Seram is the largest and main island of Maluku province of Indonesia
, despite Ambon
Island's historical importance. It is located just north of smaller Ambon Island
. The chief port/town is Masohi, the new provincial capital.
Geography And Geology:
Seram is traversed by a central mountain range, the highest point of which, Mount Binaiya
, is covered with dense rain forests. Its remarkably complex geology is due to its location at the meeting of several tectonic microplates, that has been described as "one of the most tectonically complex areas on Earth". Seram actually falls on its own microplate that has been twisted around by 80° in the last 8 million years by the relatively faster movement of the Papua microplate. Meanwhile, along with the northward push of the Australian Plate, this has resulted in the uplift that gives north-central Seram peaks of over 3000m.
Seram island is remarkable for its high degree of localised bird endemism. From the 117 species of birds on the island, 14 are endemic, including the Eclectus Parrot, Purple-naped Lory, Salmon-crested Cockatoo, Lazuli Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Grey-necked Friarbird and Moluccan King Parrot.
Seram has been traditionally associated with the animism of the indigenous Alfur (or Nuaulu), a West Melanesian people who reputedly retained a custom of headhunting until the 1940s. Today, however, most of the population of Seram today is either Muslim or Christian due to both conversion and immigration. Seram was affected by the violent inter-religious conflict that swept Maluku province starting in late 1998, resulting in tens of thousands of displaced persons across the province but after the Malino II Accord agreement tempers cooled. Seram has been peaceful for many years but towns like Masohi remain informally divided into de facto Christian and Muslim sections. Around 7,000 people belonging to the Manusela tribe follow Hinduism.