The Maluku Islands are an archipelago in Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north of Timor. The islands were also historically known as the Spice Islands by the Chinese and Europeans, but this term has also been applied to other islands.
The Tanimbar Islands, also called Timor Laut, are a group of about 65 islands in the Maluku province of Indonesia, including Fordata, Larat, Maru, Molu, Nuswotar, Selaru, Selu, Seira, Wotap, Wuliaru and Yamdena.
The Aru Islands and Kai Islands lie to the northeast, and Babar Island and Timor lie to the west. The islands separate the Banda Sea and the Arafura Sea. The total land area of the Islands is 5440 km˛.
The largest of the group is Yamdena. Yamdena Island has a range of thickly forested hills along its eastern coast, while its western coast is lower. Saumlaki is the chief town, located on the south end of Yamdena. Other islands include Larat, Selaru, and Wuliaru.
The population is approximately 61,000, of whom 44,000 are Christian, and 17,000 Muslim and unknown. The tiny island of Tanimbarkei is part not part of Tanimbar, but of the Kai Islands and inhabited by less than 1000 very traditional people.
The Tanimbar Islands are part of the Banda Sea Islands moist deciduous forests ecoregion.
Tanimbar warriors. Important products are copra, tortoiseshell, and trepang (an edible sea cucumber).
Location map of Tanimbar Island
Last revised on May 20, 2011
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