View of Banda, Southern Moluccas, attributed to Johannes Vinckboons, c. 1662 - c. 1663
The Dutch East India Company obtained mace and nutmeg from Banda (now Banda Neira), one of the Moluccas (Maluku Islands). In 1621, under Governor- General Jan Pietersz Coen, the island was brutally punished for conducting illicit trade with third parties. Its entire population – fifteen thousand people – was killed, driven away or sold into slavery. The ‘slaughterer of Banda’ divided the island into nutmeg plots, which were heavily guarded by two forts, Nassau and Belgica.