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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Spice Islands), a group of islands in the eastern Malay Archipelago, in Indonesia, lying between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Area, 83,700 sq km. Population, approximately 1 million (1971, estimate). The Moluccas extend from north to south and southeast for 1,300 km. The largest islands are Halmahera, Ceram, and Buru. The islands are mountainous, with elevations reaching 3,019 m on Mount Binaija in Ceram, and are located in a seismic zone with frequent earthquakes. There are numerous volcanoes, including about ten active ones. Natural resources include deposits of tin, gold, and petroleum.

The climate is equatorial, except in the south, where it is subequatorial. The temperature along the coast fluctuates between 25° and 27°C. The lower slopes receive between 800 mm and 2,000 mm of precipitation annually, and the higher slopes, 4,000 mm or more. Equatorial forests of palms, Ficus, dipterocarps, and bamboo occupy more than 80 percent of the territory, giving way to deciduous and coniferous species above 1,200 m. Thickets of shrubs, tree ferns, and alang-alang grow profusely in the lowlands. The fauna includes both East Asian and Australian species, such as marsupials of the family Phalangeridae, bats, cassowaries, birds of paradise, crocodiles, boas, and tree frogs. Important agricultural products are sago, coconuts, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. The largest city and port is Ambon on the island of Ambon.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
[T]he Alfuros are described by Wallace as an island people who resemble the people of Papua and New Guinea rather than the Malays" (Batchelor 421n179) This name was given by the Malays to all the non-Islamic peoples in the eastern portion of the Malay Archipelago--in parts of Celebes and the Moluccas. (Hampson 398n68) [A] Malay name for non-Islamic peoples living in eastern parts of the Malay Archipelago, including Celebes and the Moluccas.
The Indonesian seismological institute, which put the tremor at 6.7 magnitude, issued a tsunami alert via local television and radio after the earthquake hit around six miles under the Molucca Sea, the US Geological Survey said.
David Bundler (the pseudonym of freelance writer Byrwec Ellison) has contributed "East of Java: An Ethnomusicological Adventure." This article gives an account of Bruce and Sheridan Fahnestock, who went to Java, Molucca, Banda, and Timor in February 1940.
For the export of what have the Molucca group of islands, now part of Indonesia, been famous for centuries?
A subject to which I returned in my first podcast, now available on my YouTube channel Molucca Red.
Mount Gamalama in the Molucca Islands sprang to life this month with a powerful, non-fatal eruption, AP reported.
In December 1975 the 227,556-ton oil and ore bulk carrier Berg Istra, sailing under a Liberian flag, blew up in the Molucca Sea and was entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest vessel ever to become a total loss.
What name was originally given to the Molucca Islands by Dutch traders?
(16) The demarcation was set "two hundred ninety-seven and one half leagues east of the islands of Molucca, allowing seventeen and one half leagues to an equinoctial degree." The boundary provided a generous buffer zone, being more than 1000 km from the Moluccas, a group of small islands in the main lying west of the island of Halmahera in the Indonesian archipelago.
Some claimed the violence was a spillover from fighting between Christian and Muslim communities in the Molucca Islands to the east.
The Armed Conflicts Report 2000 includes 6 new conflicts (Eritrea/Ethiopia, Andhra Pradesh state in India, Molucca Islands in Indonesia, Nigeria, Chechnian Republic in Russia, and Senegal).
The most important of these are: a world map in two hemispheres by Petrus Plancius, the Molucca Islands, and the whole of East Asia featuring the unusually shaped Japan.