How Chinese traders – and war over an aphrodisiac – led to a multicultural Indonesia

Much of Indonesia’s history and ideology can be traced back to the Banda Islands, a group of remote, small volcanic islets some 4,000km from the capital of Jakarta.
At 180 sq km, the islands are small compared to the archipelago’s main islands of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. Banda’s position also makes it isolated; the islands consist of 11 islets, four of which are unpopulated, spread out in the middle of the Banda Sea, about six hours sailing from Maluku’s mainland….