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Banda Islands

The Banda Islands are a group of small islands in the Banda Sea[?], about 140km south of Seram[?] island and about 2000km east of Java. They rise out of 4-6 km deep ocean and are included in the Indonesian province of Maluku. They have a population of about 15,000. Until the mid 19th century the Banda Islands were the only source of the spices nutmeg and mace, produced from the nutmeg tree. The islands are also reputed to be good for scuba diving and snorkeling.

There are seven inhabited islands and several uninhabited rocks. The inhabited islands are:

Main group:

  • Banda Neira, or Naira, the island with the main settlement and a small airfield.
  • Gunung Api, an active volcano with a peak of about 650m
  • Lonthor or Banda Besar is the largest island, 12km long and 3km wide.

Some distance to the west:

  • Pulau Ai or Pulau Ay
  • Pulau Run, further west again.

To the east:

  • Pulau Pisang, also known as Syahrir.

To the southeast:

  • Palau Hatta formerly Rosengain or Rozengain

Others, possibly small and/or uninhabited, are:

  • Nailaka, a short distance northeast of Pulau Run
  • Batu Kapal
  • Manuk, an active volcano
  • Pulau Keraka or Pulau Karaka (Crab Island)
  • Manukang
  • Hatta Reef

Sources and external links

  1. Rick van den Broek's site -- http://home.planet.nl/~vdbroeke/ -- including a Dutch talk from 18 June 1994 -- http://home.planet.nl/~vdbroeke/bandalez.htm
  2. Banda Sea Islands moist deciduous forests -- http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/aa/aa0102_full
  3. Municipalities and Districts, Central Maluku -- http://www.petra.ac.id/english/kti/maluku/cities/cent_mal/gen_info.htm
  4. The author Giles Milton[?]'s book Nathaniel's nutmeg[?] gives a vivid account of the struggle for possession of the Banda Islands.

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