||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Dutch Wikipedia. (July 2012)|
Moluccans refer to the original, indigenous inhabitants of the Maluku Islands, also called the Moluccas, which have been part of Indonesia since 1949. Moluccans are a blanket term for many ethnic and linguistic groups inhabiting the island groups.
Moluccans were originally Melanesian in origin. However, a long history of trade and seafaring has resulted in a high degree of mixed blood ancestry among Moluccans. Austronesian peoples added to the native Melanesian population around 2000 BCE. Melanesian features are strongest in the islands of Kei and Aru and amongst the interior people of Seram and Buru islands. Later added to this Austronesian-Melanesian mix were Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch genes.
In addition to Indonesia, a large number of Moluccans have immigrated to the Netherlands since the 1950s.