Ambon Island


Ambon Island

Infobox Islands
name = Ambon



image caption = Ceram and Ambon Islands (Operational Navigation Chart, 1967) Not for navigational use.
locator
Location map|Indonesia|lat=-3.7|long=128.166667
map_custom = yes
native name =
native name link =
location = South East Asia
coordinates= coord|3|42|S|128|10|E|type:isle
archipelago = Maluku Islands
total islands =
major islands =
area =
highest mount =
elevation =
country = Indonesia
country admin divisions title =
country admin divisions =
country largest city =
country largest city population =
population =
population as of =
density =
ethnic groups =

Ambon Island is part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. The island has an area of 775 km² (300 sq mi.), and is mountainous, well watered, and fertile. The main city and seaport is Ambon (1990 pop. 275,888), which is also the capital of Maluku province. Ambon has an airport, and is home to the Pattimura University, a state university, and a few private universities.

Geography

Ambon Island lies off the south-west coast of the much larger Seram island. It is on the north side of the Banda Sea, part of a chain of volcanic isles that form a circle around the sea. It is 51 km (32 miles) in length, and is of very irregular shape, being almost divided into two. The south-eastern and smaller portion, a peninsula (called Leitimor) is united to the northern (Hitoe) by a narrow neck of land. Ambon city lies on the north-west of Leitimor, facing Hitoe, and has a safe harbor on Amboyna Bay.

The highest mountains, Wawani (1100 m/3609 ft) and Salahutu (1225 m/4020 ft.), have hot springs and solfataras. They are volcanoes, and the mountains of the neighboring Uliasser islands, extinct volcanoes. Granite and serpentine rocks predominate, but the shores of Amboyna Bay are of chalk, and contain stalactite caves.

Wild areas of Ambon Island are covered by tropical rainforest, part of the Seram rain forests ecoregion, together with neighboring Seram. Seram, Ambon, and most of Maluku are part of Wallacea, the group of Indonesian islands that are separated by deep water from both the Asian and Australian continents, and have never been linked to the continents by land.

As a result of this isolation, Ambon has few indigenous mammals; birds are more abundant. The insect diversity of the island, however, is rich, particularly in butterflies. Seashells are obtained in great numbers and variety. Tortoise-shell is also exported.

Climate

The average temperature is 80 F., rarely sinking below 72. Rainfall can be heavy, especially after the eastern monsoons, and the island is vulnerable to violent typhoons. The dry season (October to April) is coincident with the period of the west monsoon.

Economy

Cassava and sago are the chief crops, which also include breadfruit, sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, pepper and cotton. and hunting and fishing supplement the diet. Nutmeg and cloves, were once the dominant export crops, and are now produced in limited quantities. Copra is also exported. Amboina wood, obtained from a local tree ("Pterocarpus indicus"), is highly valued for ornamental woodwork, is now mostly grown on Seram.

Demographics

The Ambonese are of mixed Malay-Papuan origin. They are mostly Christians or Muslims. The predominant language of the island is Ambonese Malay, also called Ambonese. It developed as the trade language of central Maluku, and is spoken elsewhere in Maluku as a second language. Bilingualism in Indonesian is high around Ambon City. There are strong ethnic tensions on the island between Muslims and Christians. [cite web
last =Mardai
first =Gadis
title =Ambon rioting leaves 100 dead in Indonesia
publisher =World Socialist Website
date =30 January 1999
url =http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jan1999/indo-j30.shtml
accessdate = 2007-01-10
]

History

In 1513, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Ambon, and it became the new centre for Portuguese activities in Maluku following their expulsion from Ternate. cite book
last =Ricklefs | first =M.C. | authorlink = | coauthors = | title =A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition | publisher =MacMillan | date =1991 | location =London | pages =p.25 | url = | doi = | id = ISBN 0-333-57689-6
] The Portuguese, however, were regularly attacked from native Muslims on the island's northern coast, in particular Hitu, which had trading and religious links with major port cities on Java's north coast. They established a factory in 1521, but did not obtain peaceable possession of it until 1580. Indeed, the Portuguese never managed to control the local trade in spices, and failed in attempts to establish their authority over the Banda Islands, the nearby centre of nutmeg production.

The Portuguese were dispossessed by the Dutch already in 1605, when Steven van der Hagen took over the fort and without a single shot. Ambon was the headquarters of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) from 1610 to 1619 until the founding of Batavia (now Jakarta) by the Dutch.cite book | last =Ricklefs | first =M.C. | authorlink = | coauthors = | title =A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition | publisher =MacMillan | date =1991 | location =London | pages =p.28 | url = | doi = | id = ISBN 0-333-57689-6 ] About 1615 the British formed a settlement on the island at Cambello, which they retained until 1623, when it was destroyed by the Dutch. Frightful tortures inflicted on its unfortunate inhabitants were connected with its destruction. In 1654, after many fruitless negotiations, Oliver Cromwell compelled the United Provinces to give the sum of 300,000 gulden, as compensation to the descendants of those who suffered in the "Ambon Massacre", together with Manhattan. [cite book
last =Milton
first =Giles
authorlink =Giles Milton
title =Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: How one man's courage changed the course of history
publisher =Sceptre
date =2000
location =
pages =400
id = ISBN 0374219362
] In 1673 the poet John Dryden produced his tragedy "Amboyna; or the Cruelties of the Dutch to the English Merchants". In 1796 the British, under Admiral Rainier, captured Ambon, but restored it to the Dutch at the peace of Amiens, in 1802. It was retaken by the British in 1810, but once more restored to the Dutch in 1814. Ambon used to be the world center of clove production; until the nineteenth century, the Dutch prohibited the rearing of the clove-tree in all the other islands subject to their rule, in order to secure the monopoly to Ambon.

During the Dutch period, Ambon city was the seat of the Dutch resident and military commander of the Moluccas. The town was protected by Fort Victoria, and a 1911 encyclopedia characterized it as "a clean little town with wide streets, well planted". The population was divided into two classes "orang burger" or citizens, and "orang negri" or villagers, the former being a class of native origin enjoying certain privileges conferred on their ancestors by the old Dutch East India Company. There were also, besides the Dutch, some Arabs, Chinese and a few Portuguese settlers.

Ambon city was the site of a major Dutch military base, which was captured from Allied forces by the Japanese in the Battle of Ambon (1942), during World War II. The battle was followed by the summary execution of more than 300 Allied POWs, in the Laha massacre.

Indonesia declared its independence in 1945. As a result of ethnic and religious tensions, as well as President Sukarno's making of Indonesia a centralised state, Ambon was the scene of a revolt against the Indonesian government, which resulted in the rebellion of Republic of the South Moluccas in 1950.

Template group
title = History
list =

References

External links

* [http://www.malukuprov.go.id/subpage.asp?id=40 Ambon Information Website]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ambon, Maluku — Ambon (1990 pop. 275,888) is the main city and seaport of Ambon Island, and is the capital of Maluku province of Indonesia. It is one of the largest cities in eastern Indonesia. The city was the site of some of the worst violence between… …   Wikipedia

  • Ambon — may refer to:* Ambon Island, an island in Indonesia. * Ambon, Maluku, a city on the Ambon Island, the capital of Maluku (province). * Battle of Ambon, a World War II battle between Allied and Japanese forces which occurred on the island in 1942 * …   Wikipedia

  • Ambon — /ahm bawn/, n. 1. an island in the central Moluccas, in E Indonesia. 72,679; 314 sq. mi. (813 sq. km). 2. a seaport on this island. 56,037. Also, Amboina. * * * Island of the Moluccas, Indonesia. Located in the Malay Archipelago, it is 31 mi (50… …   Universalium

  • ambon — /am bon/, n., pl. ambones /am boh neez/. ambo. * * * Island of the Moluccas, Indonesia. Located in the Malay Archipelago, it is 31 mi (50 km) long and 10 mi (16 km) wide, with an area of 294 sq mi (761 sq km). Its chief port is also called Ambon… …   Universalium

  • Ambon — or Amboina geographical name 1. island E Indonesia in the Moluccas S of Ceram area 314 square miles (816 square kilometers) 2. city & port on Ambon Island population 276,955 • Ambonese also Amboinese adjective or noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Ambon — [am′bän΄] 1. one of the Molucca Islands, southwest of Ceram, in Indonesia: 314 sq mi (813 sq km) 2. seaport on this island: pop. 206,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Ambon — Am•bon [[t]ˈɑm bɔn[/t]] also Amboina [[t]æmˈbɔɪ nə[/t]] n. 1) geg an island in the central Moluccas, in E Indonesia. 72,679; 314 sq. mi. (813 sq. km) 2) geg a seaport on this island. 56,037 Am•bo•nese ˌæm bəˈniz, ˈnis n. pl. nese, adj …   From formal English to slang

  • Ambon — /ˈambɒn/ (say ahmbon) noun 1. an island in Indonesia, in the Moluccas. 813 km2. 2. a seaport on this island. Formerly, Amboina. –Ambonese, noun, adjective …   Australian English dictionary

  • Battle of Ambon — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Ambon caption=Laha airfield, Ambon (as seen in 1945). The Bay of Ambon and the Laitimor Peninsula are in the background. (Photographer: Staff Sergeant R. L. Stewart.) partof=World War II, Pacific War… …   Wikipedia

  • Seram Island — For the village in Nepal, see Seram, Nepal. Seram Island Geography Location South East …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.