Spice Islands Voyage

Spice Islands Voyage

Drawing by Leonard Sheil of the boat built by Tim Severin and his team to retrace the journeys of Alfred Russel Wallace through the Spice Islands. “At dawn on the second day the Bandas were appearing faintly on the horizon as a single peak with a plume of cloud, and...
A Rich Heritage

A Rich Heritage

Based on the islands’ history of global trade, along with the unique properties of the natural environment, several efforts have been made to propose the Banda Islands for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Together with an expert team from Rutgers...
Long-Distance Loves

Long-Distance Loves

‘Trouwen met de handschoen’, or ‘marrying the glove’, was a form of marriage by proxy that was common in Dutch colonial times. The marriage occurred in the Netherlands in the absence of the groom, who was represented by the glove. His bride would then undertake the...
Memories of a Massacre

Memories of a Massacre

In 1621, Jan Pieterszoon Coen “set out to obliterate Bandanese society, with as many as 15,000 islanders slaughtered, enslaved or shipped into exile, and the survivors hiding in the mountains,” writes Ian Burnet. “The Dutch blockaded their mountain hideouts, where...
Run for Manhattan

Run for Manhattan

“The island can be smelled before it can be seen…” The opening line of Nathaniel’s Nutmeg is among the most evocative of accounts of the approach to the Banda Islands. Giles Milton’s book presents the story of how the English came to the island of Run (Pulau Rhun) in...
Inspired by the Islands

Inspired by the Islands

The stories of Banda and its often-bloody history have found creative expression through the works of several artists in recent years, including Made Wianta, Hanafi, and Beatrice Glow. Beatrice Glow creates works influenced by the social history of spices. The...
Banda at the Ubud Writers Festival

Banda at the Ubud Writers Festival

The 2017 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival marked the 350-year anniversary of the Treaty of Breda through a number of programmed events. The Banda Islands anthology was also launched at the 2017 festival, where we were joined by contributors Michael Vatikiotis, Ian...
The Banda Islands Anthology

The Banda Islands Anthology

“To me, all the East is here.” These tiny ‘islands of spicerie’ in the middle of the Banda Sea have been at the heart of some key moments in history that have shaped the world we live in today, from the beginnings of global capitalism and colonisation, to Indonesia’s...