach has become the icon for they who like to Snorkeling, diving, swimming and sunbathing.
There is coral stone that has cap form in this tourism object. The interesting point is the beautiful scenery when it is sunrise.
This museum was built in 8 September 1973. The collections in this museum are the historic objects of Maluku. This location is often used to hold a Maluku culture attraction such as, arts, crafting, etc. If the tourists want to get Maluku souvenirs, they can get it, because there are many sellers who sell souvenirs.
The location with 400 meters width has a lot of coconut trees and corals with beautiful scenery in front of the Banda Sea. This Beach has many corals and fast water flow.
This tourism object is located in Latulahat village. The panorama in this beach that has white sand is so beautiful and has been visited by many visitors. Usually, they have swimming, sunbathing or walking arround.
Felawatu Beach is located in Airlouw village, or about 15 km from the downtown. The visitors will feel forbear to stay in this beach, because it has beautiful panorama and soft wind. It also has coconut tree that very green and fresh.
Pintu Kota is a big coral that looks like a gate and stay at Banda Sea. This tourism object is located in Airlaow village and Seri Village. The uniquely of this is the specific coral form.
Gotong Royong Market in the harbor area is slowly being replaced by sanitized setting of a newly built Merdeka market. Shopping along Patty Street of the market, look for framed montages from shaped pieces of mother of pearl, ‘ikat’ cloth from Taimbar and miniature ships cleverly made from wire and cloves. At the end of Patty Street, there is the Al Fatah Mosque.