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用来交换曼哈顿的印尼小岛

更新时间:2017/11/6 13:03:17 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

The tiny island the British traded for Manhattan
用来交换曼哈顿的印尼小岛

We sailed out of the Arafura Sea, through the Timor Sea and into the Savu Sea. Soon we'd be in the Flores Sea and then the Banda Sea – home of the Banda, or Spice Islands, a cluster of 11 lush islands in eastern Indonesia. In the early days of sail exploration, these seas were known by Arabic traders as the Seven Seas, those enchanting waters on the other side of the world where spice was in the wind. To sail them meant you had sailed as far from staid, grey Europe as you could. According to the old sea charts, you'd reached the mystical ‘land of dragons’.

我们驶出阿拉弗拉海(Arafura Sea),穿过帝汶海(Timor Sea),进入了萨武海(Savu Sea)。我们将很快进入佛洛瑞斯海(Flores Sea),然后就是班达群岛所在的班达海(Banda Sea)。班达群岛也称为香料群岛(Spice Islands),由位于印度尼西亚东部的11座郁郁葱葱的岛屿组成。在航海探险初期,以上这些海洋被阿拉伯商人称为"七大洋"。在这片地处世界另一端的迷人水域,弥漫着香料的气息。来到这里,就意味着你已经远离古板的灰色欧洲。按照古老的海图,你就已经抵达了神秘的"龙之国"。

For the record, there are more than seven seas; it’s more like 100. But these waters did feel different. It wasn’t just the clove-scented breeze, the long, slow swells, or the high-bowed fishing boats that swooped close to look at us. We’d sailed to a place where history meets legend, a place where traditional ships still sail past live volcanoes to a forgotten island that once changed the world.

其实这不止是七大洋;更有可能是100片海洋。但这些水域的确非比寻常。这里不仅有弥漫着香气的微风、绵长缓慢的波浪、出其不意靠近我们的弯弯渔船。我们乘船前往的是一个历史与传奇的交汇之地。在这里,传统船只仍然会穿过以往的活火山,前往一个被遗忘的小岛,而它曾令世界变得不同。

From our vantage at anchor, we watched colourful sailing canoes glide by on the water as competing calls of three muezzin summoned people to prayer in the mosques on shore. Two fishermen paddled up in a small wooden dugout and said good morning while handing us bananas. After the niceties (what are our names, where are we from, where have we been and where are we going?), their eyes turned to our boat’s details. My husband Evan did his best to explain how our 12m catamaran was built and what materials we used. But most of their answers were found by studying the shape of the hull.

在停泊处,我们看到五颜六色的帆船在水面上滑行,此时岸上清真寺里三名宣礼员正在召唤人们祈祷。两个渔民划着一条小小的独木舟,一边说着早上好,一边把香蕉递给我们。一阵寒暄(我们叫什么名字?我们从哪里来?都到过哪里?我们要去哪里?)过后,他们的目光转向了我们小船的细部。我丈夫埃文(Evan)竭尽全力向他们解释我们1200万的双体船是如何建造的以及我们使用了什么材料。但是,他们大部分答案还是通过研究船体的形状得到的。

Perhaps it’s similar to the way an architect or builder approaches a new building; looking for details that explain how people adapt structures to a location’s weather, landscape and culture. Sailors and fisherman build our vessels to suit a place, and we have a language all our own.

也许这类似于建筑师或建筑工人探究新建筑的方式;找出那些能解释人们怎样让建筑适应当地天气、景观和文化等方面的细节。水手和渔夫们为我们造的船要适应一个地方的特点,我们拥有自己的语言。

In Indonesia, where the ocean has long been the highway between the more than 17,000 islands, boats offer a myriad of clues about the seas and the people. The dugouts are obvious – they’re limited by the size of trees and never travel far from home. Long, narrow-hulled fishing boats are perfect for launching from a beach, and cut through the swell nicely.

在印度尼西亚,海洋一直是一万七千多座岛屿之间的高速公路,船只流露出海洋和人类生活的无数端倪。这些都是显而易见的——船只受树木大小所限,而且从不会前往离家很远的地方。狭长的渔船非常适合从海滩上启航,还能灵活地穿过波浪。

But it’s the big schooners, called phinisi in Indonesian, that tell the most intriguing story. Like most of the boats we’d seen, much of the construction is traditional: hand-carved beams; wooden dowels instead of nails; and seams caulked with cotton. But the twist is that these two-masted ships borrowed both design details (originally part cargo ship, part warship) and the source of their name from Dutch pinnaces, vessels that first found their way to the Banda Sea in the spring of 1599.

但是,在印尼还有一种称为"比尼西"(phinisi)的大型帆船,关于它的故事才最为引人入胜。和我们看到的其他多数船只一样,比尼西帆船大部分的结构也都具传统特色:横梁为手工雕刻;以木钉代替铁钉;接缝处用棉花填充。而且双桅的比尼西帆船的名字也来自于1599年首次在班达海域出现的荷兰船只“pinnace”。

The Dutch, along with the Portuguese, English and Spanish, had been in a ferocious race to find the elusive Spice Islands and gain control of the spice trade. There were fortunes to be made in cloves and nutmeg, and everyone was eager to knock out the middleman – the Asian and Arab traders who kept the islands’ location a secret.

为寻找难以捉摸的香料群岛,获得香料贸易的控制权,荷兰人与葡萄牙人、英国人以及西班牙人曾展开激烈的竞争。丁香和肉豆蔻有利可图,人人都渴望剔除中间商——那些把这些岛屿的位置当作秘密保守的亚洲和阿拉伯商人。

When the Dutch finally found the islands, they protected their investment by forming the Dutch East India Company (VOC). With a horrific brutality that included slaying much of the local Bandanese population, they gained control of the plantations of evergreen nutmeg trees; the spice they produced not only flavoured food but was thought to cure illness including the bubonic plague.

当荷兰人最终找到这些岛屿时,他们通过成立荷兰东印度公司(VOC)来保护他们的投资。他们杀死了许多当地居民,以残忍的暴力控制了四季常绿的肉豆蔻树种植园;他们制作的香料不仅有香味,而且被认为可以治愈包括黑死病在内的疾病。

At the time, nutmeg only grew in the Banda Islands. A combination of the region’s isolation and the finicky nature of the nutmeg tree kept the price astronomical. Nutmeg will only grow in specific conditions: fertile, well-drained soil in a tropical climate that gets lots of rain. Even then the trees only fruit after seven to nine years, and the labour-intensive process of harvesting requires workers to handpick each fruit and remove the outer covering, before carefully peeling off the mace (a delicate, saffron-coloured spice), drying the seed and cracking off the hard shell.

那时候,只有班达群岛才有肉豆蔻树生长。这个地区与世隔绝,加上肉豆蔻树的挑剔本性,香料价格高得离谱。肉豆蔻只会在特定的条件下生长:要有热带气候,有大量降水的肥沃土壤。即使这样,肉豆蔻树在生长7到9年之后才会有结出果实,而收获过程还需要大量人工,要靠人逐一采摘,去掉外皮,然后小心翼翼地剥去皮肉(一种精致的、橘黄色的香料),干燥种子,并拨开种子坚硬的外壳。

With the local population subdued and enslaved as workers, the VOC monopoly of the spice trade was now hampered by just one thing. In 1616, the English had managed to gain control of a Banda Island called Run; a speck of island less than 2 miles long and just more than half a mile wide. It was here the English claimed their first colony and formed the English East India Company, and in doing so launched the British Empire.

随着当地人口的减少和遭受奴役,从事香料贸易的荷兰东印度公司要实现垄断只面临一件事的阻碍。1616年,英国人成功取得班达卢恩岛(Banda Run)的控制权;这是一个不到2英里长,宽仅半英里的小岛。正是在这里,英国人宣布他们取得第一个殖民地,并成立了英国东印度公司,大英帝国由此诞生。

The English East India Company was only able to defend Run against the Dutch for four years – but they didn’t give up their claim. In 1664, in retaliation, four English frigates were sent across the Atlantic Ocean to seize a Dutch holding called New Amsterdam. The seat of the colonial Dutch government at southern tip of Manhattan Island had a population of 2,000 people, but they quickly capitulated. In 1677, the two countries came to an agreement; both had refused to give up their claims on each other’s islands, so they made a trade. The Dutch gained control of Run and the English got New Amsterdam – a new colony they renamed New York.

英国东印度公司抵御荷兰人的攻击仅仅维持了四年,但他们并没有放弃自己主张的权利。1664年,为了报复,四艘英国护卫舰被派往大西洋对岸,占领了荷兰一个名为"新阿姆斯特丹"(New Amsterdam)的地区。那是位于曼哈顿岛(Manhattan Island)南端的荷兰殖民政府的所在地,一共有2000人,但他们很快就投降了。1677年,两国达成一项协议;双方都拒绝放弃各自对其岛屿的主权要求,因此他们进行了交换。荷兰人获得卢恩岛的控制权,而英国人则得到新阿姆斯特丹——后来英国人重新命名为纽约。

These days, the Bandanese have regained control of their 11 islands and their nutmeg. Not many signs of the Dutch or English remain, other than the ruins from the VOC’s forts, the architectural style of the homes and the shape of the phinisi schooners that carry liveaboard divers around the islands. Ships like these were once Indonesia’s main form of transportation, carrying spices and cargo. Later they gained notoriety when the crews turned to piracy, using their skills to plunder European ships. These days, many of the traditional phinisi are outfitted with comfortable cabins and offer multiday voyages throughout Indonesia.

如今,班达群岛11个岛屿和肉豆蔻的控制权已经重新回到班达人手中。除了荷兰东印度公司堡垒的废墟、房屋的建筑风格和比尼西帆船的形状,当年荷兰人或英国人留下的痕迹现在已经所剩无几。比尼西帆船如今被用于船宿潜水旅游。像这样的船在印度尼西亚一度曾是运送香料和货物的主要交通工具。后来,当船员们做起了海盗,利用一技之长掠夺欧洲船只,他们也就声名狼藉了。如今,许多传统的比尼西帆船都配上舒适的船舱,成为游客周游印度尼西亚各地的交通工具。

We came across our first phinisi schooner when it sailed into our isolated bay off Alor Island. Anchored beside us, it looked like it had travelled out of the region’s turbulent past – except for the passengers gearing up for a dive. Not long after the schooner’s guests dove into the water, we followed.

有一艘比尼西帆船驶进我们在阿勒尔岛(Alor Island)的偏僻海湾,我们第一次见到比尼西帆船。它就在我们的旁边抛锚,它看起来好像已经走出了这个地区动荡的过去——除了那些准备潜水的乘客。在大船的客人们跳入水中后不久,我们也跟着下水了。

Swimming along a steep drop off, I admired the colour and diversity of the hard coral. Then a school of jacks caught my eye. Soon I was enthralled, in turn, by a turtle, Napoleon wrasse and a black tipped shark. I spent a while staring down a lobster before coming across the kind of traditional bamboo fish trap that wouldn’t have been out of place in an archaeological museum. When we surfaced to a view of fishermen in dugout canoes bobbing alongside the ancient-looking schooner, I thought it was our boat that had sailed through time.

我一边沿着陡峭的山坡游泳,一边欣赏着硬珊瑚的多姿多彩。这时,一群水生物吸引了我的目光。很快,我就被一只海龟、一条拿破仑隆头鱼和一条黑鲨鱼给迷住了。我盯着一只龙虾好半天,才发现这是一种传统的竹鱼陷阱,这种陷阱在考古博物馆里是见不到的。浮出水面时,我们看到独木舟上的渔民们在旁边快速摆弄着一条船,我一直还以为是我们的船在晃动。

That evening, as I watched the schooner bobbing in the swell at the base of a jungle-covered volcano, I wondered briefly what the world would have looked like if the English hadn’t traded Run for New York. But as the stars grew impossibly bright in the sky, I realised that perhaps it didn’t matter – in that moment, the world was as it should be.

当天晚上,我在一个丛林覆盖的火山脚下看着帆船缓缓起伏,我很想知道如果英国人没有用纽约交换的话,这个岛会是什么样子。仰头看到天空中变得亮得不可思议的星星,我才意识到,这也许无关紧要——在那一刻,世界就是它原本该有的样子。

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