Fruit contested by the world
Fruit contested by the world
At first there was one small object that was hunted by the whole world, not diamonds, and also not gems. But Europeans crossed the ocean just to get it, then sell it in excess of the price of gold. That thing called Nutmeg Fruit, Indonesian people call it as "Pala", yellowish colored fruit with black seeds protected by the red membrane became the destination of migrants from various nations to set foot on the Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia, hundreds of years ago.
History of Nutmeg (pala) from the Banda Islands.
How is the history of the Nutmeg and Banda Islands, Edu from the Java Private Tour will tell his story from various sources.
Maybe if it were not for this one fruit, this island could never be heard of. Nutmeg is the soul, history and economic source of the Banda Islands. For centuries, this is the only origin of the place in the world that produces Nutmeg, and sent very far to various parts of the world.
But who would have thought if this nutmeg fragrant could be smelled to various parts of the country. From the 5th century, this fragrant spice has reached Byzantium, 12 thousand kilometers victory from Banda. In 1000 AD, a doctor from Persia, Ibnu Sina wrote about "jansi ban", or "Beans from Banda". Arab traders had entrusted their trade and shipping to Venice to begin shipping and were served at the tables of European nobles. The price is fantastic, in the 14th century, in Germany it was agreed that 1 pound (0.454kg) of nutmeg, approved at prices as high as the Seven Fat Cow, or the value of the Seven Fat Cows, you can imagine how expensive this Nutmeg.
In 1453, the Ottoman Empire invaded and defeated Constantinople (now Istanbul), and embargoed trade that passed through a new area where for several years before, Arab traders passed by to send Pala to Venice. This embargo then stopped the supply of Nutmeg to Europe.
For Christ and spices.
This is what makes traders and travelers of European seas (Portuguese and Italian) find their own origins of the Nutmeg which has often been referred to as Fabled Land via the route to the east, or fairyland, the crew of Portuguese and Italian ships when they got off the boat and set foot on Banda Island, they shouted by saying "For Christ and spices!" while crying.
Then followed by Christoper Columbus who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to find a way to India, then Vasco de Gama around the Cape of Good Hope in 1497, along with it Alfonso de Albuquerque attacked the Maluku islands, including Banda Island, and in 1511 Alfonso Albuquerque succeeded in conquering Banda Island, then built fortresses to consolidate a monopoly over the Pala trade for a century on Banda Island.
Life becomes a bet for the Nutmeg fight.
Until finally in 1605, the Dutch came for the first time to set foot on Earth Of Indonesia, and get rid of the Portuguese, by conquering and capturing the island of Maluku from the Portuguese, and the Dutch monopolized the nutmeg and nutmeg trade, it was the first time that the Dutch East Indies Trading company, known as Verenigde Oost - Indische Compagnie (VOC), built a trading post on Banda Island.
The VOC also made an agreement with the citizens of Banda which required residents to sell nutmeg and nutmeg flowers only to the VOC exclusively. But Banda residents still sell their produce to traders from Java, Makassar and the United Kingdom. Then in 1609, tensions mounted. Admiral Verhoeff from the Netherlands died while negotiating with residents of Banda. The VOC continued to try to use force and diplomacy in the following years to gain complete control of Banda.
At the same time, the British came to establish colonies on the remote islands of Run and Ay Islands in 1616. Knowing this, the VOC felt threatened and thought that Britain was trying to monopolize the nutmeg and nutmeg trade and expel the VOC, and 5 years later, the VOC gained full control of Banda, by sending more than 2,000 troops from Batavia (now Jakarta). They were led by Governor General Jan Pieterszoon Coen to fight thousands of Banda residents. The first cruelty and slavery in the archipelago took place in Banda, and tens of thousands of people died as a result of fighting over the nutmeg.
But on one side the Dutch and the British continued to engage in battle for the next 50 years, because the Dutch wanted to remain fully in control of the Banda islands, but there were still Englishmen on the islands of Run and Ay. Until finally, the two agreed to compromise and swap in the Breda Agreement in 1667. England was willing to give the island of Run to the Netherlands, in exchange, the Dutch gave up the island of Manhattan in New York. This agreement paved the VOC (Dutch) monopoly on the global nutmeg trade.
The beginning of the spread of Nutmeg in the World.
After successfully carrying out all his plans, the VOC then became the largest company in the world. In 1669, the VOC paid an annual dividend of 40%, with 50,000 employees, 10,000 troops, and 200 large ships, most of them warships. The Netherlands secures a monopoly over the nutmeg trade by keeping the Banda island a secret, even by spaying the nutmeg seeds it sells.
Calamity came for the VOC, in 1769, a French horticultural expert, Pierre Poivre, managed to reach the island of Banda and smuggled nutmeg and nutmeg tree seeds. The French then planted seeds and seedlings of nutmeg trees in their colony in Mauritius, and that was the beginning of the destruction of the Nutmeg monopoly by the Dutch.
After that, the British also succeeded in carrying out attacks on the Dutch, and regained control of Banda Island in 1796 to 1802, and succeeded in developing Nutmeg plantations in Penang and Singapore, as well as in other colonies. The island of Grenada in the Caribbean, one of the longest-running British colonies, eventually the island of Grenada became the largest Nutmeg exporting region in the world.
Despite its dark history, the Latin fruit Myristica fragans, the nutmeg plant is a small forest tree, about 18 m tall and belongs to the Myristicaceae family which has about 200 species. This plant grows well under the shade of other tall trees and is the rarest spice of its time.
Source : Indonesia.go.id
Editor: Edu - Java Private Tour.