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The Perken

The Perken

The Banda Archipelago was the original product center of the world-renowned spices, the nutmeg and mace. When the Dutch took it over by force from the Portuguese, they established their perken, the so-called nutmeg-plntations all over these islands. There are about 68 perkens on these islands: 3 are found on Naira Island, 34 on Lonthoir or Banda Besar, and 31 on Ay islet. Before, during and after the Banda massacre in 1621, the original inhabitants of the Banda Islands fled to Seram, Kei and other islands. The Dutch then brought in people from Java, South Sulawesi (Buton) and Central Maluku to work as farmers, picking and collecting, peeling and sorting, drying and loading the nutmeg and mace, under the supervisions of Dutch Perkeniers. Photo courtesy of Kai Muiier So the present day inhabitants of the Banda Islands are a mixture of Dutch, Javanese, Butonese and Central Malukan ancestry. There are still nutmeg trees of over two centuries old which are still producing. These nutmeg plantations on the Banda Islands are still to be seen, some are planted among the tall canary trees to shade and protect the nutmeg trees from the sunrays. Most of these nutmeg plantations are still productive and managed by P.T. Perkebunan Pala Banda. lonthoir Island or also known as Banda Besar, is the largest island in the Banda Islands (appr. 2.800 ha.). It looks like a great wall hiding and protecting the Naira and Gunung Api Islands from the south­eastern winds and waves. This island also has many attractions to offer to the visitor, among others:

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