RHUNHATTAN – A Tale of Two Islands

With the 350 year anniversary of the 1667 Treaty of Breda coming up on July 31 there was a lot of interest in Beatrice Glow’s historical art installation the Rhunhattan Tearoom that was posted last month.

Beatrice Glow

Beatrice Glow


Beatrice Glow and photographer Alexandre Girardeau visited the Banda islands in April this year to research, to film on the islands, and create a video.

Fort Belgica 3

The Dutch East India Company – Fort Belgica on Banda Island  (Photo by Alexandre Girardeau)

RHUNHATTAN: A Tale of Two Islands explores a pivotal moment during the birth of globalization when the Dutch and the British were locked in a stalemate during the Spice Wars. In 1667, the two countries “exchanged” Manhattan for Rhun, a nutmeg-rich island in present-day Indonesia’s Banda Island Archipelago, thereby leaving the Dutch with a monopoly over the lucrative nutmeg trade. For both the Bandanese and the Lenape people (Native peoples of Manhattan), the consequences were devastating as both suffered forced removal from their homelands. This exchange set in motion an unstoppable wave of colonization and inequalities that continue to shape our present.

Please follow the link below to view their work and the video A Tale of Two Islands  including the poem by Rudi Fofid which tells of the sorrow of Banda after the Banda Massacre committed by the Dutch East India Company in 1621. Those of us who have visited these remote islands with SeaTrek Sailing Adventures will recognise the features and forts on Banda, Rhun and Ambon.


Join me in September 2017 for ‘the voyage of a lifetime’ as we sail with SeaTrek Bali from Maumere in Flores around the outer islands of Eastern Indonesia to Rhun, Banda and Ambon.




About ianburnet

Author of the book, Spice Islands. Which tells the History, Romance and Adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia over a period of 2000 years. Author of the book, East Indies.Which tells the history of the struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for supremacy in the Eastern Seas. Author of the book 'Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia'. Author of the book 'Where Australia Collides with Asia' Author of the book 'The Tasman Map'. Author of the book 'Eastern Voyages'.
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1 Response to RHUNHATTAN – A Tale of Two Islands

  1. Toni Pollard says:

    Fascinating innovative project! The exhibition and those extraordinary photos should raise awareness of the Rhun – Manhattan connection which the world has forgotten for 350 years.

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