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(məlŭk`əz, mō–) or

Spice Islands,

Bahasa Indonesia Maluku, Du. Molukken, island group and prov. (1990 pop. 1,856,075), c.32,300 sq mi (83,660 sq km), E Indonesia, between Sulawesi and New Guinea. The capital of the province is Ambon, on Ambon island. The group's many islands include HalmaheraHalmahera
or Jailolo
, island (1990 pop. 138,000), c.7,000 sq mi (18,100 sq km), E Indonesia, between New Guinea and Sulawesi, on the equator. The largest of the Moluccas and irregular in shape, it consists of two intersecting mountain ranges (rising to c.
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 (the largest), SeramSeram,
formerly Ceram
, island, c.6,600 sq mi (17,100 sq km), E Indonesia, W of New Guinea, second largest of the Moluccas; also called Seran or Serang. Its chief port and town is Masohi. Traversed by a central mountain range rising to 9,905 ft (3,019 m) at Mt.
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, Buru, AmbonAmbon
, island, c.300 sq mi (775 sq km), E Indonesia, one of the Moluccas, in the Banda Sea. It is mountainous, well watered, and fertile. Corn and sago are produced, and hunting and fishing supplement the diet.
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, TernateTernate
, volcanic island (c.40 sq mi/100 sq km), E Indonesia, in the Molucca Sea, one of the Moluccas. Forested and mountainous, the nearly conical Ternate rises to the summit of Gamalama, or the Peak of Ternate (5,627 ft/1,715 m), the volcano whose flanks form the entire
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, and Tidore and the AruAru Islands
or Aroe Islands
, group of about 95 low-lying islands, 3,306 sq mi (8,563 sq km), E Indonesia, in the Moluccas, in the Arafura Sea, SW of New Guinea. The largest island is Tanahbesar; Dobo, the chief port of the group, is on Wamar, just off Tanahbesar.
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 and KaiKai Islands
or Kei Islands
, island group (c.550 sq mi/ 1,420 sq km), E Indonesia, SE of Seram, in the Banda Sea, in the Moluccas. It is densely forested with valuable timber; the people are skilled boat builders. The chief island is Great Kai.
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 island groups. Of volcanic origin, the Moluccas are mountainous, fertile, and humid. They are the original home of nutmeg, mace, and cloves. Other spices, copra, and forest products are also produced. Sago is the staple food.

The islands were visited by the Portuguese in c.1512 and thereafter colonized by them; they established a trading center at Ternate. In the 17th cent. they were taken by the Dutch, who secured a monopoly in the clove trade. Twice the British gained a foothold in the islands, which passed definitively to the Dutch in the first quarter of the 19th cent. Local separatists declared a Southern Moluccas republic following Indonesia's independence, but they were crushed. The separatist movement experienced a resurgence following President Suharto's fall from power (1998). The islands have been the scene of Muslim-Christian violence in recent years.


See I. Burnet, Spice Islands (2011).

References in periodicals archive ?
As we noted above, the formal and systematic regulation of race and ethnic relations was adopted in response to the Moluccan uprising; not only did this culminate in official ethnic minoritiesf policy but it also laid the foundations of formal ethnic studies within the universities.
Activists for the Moluccan independence movement had filed seven requests against President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Legacies of the Authoritarian Past: Religious Violence in Indonesia's Moluccan Islands.
3) was once owned by Sir Maziere Brady, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who was to be axiomatic in the formation of the national art collection; it shows a brightly coloured scarlet macaw accompanied by a salmon-crested Moluccan cockatoo and a green ring-necked parakeet in a garden setting.
Quite removed from any action by the United States, wherever there are Muslims in contact with non-Muslims, whether in Nigeria, Southern Thailand, Mindanao, Celebes, the Moluccan Islands of Indonesia or Bali and Lombok--all places that have nothing to do with U.
The first of the three is the story of Bikkia's journey through captivity and the learning of the English language in determination of reuniting with her mate in The Moluccan Manuscript.
Chapter 3 provides readings of two plays by John Fletcher, Bonduca, set in an ancient Britain beset by Roman invaders, and Massinger's The Island Princess, which involves the intervention of Portuguese colonialists in the Moluccan spice island kingdoms of Tidore and Ternata.
And if a British naval commander, like Captain Sir Edward Belcher, could attack a group of "pirates" who later turned out to be Moluccan colonial police, then how can characterizations of "pirates" by him and by other British naval commanders be trusted?
Lynne Archer said she believed Moluccan cockatoo Chukie worth EUR4,000 and e1,000 African parrot Max had been specifically targeted.
Indonesia is also having to deal with separatism and other forms of unrest in Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi, the Moluccan Islands, and Irian Jays (New Guinea).
1977: Dutch marines stormed a train at Assen where South Moluccan terrorists held 55hostages: In May 13, South Moluccan terrorists seized 55 hostages on board a train travelling between Rotterdam and Groeningen in Holland.