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Click here for scholarly works related to my research. Those publications will also include comprehensive bibliographies. Other recommended popular and scholarly works include the following:

Two recently published books document the history of European's involvement in the spice trade. The Scents of Eden : A Narrative of the Spice Trade by Charles Corn and Nathaniel's Nutmeg Or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History by Giles Milton. Both are written for general audiences, though Milton's book, which focuses on the English role in Banda, especially on Pulau Rhun, is arguably the more compelling read. Now out of print, Willard Hanna's book Indonesian Banda published in 1978, remains the only English-language history of the Banda Islands--you can still buy copies in the Muzium Rumah Budaya in Banda Naira, and it has also been privately reprinted as a coffee table book with new photographs, available (as far as I know) only in Banda.

For archaeology in the region, there really hasn't been much done yet, but the Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago by Peter S. Bellwood, reviews much of the work done to date (1997).

Academic journals that cover the archaeology, anthropology and history of region include Asian Perspectives (archaeology of the Pacific), Archaeology in Oceania, Cakalele, The Journal of Southeast Asian History and Indonesia.

For more academic, but very well written, histories of the East Indies, I recommend the works of Anthony Reid, including Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680: Expansion and Crisis, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680: The Lands Below the Winds, and the edited volume Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Era: Trade, Power, and Belief. Leonard Andaya's book The World of Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period, is also good, though concerned mostly with the clove growing islands to the north of Banda, such as Ternate and Tidore. Any of Charles R. Boxer's works (such as The Portuguese Seaborne Empire 1415-1825, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800), though becoming dated, are as yet unmatched scholarship. A comprehensive review of the Indian Ocean trade network (and into Island Southeast Asia) is K.N. Chaudhuri's Asia Before Europe: Economy and Civilization of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 , and The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint Stock Company, 1600-1640 is great.

For an inspiring travel account, including a large section on Banda, Ring of Fire: Exploring the Last Remote Places of the World by Lawrence and Lorne Blair can't be beat. It's also available on video, and Volume 1 has some great footage of the Blairs' arrival in Banda on board a pinisi schooner.

E.M.Beekman, a scholar who focuses on Dutch colonial literature, has translated and compiled several fascinating and well illustrated books which include selections from the works of the blind genius 17th century Dutch East India Company merchant and amateur naturalist, Georg Rumphius, who lived in Ambon. His most recent book, The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet is wonderful, as is a previous compilation, The Poison Tree: Selected Writings of Rumphius of the Natural History of the Indies. Also, any of Beekman's volumes on Dutch colonial literature are excellent.

I highly recommend reading The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise, a Narrative of Travel, With Studies of Man and Nature, by Alfred Russell Wallace. The book is a narrative of Wallace's travels throughout the Indonesian archipelago, where he independently developed a theory of evolution. It includes great descriptions of wildlife and culture circa 1860.

For more information on spices and the role they have played in human history, I recommend Joanna Hall Brierley's book, Spices: The Story of Indonesia's Spice Trade, which has some nicely reproduced illustrations. Also check out Tastes of Paradise : A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants by Wolfgang Schivelbusch and David Jacobson.

For English language literature related to the Maluku region, try Maria Dermout's novel Ten Thousand Things, an atmospheric Dutch magico-realism tale, set in Ambon. Also recommended are any of Joseph Conrad's East Indies books (Victory, Lord Jim, etc.), for general colonial atmosphere. Somerset Maugham's The Narrow Corner is not one of his best, but it is partly set in Banda (see if you can see through the thin disguise of the name).

ANU's Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies maintains a useful web site. This site maintained by Archaeology World at ANU also has excellent links to archaeology projects in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Phillip Winn is the only socio-cultural anthropologist to have conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the islands to date.  Read his report on the violence in Banda and Ambon.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison's Southeast Asian Studies Dept. has an excellent site with links to many Indonesia oriented sites. Indonesian Heritage has some useful information and is adding new stuff regularly.

Check out Smithsonian Folkways wonderful Music of Indonesia series--the Maluku CD is great.

The Banda Islands are being considered for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Look at their web site for updates, and information on World Heritage conservation.

For the latest news about Indonesia check out Kompas, the Jakarta Post or the BBC-Asia Pacific news sites.

Andrew Lawless, who served as the staff photographer on the project, and took many of the photos on this site and also shot film and video footage of the project.  He can be reached at

The 17th century Dutch ship the Duyfken visited Banda on its way to "discover" Australia. Visit this site to learn more about a replica of the ship that was recently launched at the Western Australia Maritime Museum. Follow Tim Severin's voyage along A.R. Wallace's route through the Spice Islands in a traditional Indonesian boat. Nick Burningham maintains a fascinating site about traditional Indonesian sailing craft.

Great contemporary maps of Indonesia in Peter Loud's map site. The James Ford Bell library at the University of Minnesota has a searchable database for antique maps of the world, many on-line. Thomas Suarez is a private map dealer and author of early Mapping of Southeast Asia (Periplus 1999) with an excellent web site at

Look at this botanical website for more information about nutmeg and other spices.