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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 ?
This encourages confidence in the antiquity of edge-ground shell adzes recovered from across the Philippines, Moluccas and in Melanesia.
Here I am alluding, for example, to the disconnection of the Islamic world (as I have suggested, from Morocco to the Philippines, passing through Tunisia and Egypt, through Iraq and its center in Baghdad, Afghanistan, the Mogul empire in India, the commercial sultanates of Indochina, and the Moluccas or Spice Islands) due in part to its disruption by Portuguese colonialism and to the indifference of mercantilism and of Arab culture with regard to the use of oceanic navigation (initiated in the context of modernity by China, which discovered the Americas, Africa, and Australia beginning in the early 14th century).
gt; THE TRAGEDY OF HMS NEPTUNE: PAGES 22&23 HEROES MAKE POIGNANT TRIP This year, the Java Far East Prisoners of War Club 1942 received an award of pounds 21,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's Heroes Return 2 programme to help survivors make a poignant return to the Moluccas Islands of Ambon and Haruku in Indonesia.
Indigenous groups in the southern Moluccas, particularly on Ambon island, have long agitated for the creation of an independent Republic of the Southern Moluccas (RMS).
Protestant Church in the Moluccas (GPM) [indonesia]
NUTMEG originated from Moluccas in Indonesia and in earlier times was exported to India.
The tree originated in the Moluccas Islands off the coast of Malaysia, but is now cultivated in Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vietnam; Cambodia; Burma; the Philippines; Central America; Puerto Rico; other Caribbean islands; and in tropical areas of the United States.
The notorious Mecca-based Muslim World League heavily financed with Saudi money funded radical Islamic groups such as the Laskar Jihad which was responsible for the death of thousands of Christians in the Moluccas.
Key is the early Jesuits' love for the Church: Ignatius through an ecclesiology that emerged during his pilgrim period and became concrete in the Spiritual Exercises; Faber in his experience of and struggle against the different and foreboding outcomes of the Protestant Reformation, especially in Germany; and Xavier as he traveled to India, Goa, Malacca, the Moluccas Islands, and Japan and endeavored to arrive at some resolution with differing manners of worshiping God.
We have also succeeded during these last few years to consolidate the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia: a peaceful Aceh, a stable Papua, and restful Moluccas, Poso, Sampit.
They have a very wide distribution in the wild, stretching from Indonesia - the Moluccas and Papua New Guinea, to northern, eastern and south eastern Australia.
A second force, with the large battleships Yamato and Musashi, came north from Batjan in the Moluccas and rendezvoused with Ozawa in the Philippine Sea.