Talk:Maluku Islands

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"People of Tidore during visit by hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19)" wow! wokipedia as propaganda instrument of the USA army? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

earlier comments[edit]

Reporter in Indonesia says colonial rule ended in 1945 but site suggests 1950. Please reconcile. Chris Hawke AP ---

Page says "although it is not particularly stable."

Is the instability political or geological?Vicki Rosenzweig

Recent violence may have harmed it's economy? I could put some recent history here is people want, but it gets pretty detailed in terms of the conflict, it might be better on a separate page - what do you think?

(I) the Moluccas proper or Ternate group, of which Halmahera is the largest and Ternate the capital; (2) the Bachjan, Obi, and Xulla groups; (3) the Amboyna group, of which Ceram (Serang) and Buru are the largest; (4) the Banda Islands (the spice ~r nutmeg islands par excellence); (5) the southeastern islands, comprising Timor-Laut or Tenimber, Larat, &c.; (6) the Kei Islands and the Aru Islands, of which the former are sometimes attached to the south-eastern group; and (7) the south-western islands or the Babar, Sermata, Leti, Damar, Roma and Wetar groups Are all these mentioned in their modern names? (Enc. Britt. 1911 ref.) Wetman 06:01, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better to rename this article as 'Moluccas' ? To talk about the history and why the native population claimed independance within twelve months of the their transfer to Indonesian administration, one has to talk in terms of the Moluccas as understood by the western world and in historical context. And to have separate articles for Indonesia Maluka and North Maluka; all three could then refer to each other as needed, could such Maluka articles carry more of the Indonesian spin and tourism stuff?Daeron 07:26, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The Spice Islands is more to just the present Indonesia's Maluku. Excerpting from many ancient maps produced in the 17th or 18th century, Celebes (now Sulawesi) is also part of the Mollucas Islands. Sulawesi is one of the spice islands. John Tasirin. Manado, Indonesia 09:27, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I've split the article—one entry for the subnational political entity that incorporates the South Moluccas, and one for the islands in the generalized history-geography-political unrest sense. Considering the boundaries aren't coterminus, this seems like the only prudent course of action. Thoughts? The Tom 08:21, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Interesting idea, although now we have two messy, incomplete articles about overlapping subjects. Aargh! Mark Richards 22:27, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't understand many of the changes made by to the pre-1945 history i contributed: eg: the Dutch version of events concerning their first fort on Ambon has been restored. Mention of Islamic influence has been removed. Is this improvement? Adhib 18:13, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't understand it either. Mark Richards 22:27, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I changed the text "are part of Indonesian archipelago" which is wrong to "located on the Australian continental plate" ; which in revision should perhaps have been "located on the Australian continental shelf" for better clarification. Continental Island is (see Island) is correct but many people seem unaware of the term. Further checking finds a earlier edit in July concerning the alleged influx of Islam during the 14th century; however works covering 17th to 19th century make no mention of any such influence or legacy but instead specify a native society; also as the entire native society in modern times is Christian based it seems at odds with any such earlier Islamic influence which should have surrived; also elements such as the title and period used, made it look pretty certain that the person had gotten Islamic histories from other regions of modern Indonesia mistaken for the Moluccas. 03:03, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There's certainly independent evidence that Islam had reached these outer islands by the sixteenth century (in Jesuit and Dutch sources) although it was never deeply ingrained, which is fairly typical of Indonesian Islam. The sultans of Ternate and Tidore were Muslim: one of the reason they came into conflict with the Portuguese, who were imbued with the fanatical spirit of the Inquisition. The Dutch alliance with Islamic elements (as Protestants they were more hostile to Catholicism than to Islam) helped them establish themselves in the late 16th century. Leo Scheps

Cdc, Thank you for your interest in the topic and specifying why you reverted the sentence in question. I changed the sentence because of two reasons; first without time-travel the "Dutch colonial era" can not happen after the 'intergration' into Indonesia. So the sentence is currently nonsensical and requires editing. second, it is misrepresentative of the current political status; it suggests that the region was under a colonization process under the Dutch, and that it is not a colony under Indonesian occupation; which again is in error. If you do not believe the NGO reports about resource exploition and repression of the native populations rights; I have two fine videos confirming the current status I can send you, either on DVD or as a computer file. The people of the Moluccas seem to have a very strong case for stating that they are a colony of Indonesia. 03:20, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

P.S. I have seen some of your comments on other discussion pages & have every respect, I know you were just correcting what at first appeared to be a unreasoned edit & that you needed to get my attention for the explanation. I hope the explanation is sufficent, and I am honest about the video. All Best :) 03:29, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I guess my phrasing was clunky; but changing it to simply say "occurred during the Indonesian colonial era" changes the meaning of the phrase as well; the wave of immigration being referred to began when Maluku was a Dutch colony, as a part of the Ethical Policy, as I recall. Anyway, I've changed it again to note that, and to not say "colonial" at all. By the way, I certainly believe that an NGO might make a good argument that the Indonesian government behaves in a colonial manner in Maluku - I've read plenty of argument along those lines - but it's a contentious point, and it would be against Wikipedia policy to represent the views of these NGOs and those they represent as the absolute truth. Cdc 05:26, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Melanesia, Indonesia, or something a little more liminal[edit]

I'm talking about ethnogeographic areas, not nationalities. Granted, the Moluccas/Maluku falls in an ethnic area of transition between the two very general terms "Indonesia" (referring not to the nation-state but rather the ethnogeographic area) and "Melanesia". This is understood. But it is misleading to simply refer to Moluccans as "Melanesian", as they at least equally as much Indonesian. Most Moluccan languages are Austronesian (admittedly not a disqualifier by any means as Fijian is an Austronesian language as well; most New Guinea languages, however, are non-Austronesian). In any event, perhaps some better term or at least a qualification is in order. Arjuna808 08:48, 3 March 2006 (UTC)


Could "the Moluccas", that is "Maluku", be derived from Meluhha? Either because settlers from Meluhha to Maluku named it that just as English settlers gave English names to North American places, or because Meluhha simply means port. (These two becauses blend together.)Rich 17:25, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Vanuatu has austronesian languages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

language and culture[edit]

Is there a reason to restrict this page to just history and geography? Why not include culture? --Gholton 23:58, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Religious History?[edit]

It's unclear when or how Islam came to this region. I'd like more information on this. Incidentally, I understand that this region is the setting of John Fletcher's 1621 _The Island Princess_, which depicts Portuguese Catholics dealing with the island's Muslim rulers (though of course Fletcher's understanding of Islam is pretty much nil). I was hoping to get a better sense of the region's religious history by reading this article. ThaddeusFrye 19:42, 2 November 2006 (UTC)


There is a commune of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo which is also called Maluku and it redirects here by mistake. Should we turn Maluku into a disambig page? AndrewRT(Talk) 20:19, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was NO CONSENSUS to move page, per discussion below. -GTBacchus(talk) 07:34, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Maluku IslandsMoluccas per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). English names are used for other Indonesian islands (cf. Borneo, Java, Sumatra). And "Maluku Islands" is a hybrid Bahasa Indonesia/English form (the real Indonesian is Kepulauan Maluku). —  AjaxSmack  07:57, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Oppose 'Moluccas' is the old English name. English has now adopted the Maluku. I have many books that mention Maluku - some specilise on Malukan subjects. None, apart from colonial era texts use the word 'Moluccas'. These same texts will refer to 'Java' and not 'Jawa'.It's the same for Sulawesi verses Celebes. IN fact, I've got it written "formerly Celebes".Merbabu 12:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, the 'Borneo' example is not a good one. In English, 'Borneo' is the name of the whole island (shared between Indonesia, Malaysian and Brunie territories). Kalimantan is the Indonesian part, and Sarawak and Sabah are the Malaysian parts. Merbabu 12:24, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. Strong Oppose ( changed from 'Comment') When using the dreaded G searchengine - for either of the terms - the wikipedia entry comes up within the first two -it seems relatively pointless issue. As long as there are sufficient redirects - it seems of low inportance. The concern though is for some features within the Indonesian archipelago are known by their Indonesian names as much as any english transcription - due to the prevalent usage and acceptance by travellers from their using guide books that give the names in the indonesian context before any attempt is to transcribe - hence most Volcanoes are known as 'Gunung' before 'Mount' (but the WP Indonesia project collaboration has seeen both Mount and Gunung put in the opening sentence to avert any problems with this. Very few if any books ever use any form of transcibed term for either Wayang or Gamelan either. SatuSuro 12:14, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Added comment - the most recent edition of Indonesia from Lonely Planet (2007 edition) p 747 "Maluku (formerly known as the Moluccas) - simple! - precise and the largest selling current tourist guide book or handbook for tourists in Indonesia SatuSuro 10:02, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

  1. comment some comparisons of the frequency of the terms indexed on different English web sites:
    • Google - Maluku 593,000; Moluccas 384,000
    • - Maluku 47; Moluccas 20
    • - Maluku 618; Moluccas 213
    • - Maluku 145; Moluccas 393
    • - maluku 216; Moluccas 75
    • - maluku 86; Moluccas 3

So, BBC seems to be the only site where Moluccas is the more common term. (Caniago 13:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC))

Re BBC, Bloody colonials! ;) Merbabu 13:11, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I have put a link to this page on the main project talk page- as it needs to be commonly understood! SatuSuro 13:34, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. comment the direct translation of Kepulauan Maluku, the Indonesian term, is Maluku Islands or Maluku Archipelago.
  • oppose as per the reasons stated above (Caniago 09:43, 9 January 2007 (UTC))
  • Oppose. There will be another requests to move back from Molucca to Maluku. I read WP:UE, there is one excellent similar example between Torino and Turin (see the Borderline Cases section). US newspapers refer to Torino while other parts of the world use Turin. Per WP:UE, it says:

One should use judgment in such cases as to what would be the least surprising to a user finding the article. Whichever is chosen, one should place a redirect at the other title and mention both forms in the lead.

So there we have already in the lead section. Therefore this move request is completely useless. — Indon (reply) — 12:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Please don't use colonial era names. If a person has a legal name change, do we keep the title at his old name? As long as redirects from the old name exist, the current name should be used. --Polaron | Talk 15:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Support It is policy to use the article title most familiar to English readers; that this is not the present legal name should then be explained in the intro. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:48, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Who says Moluccas is the most known? Maluku is the most known. The figures above suggest otherwise - as is my wide and long professional and academic experience of Indonesia. Furthermore, the oppose argument is not based on what is "legal" rather what is used in all texts and other sources in English. I have collected dozens (100s) even of sources regarding Indonesia, the ones that use Moluccas are old colonial or just after colonial times. Independence was 60 years ago.Merbabu 09:51, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the reasons already articulated by previous posters. Maluku is the current name, and the redirect solves the problem of those who search for Moluccas. Arjuna 04:13, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Maluku or Maluku Islands?[edit]

This used to be clear when the whole region was one province. It was Maluku. But now that the region is divided into two provinces – “Maluku” and “North Maluku”, the term Maluku can be confusing.

In my opinion, the pages and redirects are all good. I’m not seeking to move pages or change redirects. For example:

I am looking for suggestions on how to write this in prose? It's clear that if distinguishing between the provinces, we can write the "province of Maluku" or "province of North Maluku". Or "North Maluku province", etc. The real question is, say in an article where reference is to the region, do we write “Maluku” or “the Maluku Islands”. My gut tells me “Maluku” and recently I’ve been using this, but I’m not sure about this.

Just to repeat, I'm not talking about moving pages or changing redirects. I just want suggestions on the best way to refer to the region in the prose of other articles. "Maluku" or "the Maluku Islands" or other?

Any suggestions would be helpful. Cheers --Merbabu (talk) 01:42, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Maluku as it stand is ambiguous - and Maluku Islands sounds much better - I would say Maluku Islands for any reference to the region SatuSuro 03:56, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

  • How about using the English name for the islands, Moluccas, as the cited sources do. Then reserve North Maluku and Maluku (province) for the two provinces. "Maluku Islands" is a Bahasa/English hybrid that doesn't show up as much in print sources. — AjaxSmack 01:37, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's correct to say that Maluku is not the accepted English term. Most of the printed sources I have use Maluku, not Moluccas. Including English language newspapers. It is now the accepted English. And while Google can be unreliable, it shows a 12m to 300,000 split between the two. --Merbabu (talk) 01:46, 22 February 2011 (UTC)


This is not the "former" name. It's still the more common form when discussing the islands themselves. "Maluku" tends to be used for the political divisions.

GBook hits (excluding WP, pub. since 1990):

"Maluku Islands" : 1,820
"Molucca Islands" : 2,840
"Moluccas" : 49,000
"Maluku" : 47,700, but many of these are the political divisions rather than the islands

GScholar hits:

"Maluku Islands" : 780
"Molucca Islands" : 1,690
"Moluccas" : 18,300
"Maluku" : 19,300, again many political

kwami (talk) 00:16, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Maluku : 45,100,000 (of which on the first 100 results, 5 are not English language pages)
North Maluku : 755,000 (if "Maluku" was mostly used to refer to the province, then "North Maluku" would be expected to also number in the many millions)
Maluku Islands : 9,100,000
Moluccas : 927,000
The Moluccas : 413,000
I suspect this discussion would not exist if it was not for the split of Maluku into Maluku and North Maluku which is obfuscating the issue, and we could simply call it Maluku rather than Maluku Islands.
I will look at my (English) texts tonight. I expect to confirm the use of Maluku. --Merbabu (talk) 01:53, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
North Maluku is more recent than Maluku, so we'd expect there to be fewer cites. But general Google is not a RS. GBooks/Scholar is at least closer to a RS. — kwami (talk) 03:03, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

History background[edit]

To be honest, the background information seems almost entirely out of place. It's not even background of the Moluccan history itself. (talk) 13:33, 24 April 2014 (UTC)


The etymology section says the name may have come from an Arab trader's words meaning island of the kings. This could well be a folk etymology...for ex, is there any history to support thinking the island was unusually well supplied with kings?...the source is the second ed. of a 1991 book. That's not recent.Rich (talk) 14:10, 21 May 2014 (UTC)