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A Brief History of the Banda Islands
The Banda group, about 132 kilometers southeast of Ambon, consist of three larger islands and seven smaller ones, perched on the rim of Indonesia’s deepest sea, the Banda Sea. Near Manuk Island the water reaches a depth of more than 6,500 meters. Gunung Api Islands is an active volcano, the last major eruption occured only a few years ago.
The seas around Banda are the site of famous Maluku sea gardens with their fantasy-land coral reefs and kaleidoscopic array of multi-colored fish darting through the crystal clear water. Pulau Karaka, Pulau Pisang and Pulai Ai are particularly well-known for their amazing snorkeling and diving. Facilities for sightseeing, snorkeling and skin diving as well clean, comfortable cottages are available on some islands.

Banda was home to some of the bloodiest episodes of Maluku’s history. In 1609 the Dutch East Indies Company dispatched a new governoor-general to the islands to obtain the contested spice trade monopoly at any cost. Confronted by superior power, the people of Banda were forced to allow the company to establish a fort, but in the same year Governoor Verhoeff was killed, together with 45 of his men. The company retailed, but peace was not restored. In 1619, V.O.C. Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen arrived at the head of penal expedition and exterminated the entire population of Banda.

The land was divided into lots, called “perken”, and given to former company employees, the “perkiniers”, who were obliged to grow nutmeg and sell them at predetermined prices to the company. Slaves did the actual work in the fields. The old “perkinier houses” , or what is left of them, an old churches still retain a peculiar colonial character to the port town of Bandaneira today. Two old forts Belgica and Nassau are inside the town limits. Others are found elsewhere on the islands. See also the former Dutch Governor’s mansion, the Museum of History in Neira, and the huge nutmeg plantation nearby.

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Tanggapannya Gan..?