The Spice Trade’s Forgotten Island
There’s just something about an isolated island that captures my imagination. Last year, it was the mysterious military base turned science project, Ascension Island; this time it’s a little postcolonial island in the Banda Sea called Run (also known as Rhun or Pulo Run). Without the work of Indonesian photographer Muhammad Fadli, I would never have known its story.
You see, the island of Run was once an important trade lynchpin in the 17th century because of its valuable nutmeg production. Surprising fact: In 1667 the Treaty of Breda determined that the English would cede control of Run island to the Dutch in return for Manhattan—yes, that Manhattan.
After a four-hour flight, an eight-hour voyage on a