Maluku is also called the Moluccas. These are the original Spice Islands. Cloves, nutmeg and pepper all came from here.

Ternate and Tidore had rival sultans for many years, on two small islands very close to each other. Both spread their influence over many neighboring islands. They converted to Islam in 1475. The Spanish and Portuguese both built posts and made deals in the area. The Dutch through the VOC did not seriously interfere until the 1650s.

Ambon is the main city of Maluku today. It was the center of Dutch administration for many years. There was a revolt against the Dutch here in 1817 under Pattimura.

Banda had rival Dutch and British posts at one time. It is the home island of nutmeg.

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