Banda the Dark Forgotten Trail (2017) - full transcript

In medieval centuries, a handful of nutmegs worth more than a crate of gold in European Markets. Monopoly of the Arab and the crusade wars brought European countries in the race to find ...


the largest archipelago on eanh has long been the point

where the rest ofthe world sets their eyes on.

For its richness and natural beauty.

Apiece ofheaven at the equatorlisted in history

as the sparkthat ignited the clashes

ofthe European nations

which to this daymade Indonesia



and looted through polkical

and trade agreements.

Which ultimateiyleaves a nation

and people who nevertrulyenjoythe blessings of

wealth and prosperityoftheirown homeland.

When most ofthe world was still shrouded in darkness,

spices have alreadybeen one of

the inseparable pans of human life.

For centuries,

the spice-producing islands

were covered with dense fog.

And onlylived in wild imaginations oistoryiellers.

The Book Nathaniefs Nutmeg mentioned

that those islands have such tantalizing aromas

which were sensed iar even beiore they are visible.

The same aroma whifled from

the Holy Books ofBible

andThe Koran

Chinese traders carried the spices hidden

at the bottom ofsilk piles.

Arabian merchants made up stories

about cannibals and head-hunter savages.

The rivalrybemeen the Portuguese and the Spaniards

in discovering the spice-producing islands.

Brought the wortd to the greatest diplomatic treaty

the world has ever seen.

The world is divided into two pans according to

the TreatyofTordesillas (1494).

The western pan for Spain

and the Eastern pan forPonuguese.

Banolomeu Diaz was sailing in circles

around Cape Hope in 1483

Christopher Columbus was aciualiytrying

to find his wayto the Hindies

when he got lost and discovered

theAmerican continent in 1492.

In 1497, Britain took pan in the search

forthe direci route

but John Cabot onlymanaged to reach NonhAmerica.

While the Portuguese Vasco da Gama

succeeded in arriving to Calicut a year later.

The fall ofthe spice trade centerin India

and Malacca to the Portuguese.

Had opened largerwindows ofpossibilityforEurope

to find spice-producing islands.

Alfonso deAlbuquerque ordered two fleets

underthe leadership ofAntonio deAbreu

and Fransesco Sarrao

to conduci funher expeditions to the East.

Theysailed from Goa (India) to Malacca.

All the waythrough Madura,



and Aru

and flnallyto Banda.

Within the same year,

otherPonuguese fleets also arrived at Ternate.

The discoveryofthe spice islands ofBanda

and Ternate

had worsen the rivalrybetween

Spain and Ponuguese.

The feud was resolved with

the allocation otterrtory Spanish territory

stretched from Mexico westward

to the Philippines archipelago.

And Portuguese territorystretched

from Brazil eastward to the Moluccan islands

as ruled bythe TreatyofZaragoza.

Less than a centuryailer the arrival ofPonuguese

and Spanish in the Spice Islands,

the Dutch and English arrived

and tempted to also claim their power overthe place.

This sea line was what laterbecame the start of

the world maritime route to this day.

Affinning the position oithe spice route

as far more imponant than the silk road.

The end ofthe crusade marked the beginning

ofthe most speculative era of exploration

ever seen in human history

Its mysterious existence,

the ever-increasing demand,

and the very expensive price

then has made the spice islands

heavilysought aller.

Europe intends to break

the monopolyofArab merchants

which had lasted forhundreds ofyears

by discovering the paradise they had imagined.


no more spices were owned wkhout bloodshed,

as written bythe French poet Voltaire.

The spices which were more precious than gold

have driven major world expedkions

in discovering new territories.

Even almost 500 years

before theApollo 11 landed on the moon,

expeditions in search forthe spice-islands

still became the single most importantjoumey

for mankind.

The Banda archipelago consists oi 11 islands:


Great Banda

Banda Neira

Hatta fonneny known as Rozengain.

Ay Island

Rhun Island

Syahrir island,

fonnenyknown as Pulau Pisang (Banana Island).

The last fourislands are inhabked:




And Batu Kapal island.

Once upon a time,

The skydropped the nutmeg forthe Banda People.

In the legend ofthe mostwidelyspoken.

There was a Prince who fell in love

madlywkh a beautiful Princess

named Cilu Bintang.

The prince was asked to bring 99 pieces ofgold.

However, he has not been able to find H,

he picked up 99 goldenish fruits

that he found in the forest

and brought them to the King.

The King got enraged.

He arrested and killed the Prince.

That 99 goldenish fruits were thrown

into the middle ofthe forest,

And grow as a nutmeg trees.

Banda was mentioned in the Nagarakretagama

in 1365 wrkten as Whndan.

This cluster ofvolcanic islands

formed bya great ancient eruption

was also mentioned in book 16 and 17 of

Babad Tanah Jawi.

Through the story 01a prince

who suffered from a terrible dermal condition

and would not heal before

he married a Bandanese woman.

Banda became the center of spice trade

especially nutmeg and cloves at that time.

The people ofBanda did not only

sell theirnutmegs and maces fora living,

but theywere also superior sailors,

buying cloves from Ternate

and sellthemin Banda.

The oven/whelming trade grew out ofcontrol

to the extent 0t chaos and began to create conflicts.

Latercame the influence ofTemate andTidore

which led to the establishment ofclans namely

Group ofFive and Group ofNine.

Group ofFive laterto be called Orlima,

Group ofNine which laterwas called Orsma.

This was the sociological groupings oi society

commonly known in the Moluccas.

One ofthe interesting fads is,

there was a group formed

to ad as a neutralizing force,

to avoid conflict between the groups

and coordinate them.

This neutral group was called Unatang.

All trade-related issues were resolved

bythe Unatang council.

In additionJhe council also determined

equal price ofnutmeg across the islands,

which agreed byall traders and contributed

to the stability oi nutmeg trade in that region.

In trading, people ofBanda

although theytransaci with merchants,

in large numbers oftransactions

but never used wrkten agreement.

The deals were sealed

with oaths between the sellerand buyer.

Merchants who want to buyspices,

nutmeg, mace or cloves

from Temate

just raised their hand to the sky

and agree before GodAlmighty

that the seller is willing to sell

nutmeg for said price to the buyer.

Like the cloves in the north,

nutmeg and mace

were brought around the world

thousands ofmiles away.

Fleets ofboats ofvarious types

and sizes sailed back and forth

indicating that spices

were such highlyvaluable commodity

Nutmeg in Banda is Myristica fragrans,

the type with the strongest taste and aroma.

And in tenns ofshape,

we categorize nutmeg into several types.

Male Nutmeg and Female Nutmeg.

Male Nutmeg sometimes produce

more fruits than the females,

but male trees do not always bear fruits

in a season.

S0 farmers in Banda tend to less utilize male nutmeg

because theythink the harvesting time is

too long apan.

To avoid direct sun,

the nutmeg trees in Banda need proteciors.

Since nutmeg is susceptible to direci sunlight,

the nutmeg farmers need

to prepare natural shades to protect nutmeg trees,

so they plant walnut trees,

which are largerthan the nutmeg trees.

In Banda, nutmeg is an endemic plant

because they match the volcanic soil ofBanda

The main requirements forplanting nutmeg are

volcanic soil

and sea breeze.

Because ifwe plant elsewhere, other than Banda

or on the larger island.

That also contains volcanic soil

such as Central Java, in Ungaran area.

There is a Banda nutmeg cultivation there,

same type ofvolcanic soil.

But the harvest would be different.

Because Ungaran is far from the sea.

Different in Banda,

Banda closer to the sea breeze is also

supported bythe volcanic ash in the soil.

That's what makes Banda superior.

There is another location

that maybe a bit more suitable,

the result is almost the same,that is BandaAceh.

It has the same combination of

sea breeze and volcanic ash

but the quality is still below Banda nutmegs.

Whyis nutmeg so imponant and valuable?

Long before electricity

and refrigerators were discovered,

nutmeg was the onlyfood preservative,

even Egyptian mummies were

preserved with spices,

one ofwhich was nutmeg.

Nutmeg serves as a food preservative,



as a status symbol ofthe rich.

In the days ofwar and exploration ofthe eanh

Nutmeg is useful to preserve food during the war

and in the longjourneyin search fornew continents.

There was a saying that goes:

Masters of nutmegs will rule the wand.”

None ofthese nutmeg pans are wasted,

we can process all pans ofit.

The outer nutmeg Ilesh

can be used to make syrup,




and so fonh orsnacks and sofl drinks.

The seeds are now widely processed for aromatic oil

as one ofthe ingredients of cosmetics.

Nutmeg is good for skin,you know, as moisturizer.

Hospitals also need R for medicines

because nutmeg has myristicin content.

That's good for sedatives.

Onthe otherside,

the mace,

the mace, attached to the nutmeg is good

for food additives,

and needed by large companies for

the aroma oftheir famous sofl drink brands.

So, nutmeg is veryfunciional,

no pan is wasted

even the leaves can be processed into oil.

That is the advantage of nutmeg overall othertrees,

It's different.

From leaf, fmk to the seed can be processed

to make money.

Nowthe famous nutmeg

which staned journeys

around the globe is now forgotien

and leaves onlymemories ofpast glory

Agloryfollowed bya storyofgreat fall from grace

and the emergence ofthe historyofseizure.

Hidden whispers ofpower and greed.

In the 1500s,

people were fighting overthis region ofMoluccas

because ofcloves and nutmeg

Spices became very imponant commodity

The postion otMoluccas at that time,

including Banda, became important.

Banda as producer of nutmegs,

Ternate fidore with cloves.

The wond market was reallylocated here.

The establishment of sultanates

throughout the Nusantara was because otspices.

The establishment ofa large Dutch and

Spanish emporium in Asia was the result oi spices.

On one side, it brought prosperity

but on the other hand it sparked terrible wars.

The discoveryofthe Banda Islands bythe Ponuguese,

opened a new chapterofspice trade.

European merchants rapidlybroke

the hegemonyofArab traders

who for centuries reaped multi folds ofprofits.

Huge profits fromtrading spices

atiracied traders from many countries

to the nutmeg-producing islands.


became one ofthe most sought afler commodities.

For hundreds ofyears,

nutmeg has become a freelytraded commodity

Priorto the arrival ofthe European nations

nutmeg trees were not arranged in plantation model

but were managed together for collective prosperity

The arrival of Europeans was followed

byabandonment ofbaner system


as a medium ofexchange began to be used.

Dutch's tendencyto master and monopolize things

Banda people treated them differently.

Theyaccepted the Chinese, the Persians,

the Arabs, the Malays, the Indians, the Coromandels,

they accepted them as ordinary merchants

but their service is different to the Portuguese

and the Dutch.

Their discontent was sparked

bythe Europeans' desire

to force Banda people to sell their nutmegs

or cloves onlyto the Europeans.

Banda people did not like this.

Theywere used to free trade.

When the Dutch began to make a logie,

a containerofspices made ofconcrete,

that was when they began to protest.

The conflici staned in 1609.

Jan Pieterszoon Coen

with his massive fleet entered Banda,

his base was on the island ofNaira.

The first area conquered was

the most poweflul stronghold.

The first day's attacks failed miserably.

He attacked from the from.

At the time of attack,

the sea level at Lontor was receded.

The sea water receded far from the shoreline,

and R is dry

Many Dutch soldiers were trapped and killed.

The next day, the Dutch changed its position

to attack from the back.

Then a great battle happened there

and with different weapon technology

theysuccessfully conquered Lontor.

AIler Lontorwas conquered,

other areas staned to get panic,

theywere hopeless and

staned to feel thet theywill also be defeated too.

TheArabs, the Chinese, the Malays

theywere united with the Bandas to fight the Dutch.

Then theyagreed wkh the Dutch

to meet and discuss about

the problems that occurred

there was a forced constmciion ofthe ton,

and forced monopolyof spices.

Then the Dutch came to where

the appointment took place.

But when theyarrived,

people ofBanda ambushed them.

Vemoeven himselfwas killed there.

Jan Pieterzoon Coen, one ofvemoeven men,

was there and he witnessed the event.

About 20 Dutch were killed.

Jan Pieterzoon Coen,

then a sergeant managed to escape to the ship.

He was laterappointed governor-general

and determined to destroythe people ofBanda.

The chyofAmsterdam which is called the canal chy


luxury homes

it is impossible iftheysaytheydidn'! get

anymoneyfrom the nutmeg trade and slavery

You can saythat the contributions

from Banda, from the Moluccas were generally

quite large and the people here in Banda

iell victims to VOC policies.

Dutch people then had been educated with the VOC idea,

VOC was a very modern company

Theywere the resources to develop the technique.

For example, ship technique

or technique ofmapping the wand,

Amsterdam was the center olVOC at the time,

Their world mapping experts and

their works were spread! all over the world.

S0 were sophisticated VOC ships.

Dutch people knew about it but onlya few knew

what VOC really did in Banda,

which was mass slaughter.

Manypeople are less taught,

One ofthe manythings that come out

that's what the VOC did in Banda is mass slaughter.

There is a statue ofJan Pieterszoon Coen

in his hometowmthe city ofHoorn.

There is a group of aciivists

who paint 'Genocide' on the statue.

There were 40 communityleaders arrested

and taken to the ton.

All remaining Bandanese people

were forced to come to Fon Nassau

to witness their executions.

Five ofthe captives were executed with 'tom apart'.

So, there were 4 horses.

One horse tied up with right hand.

One horse tied up with lefl hand,

other horse tied up with right foot,

the last horse tied up with lell foot.

Then, all4 horses ran in different direciion.

Their bodies were tom apan,

seen byBandanese people.

The rest ofthe captives were executed

byJapanese mercenaries called Shoguns.

These Japanese mercenaries

beheaded all the remaining captives

and most ofthem came from rich families in Banda.

And since then,there were no more rebellions.

ADutch historian wrote that Jan Pieterzoon Coen wrote

the historyofhimselfwith

the ink made from the blood ofBanda people.

The enforcement ofpower

and the monopoiyofspices byEuropean

were aways followed byacis ofviolence

that occur almost in all regions ofthe archipelago.

The word ofvemovews death spread

along the trade routes

this caused anger and seen as warning sign

forthe Dutch armada in cities as well as fortresses.

This event maybe the way Banda people

proteci themselves from

the Dutch's monopolistic attitude.

The Bandanese became rejectful

to European immigrants,

for it was prophesied that one day

the islands would be dominated

bycat-eyed people wkh hairthe colorofcorn.

The vengeful Jan Pieterszoon Coen

vowed to conquerthe Spice Islands.

D0 not be discouraged

do not show mercyto your opponent

for God is with us.”

The massacre committed

byJan Pieterszoon Coen in 1621

was the first genocide ever occurred in Nusantara

which also became

the beginning ofcolonization and the slavery

Ofthe 15.000 residents ofBanda,

only 1 .000 people remained.

Most were killed,

others Iled

and some were taken to Batavia

to become slaves.

And to this day,

it is hard to find indigenous

people of Banda archipelago.

When will come the time that will iorm my happiness?

When will the bell strike the how'!

The moment lwill see again the shores ofmycountry,

The bosom ofmyfamilythat llove and bless.

Chanes Rumpley

Asuicide note from a Frenchman, etched into a pane

glass window 01a palace previously

owned bya Governor.

Despaired in isolation on Banda Island

and longing forhis hometown.

The writing was made with his ring,

before he finallydecided

to hang himself on a chandelier,

September 1511831

The Dutch controlled the fortresses located in

almost all strategic regions.

The 12 fortresses in Banda Neira &the Banda Besar

were Fort Dender orFon Morgenster

Fon Lakui, Fort Salomon or Fon Kuilenburg,

Fon Batavia, Fon Calombo orFon De Kop,

Fon Oering orFon Storm,

Benteng Kola orFon De Pot,

Fort De Post orFon Kampung Baru,

Fon Belgica, Fort Concordia,

Fort Hollandia, and Fort Nassau

which was initiallybuilt bythe Ponuguese

and then continued bythe Dutch.

The existence 0H2 fortresses in Banda

confirmed the importance ofbanda

in the 17th to 13th century,

Banda was considered veryimponant.

Aclually, the islands are small

lfwe see also the large size ofBelgica

Nassau is also quite large.

That signifies that Banda at that time

was veryimponant

especiallythere was competition

between Dutch and English.

Banda's poskion in the history ofthe world,

the historyofwond trade at the time,was immense.

The Nassau fortress was named

afler '0ranje' family name.

Familyname ofthe Queen and King ofthe Nethenands,

stands for Oranje-Nassau.

Belgica's name is taken

from the tribe name, Belgen.

As for Batavia,

the name was taken from the Bataven tribe

encountered bythe Romans 2000 years ago

when theywere traveling from Rome

to the north to meet the tribe.

And Julius Caesarand others wrote

that these tribe's members are people

who love freedom

who are willing to fight furiouslyfor independence.

VOC at the time had taken Belgica,

Batavia as a sign oftheirpride.

Therefore, theytook Belgica to their fort here.

Ifwe see the symptom ofslaveryin Indonesia,

Banda would immediately appear.

Aller the indigenous people olBanda were killed

orfled or sold as slaves in 1621.

The harvesting ofnutmeg

was pedormed using hard labor,

thousands ofslaves were brought from

the Indonesian archipelago

as well as fromthe abroad.

Banda's poskion in the history ofthe world,

the historyofworld trade at the time

was immense.

And the warbetween the Netherlands and Britain

that occurred several times in the 17th century

was also to see who could control

the territories especiallythe oceans in the world.

VOC desperateiydid not want

Brkain to have a place here

therefore even though Netherlands

and England were allies in Europe, against Spain

but in Banda the Dutch

desperateiytried to drive the English out.

So, Nassau is taken from

the familyname olOrange,

Belgica as a sign ofpride,

and also there is anotherone,

Hollandia which ofcourse

taken from the name Holland.

While Concordia,

was derived fromthe word accordance.

Afler controlling almost entire

territoryofBanda archipelago.

The Dutch, divided the land

into a plantation system called Perk.

Perk or Kebun was overseen

bya landlord known as perkenier

and mn byslaves who were

imponed from manyplaces.

There were 31 perks onAi Island,

34 Perks in Banda Besar

and 3 Perks in Neira

One ofthe largest Nutmeg producers

in the Banda archipelago is Rhun Island.

This small island was only3 km square,

but Captain Nathaniel Counhope ofBritain

willinglyfought against the VOC in 1616

in orderto keep Rhun

who had been occupied byBritain since 1603

The Treaty of Westminster

then ended the two years ofBritain and Dutch war

and Rhun was returned to Brkain in 1654.

But VOC did not give up.

Nutmeg was too precious.

VOC continued their eflons to take Rhun from the UK.

The Dutch and Brkish dispute in Banda ended

aller the signing ofthe Breda Treaty on July31 , 1667

one ofwhich contained the submission ofRhun Island

from England to the Nethenands.

In retum,the British gained 59 km2 ofManhattan Island

which was then deeemed to be sufficient

compensation forRhun Island.

Since then the British spread! the nutmeg to Zanzibar.

And also since the discoveryofcooling machine

as a substkute for the preservation process.

The gloryof nutmeg spice continued to decline

and neveragain returned to Rs golden age.


and abandoned.

Rhun Island that was once fought over

now seems to disappear from the world map.

Nothing more than a nevenand

kept awayfrom the hustle and bustle ofmodern man.


Rhun Island that tells a storyofBanda and Nutmeg

that provoked expedkions around the wand,

now is lost

and forgotien.

The Dutch made these Banda islands

as a place ofexile,

this was because these islands are

located in the midst ofBanda Sea.

They are completeiyisolated.

If someone was thrown here it is

impossible forthem to run anywhere.

New islets are small and easilyto control.

Actually the exiles to Banda were so many

we can read the list of names

on the Parigranti monument

among others ma Kusuma Sumantri,

Cipto Mangunkusumo,

Sutan Sjahrir,

Muhammad Hatta.

Even the Kyais from Banten, Kalimantan

and even Palembang were all recorded.

In fact, there are manymore that we have not found.

Tjipto Mangunkusumo

was a flghterfor Indonesia's independence movement

and Soekamds mentor.

Togetherwith Douwes Dekker and Ki Hajar Dewantara,

theyare known as the triad of

founders of lndische Panij,

a political organization that came up

with the idea 01a government

carried out by the people

not the Dutch.

His radical attkude caused Tjipto Mangunkusumo

to be exiled to Banda Neira in 1923

and spent 11 years there.

Ma Kusuma Sumantriwas exiled to Banda in 1930.

Iwa was a figure who built his people from manysides.

Indonesisch Vereniging is an organization

hat lwa followed during his lifetime in the Nethenands,

on his proposal also,

the organization was renamed

the lndonesianAssociation,

and he became chairman at the time.

Iwa was the one who changed the word Declaration


Unlike Hatta, Syahrirwas verycheerml.

Syahrirwas a pioneer and revolutionary

of Indonesian independence.

Along with Hana, Cipto and ma.

Theyhave succeeded in shaping

the basic concept of a unitarystate.

AIler Indonesian independence,

Syahrir became the founder of

the Indonesian Socialist Pany

and was appointed first prime minister of Indonesia.

The prominent ones are aciualiyHatta and Sjahrir.

Sjahnr is closer to the younger generations,

and he is more approachable, so to speak.

Wnile Hatta is a bit quiet and veryiocused on his work.

D0 not expect othernations to appreciate our country,

ifwe ourselves like to deceive our fellow countrymen,


stealing the wealth ofMother Eanh

Bung Hatta was a very disciplined person.

In fad, if he had returned from the Kastil plantation.

They know what time it was.

S0 the Banda people knowing hours from Bung Hatta

0h, Bung Hatia had passed.

They knew R was 5 pm.

Here they built school.

Then the Banda children were educated,

theywere taught oniy

history lkeracy, and geography.

Although his aciivities were opposed

bythe colonial government

his attempt to instill nationalism

to the souls ofBanda people neverreceded.

Name: Riski Jamaludin
Home address: next to the subdistrici office.

Mister... Mister Glasses

Mister... Mister Glasses

Hana and Sjahrirwere exiled

to Banda in 1936 to 1942

and made the life ofthe Banda people as a study

forthe formulation 01a new entity

known later as Indonesia.

The rise and fall ofthis countryis heavilydependent

on its own people.

As unity and empathy fade.

Indonesia is merelythe name

01a string ofislands on the map.

The birth ofthis colonysocietywas

the start oftodays open Banda society

The composition ofsocietythat is made up

ofvarious ethnickies,

religions, races, and national ethnic groups

gives a great influence on the formation

01a unique society

According to Hatta,

Banda was like a miniature nation

consist ofvarying ethnic groups and

religious background.

And according to him

Banda then becomes one strong united tribe.

This Indonesian miniature idea was applied byHatta

bygiving Indonesian names to

the villages in Banda Neira.

Sjahrir liked young people.

Each had their own football team,

Sjahrir had his own football team, so does Hatta

Each had their own boat.

Sjahrir had his own boat, and so did Hatta.

On these islands where colonialism was born,

the Indonesian concept of nationalism bomed.

There was a storythat Hatia painted his boat

red and white paint.

When asked bythe Dutch, he said

'yes ififs sailing on the sea,

this will look FHLWhRG and blue,

the color ofthe Dutch flag!”

Ham's monumental work is

the independence of Indonesia,

a cooperative based economy,

establishing a national army,


the fights torthe truth torthe nation and its people.

In his exile, Hatta wrote down

his thoughts and stmggles

at the Sin fit P0 Newspaper

and the Pemandangan daily

Even to express love to Rahmi,

he wrote the book 'The Nature of Greek Thought'

He wrote during his time at Digul and Banda

asthe dowry

Throughout the 77 years ofhis life

Hatta collec1ed30,000b0oks.

'I'd volunterto go to prison, as long as there are books.

Because with books I am free.'

To commemorate them,the people ofBanda named

the island ofRosengain as Hatta Island.

And Pulau Pisang as Syahrir Island.

Ifwe're talking about Indonesia,

Banda is Indonesia.

All tribes are in Banda.

The type of societythat exists in Banda

is a societywith high level ofhospitality.

Their level ofmutual cooperation is also high.

So, in our life we respeci each other

and build mutual tolerance.

D0 not seduce or force ourofflcers to break the rules.

Presenting the Banda Islands as an experience today

is to present an area rich

in historical and culturalvalue.

Awond herkage zone

that represents the spirit otcenturies otexploration.


were among the exiles were banished

BantenJuban, Jogja and Solo.

Mygreatgrandfather came from China

and arrived in Banda more or less in 1910.

Intended to trade.

When we speak about Banda people today

the tribal context in Banda Naira will be lost.

Because all of us in Banda Naira today

come from various places in Indonesia

were dumped byDutch colonists

to Banda Naira as slaves orprisoners ofwar

to manage the plantations ofnutmeg

built bythe Dutch at that time.

During the Dutch colonization time,

the numberot Chinese people were the highest.

There were more than 30 families,

now there are only? or 8 families leil.

Onlythe elderly people were lefl.

The children have gone to school

and do not want to go back home anymore,

everybodylwes outside ofBanda.

Previouslythere were many people in Banda,

now it is less.

This temple is more than 200 years old.

Nobodywants to take care 01R,

lneed to find ways to do small maintenances,

just to keep it from crumbling to the ground.

S0 the people ofBanda, before the colonial era,

before the arrival ofPonuguese and Dutch,

theywere very pluralist

because there were alreadysettled

Persians,Arabs, Chinese.

The Chinese were the ones who first came here,

2000 or3000 B.C they have come to Banda.

They call this land Wentan, it means Banda.

Their influence is verystrong,

until now ouriraditions and religion in Banda

is influenced byChinese culture,

for example chinese Ilag

in almost in everyold mosque

there is a flag originaliy from China.

S0 it was repaired and theymade Ilags

shaped like fish tail ifs Chinese influence.

Then there was the Chinese writing

hat they themselves did not understand.

In mihrabs (prayer niche) of mosques

there were also reliefs

hat describe Chinese influence,

for example: dragons.

The King's Kora-kora (Moluccan boat) fleets,

including Lautaka, Selamon, Wher, Rosingin

used dragons as symbols.

Later on, came the influence from

Persians and the Arabs.

Afler Banda was completeiyempty

and had no more residents,

then VOC orthe Netherlands brought people from

Java, Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi

and various places in Indonesia.

This was what then made Banda

as the onlyplace in eastern Indonesia

had multicultural and multiethnic.

The people ofBanda today

are composed ofvarious ethnic groups.

Whethertheywere forciblyimponed as slaves,

some were contraci laborers, some were exiles.

There are three kinds ofsocieties brought here.

The indigenous Banda, still about 15% 0115000.

Then there were mixed marriages between them.

This mix marriages have been

going on for so long, hundreds ofyears.

Finally, the identityoftheir indigenousness,

their initial identity, began to fade.

Then theyhave a new identity as Banda people.

This is what I call

the second generation ofBanda people.

The first generation was up to 1621,

aller that there was a new generation

ofBanda which went on to this day.

Today,you can feel strong acculturation

that we can see in the cakalele dance.

The cakalele dance Rselfdepicis

the entire cultural blend ever entered

and intersecied with Banda Naira itself.

The hat Rselfis a war hat

used byPonuguese troops.

They lost and surrendered to the King

and that hat was finally

worn and juxtaposed on

the heads ofthe cakalele troops themselves.

Then we go funherto cakalele clothes,

whythe clothes are dominant in red.

The Chinese believe that red is the colorofluck.

Yellow is the colorthat came from India.

Because at that time Banda also

had contaci wkh the kingdom ofMajapahit.

In year ...m0re orless,

until flnallythe Princess ofBanda

was married to the last King of

the Majapahit kingdom.

Talking about Banda people today,

theyseem to forget the cultures

and the pride ofthe Banda people,

such as the cultures that came from

the land ofJava orSumatra

orKalimantan, some ofthe cultures have been lost,

such as way-mg golek is alreadylost.

N0 more people can playthe gamelan,

no more people can play

Javanese musical instmments

and cultures from Sumatra they began to disappear.

People no longerplaythe big tambourine

with the attractions,

lhad seen before.

There is also debus, which has no regeneration.

They preterto enjoy night entertainments,

spend time with TV and intemet

ratherthan learning the history

and culture ofBanda.



Forthe people ofBanda today

the former splendor ofarchaeological sites,

monuments, and great historical stories

are onlyseen as strings ofshadows ofthe past.

I climbed trees, got down, splk the fruits,

son the good fmits and put them in the perk.

Iwas paid 300 Rupiahs for 1000 fruits.

Now lmake Suami, sell them

and collect the money I made forschool fees.

Suami is made of cassava.

Buyone sack, peel, split, make into suami and sell.

In allernoons like this,

I steamed five or six and lcarrythem around,

selling byyelling, 'Suami... Suami!” like that.

Although nutmeg remains an imponant pan

which predicied to increase in demand.

The facflhat the bad post-harvest management

mastery ofthe results

and the difficult access makes Banda nutmeg

no longer the primary choice.

We ollen receive explanations

from the agricultural service

that Banda nutmeg has no contest.

Even compared to Grenada orSri Lanka.

Still Banda nutmeg is the best.


but it depends on how we manage it.

Ifwe use the post-harvest

like our parents did,

there may not be anyproblem.

But R is different now.

Just the waythis post-harvest managed

that makes the quality of

Banda nutmeg decrease a little.

The nutmeg is placed direcflyin the curing site.

It is dehydrated there and

the process need a verylong time.

These nutmeg farmers do not have

any curing place now,

so they are just relying on the sun.

It takes onlyflve days so theyassume it is dried,

then they continue to sell immediateiy,

mayoe due to their economic needs,


We know ifthe nutmeg is not completeiydry,

fungus will grow on it.

These fungi distinguish

the qualkyof nutmeg then and now.

Ifnutmeg is dehydrated through curing ordryoven

can reach 95%to 100% dehydration,

to the extent there is no water content whatsoever.

But ifwe just put them underthe sun

fora short time,

theythink it is alreadydried but

actuallythere is still water content inside

which causes fungus.

That fungus will produce aflatoxin,

a type of poisonous chemical.

And in the market, nutmeg has incredible endurance.

It could reach 20 years and remains intaci.

It is not easilywrinkled.

What makes me jealous orhun,

the Nutmeg is so good, the curing is so good

but there is no difference in price

with the nutmeg that is not dryenough.

That sometimes makes me feel veryjealous.

Afler Japan went away,

the government took over

all ofthese assets orplantations

that had been previousiymanaged bythe Dutch.

Taken over.


So, it's gone.

Until the government authorizes PNP 28,

the national plantation company

to manage this nutmeg.

The time leading up to the reforms,

Soehano took over

and then handedkto

the Provincial Government ofMaluku.

Then the Maluku Provincial Government

is working wkh

the Banda Herkage Foundation.

But that too did not work

because ofits bad management system.

It is proven that when the nutmeg plantation

was taken over by PT Banda Permai,

a joint venture between the Provincial Government

and the Banda Heritage Foundation,

the lands have been divided into blocks.

Laterthey deposit the money to the company

But graduallythe companywent bankrupt.

It is proven that with the system,

company did not get anyresults

because there are big traders

in Surabaya who controlthe market.

Itthe nutmeg plantation is giving good result,

then it is profit, not loss.

Just like a company it is not lost but embezzling.

There is no companyloss.

Ifwithin 1 year you yield 1.2 Billion,

even afleryou payall the employees,

there is still so much leil,

butwhya loss?

The fad is employees are not paid,

there are debts ofBillions ofRupiahs,

where did all the crops g0?


That means corruption.

When the harvest was abundant,

suddenlythe price is decreased.

And when we ask them

about how come the price is decreased,

theysaid Surabaya determined the prices.

Who are these Surabaya people?

How can theyjust dictate the price?

The price supposedlydepends on the exporter,

to whom we sell the product

lfthe exponerhas high price

then automaticallywe will

give higher price to the farmers as well.

It all depends on

the price mechanism fromthe higherlevel.

Imagine how abundant the nutmeg crops are,

but how lktle do we get ...the money

There is no hope for these nutmegs.


Idon'! even know how to answer.

We are working hard to live tomorrow,

and work tomorrow to stay alive the next day

That goes everydayfora yearlong.

I feel pityfor the peopleJhese farmers.

Because in Banda Besar, 60%to 70%

livelihood ofks inhabitants are nutmeg fanners.

It should be up to the farmers,

to whom theywant to sell their harvest.

Up to them, its their harvest.

Despite having a pluralism charmer

the people's lives in Banda are not completelyfree

from the tenor ofintolerance

and horizontal conflicts.


when religious conllici hit Maluku.

Bandamhich forhundreds ofyears

built on a multicultural foundation

was also pan ofthe sad story.

Idid not expect at all to see for myself

this kind ofriot happened in the Moluccas.

And the impact eventualiy reached Banda.

At one time, happend to be...

There was a party,

there maybe alcoholic drinks involved,

and there was a fight on the island ofHatta

and there were casualties.

And it was then rumored

that someone was killed because otreligious conflict.

The chaos was big in Banda.

Until there were a lot burnings in the city of Naira.

And lwas sitting wkh mydaughters,

we watched the flre in the city ofNaira.

I did n01 think

that the incident will reach our place.

Stones were thrown from all sides.

I finallysecured my family

in an emptyhouse that lconsidered safe,

I kept telling them

'just lock everything from inside, nothing will happen.”

Then lwent back home

to retrieve the documents llell behind.

Suddemytheystaned to come close

and surrounded the house.

The doors were broken open,

slammed here and there.

S0 lwas in a panic.

S0 ljumped out ofthe window.

Iwas about to be hacked but because itwas dark,

I could still save myself.

And there happened to be an emptyhouse again,

well, not empty but all ofthe people were outside.

VWthout them knowing, I hid underthe bed,

I could not mywhole body,

because there were these objects below the bed,

broken glasses, and all.

I had a bad feeling.

There was a sweeping.

People shouting on the streets

a lot ofpeople,

Find Pongky! Kill him!

He is not lndoensian! He is a Dutchman!

Kill him! Pull out his eyesl!

Chop him up like 'bakasang'!”

lthought to myself, this is it.

It tumed out theydid not see mylegs protruding.

Theygot out ofthe house and still shouting.

Five minutes later I got out.

Iheard there was a new sweeping there,

I dug the sand

and llaythere buried myself underthe sand

with only my face on the surface, covered with leaf.

I stayed there until 3 am.

At 3 in the morning it happened to be raining.

Igot out ofthe sand.

Hid behind a school in the plantation area,

and went into the plantation area.

Until night time.

At that night,

lwanted to know the condition ofmyfamiiy.

So,there happened to be

a relative ofmine who lived in the area.

He was shocked when he saw me.

He ran to me and hugged me.

He whispered, he said that

all my lamilywas butchered, all dead.

Hell mywhole bodyweak instantiy, lcollapsed.

I asked for three cigarettes,

he gave me three cigarettes with the matches,

and lretumed to myhiding place.

Not far, about 20 meters walking I realized

that theydid come to the house and attacked.

Ah, lthought myfamilyis gone.

All deadJhen whafs the use ofme living?

They might as well kill me now.

My mind was made up at that time.

So, lwent back to myrelathle's house.

When lreached his house again,

I saw there were a lot of people.

Determined to die, I yelled at them.

Who are you looking for?”

Looking forme? This is Pongky!”

Ah when they heard me,

immediatelytheysurrounded me

in the shape ofa horseshoe whh me in the middle.

Theytold me to take oflmyshin, ldid.

I prayed silently

I asked God to forgive me

and the rest of my family

lwas readyto die.

Right before lclosed myeyes,

I saw them stepping towards me with their machetes,

and suddenlyl heard this single voice shouted.

It was the securityofficerfromthe army

He saved me.

He held myhand

while aiming his gun to the people surrounding me.

Shouted to them not to move.

Thafs it. lwas saved.

Tracing the dark streets ofBanda and today's nutmeg

is an attempt to retrieve the tonner glory.

Leam how the fall occurs

for a betier possibility in the future.

Myname is Shaflra Boflen.

Now lwork in Babalagun hotel.

Previously I went toAmbon for college

and came back here in 2014.

Iwant to do something forBanda.

I still think ifit is not us young people,

then who else?

Because lhave so manymends

who studied in college,

but theywent awayinstead of going back here.

Iam sure flve years in the future,

there will be more people in Banda than it is now.

I hope in the future more younger generation

learn funher about history

Because it teaches us

who we were in the past, how we are today

and what will happen to us in the future.

S0 leam about who we are.

We leam and must keep learning.

And I also wish

forthose Banda cultures to resurface again,

revived again,

Because the Banda culture shows

the identity of Banda

in the past, in the present and in the future.

My name is Mita.

My full name is Miryannka Alwi

but people oflen call me Mita.

While I stayin Banda,

lam helping myfamilytake care ofourhotel.

I also have a Colorful Generation Foundation.

We teach children to be creative

as well to know more about their environment,

to increase funherawareness that we need trees,

and we reallyneedthe sea.

Banda can be developed as a ske for cultural visits.

I know we have beautiful natural sceneries,

marine resources are very good,

but lthink more people can go to Banda

to see the historical sites.

Ihope visits to Banda can happen more regulany.

I reallydo notwant Banda to be the second Bali.

VWth hundreds ofthousands ofpeoplejustvisiting,

walking around,

without anyunderstanding ofwhat they see

because all you can see here,

the perkenier houses, the fortress,

the churches, theyare so unique.

Lespeciallyhope culturaltourism can be developed.

Apparently, we have historygreatness,

have a great culture have a kind society

have a familiarand open society

and therefore they have high expectations

ofBanda in the future.

These expeciations, among others,

have been realized bythemselves,

which is to make Banda as Worid Heritage.

Banda maygo forward to be modem society

but we must staylike this.

We must live wlhin our cultural value system,

we are mutuallyrespecting one another,

these relationship ofintimacy needs

to be continuously maintained,

we do not want to be a modem Banda

but the societyis ruined.

The government should no longer build big buildings,

just enough to restore colonial buildings

and make offices there.

We had two esplanades,

two green open areas which are fields,

we call them Lapangan Raja and Lapangan Cipto.

These two big fields are now gone,

no longer being green areas.

Theyare now filled with government offices

that do not depici the old cRyofNaira at all.

There is a school there, prosecutor's offlce

as well as a MinistryofReligious

Affairs office and so on.

Nothing is lefl.

It used to be an open green space.

There was the statue ott/Wlliam Ill

and there used to be enough place

forpeople to relax there.

There is also offlce ofthe subdistrict head,

the village head's house in the place that

used to be an open space.

Well theywant the future Banda

to maintain its authenticity

To remain 17th centurycolonial cky.


lam Pattiradjawane

Whom the gods watch over,


Iam Pattiradjawane

Foam ofthe sea.

The sea is myblood.

Iam Pattiradjawane

When lwas bom

The gods brought me an oar

lam Pattiradjawane

guarding the nutmeg groves.

Iam fire on the shore.


Must call myname three times.

In the night-iime quiet, seaweed dances

To the sound ofmydmm,

Nutmeg trees become maidens' bodies

And live till dawn.


Be nappy!

Forget everything!

But take care not to make me angry.

L'll kill the nut trees,

stiffen the maidens,

Fllbring downthe gods!

L'm in the night, in the day

In the rhytm ofthe seaweed and in flre

That roasts the island...

lam Pattiradjawane

Whom the gods watch over,



'Forgeting a nation's historical past,

will only bring the demise ofifs future.'