Malukan Jewellery and Art

The Maluku Islands are best known as the original Spice Islands, with their valuable diversity of spices kickstarting European colonialism in the 16th century, but it is the islands’ pearl-farming industry that has fuelled one of the richest art forms of jewellery and art making in Indonesia. Pearl farming in the Aru Islands in the Maluku province has become a major source of income to many locals, while the small island of Ambon is famous for its local souvenirs and artworks made from mother-of-pearl – the material that makes up the outer coating of pearls.

Pearls from the Aru Islands come in all shapes and sizes and can be purchased loose and incorporated into jewellery later on. Mother-of-pearl art, on the other hand, is abundant in Ambon’s Batumerah area, with the neighbourhood offering one of the best selections of artworks, as well as the opportunity to experience mother-of-pearl workshops for those looking to learn more about the craft.