MOLE-ISLAM, n.p. The title appl ied to a certain class of rustic Mahommedans or quasi-Mahommedans in Guzerat, said to have been forcib ly converted in the time of the famous Sultan Mahmud Bigarra, Butler’s “Prince of Cambay.” We are ignorant of the true orthography or meaning of the term. [In the E. Panjab the descendants of Jats forcibly converted to Islam are known as Mula, or ‘unfortunate’ (Ibbetson, Panjab Ethnography, p. 142). The word is derived from the nakshatra or lunar asterism of Mul, to be born in which is considered specially unlucky.]

[1808.—“Mole-Islams.” See under GRASSIA.]

MOLEY, s. A kind of (so-called wet) curry used in the Madras Presidency, a large amount of coco-nut being one of the ingredients. The word is a corruption of ‘Malay’; the dish being simply a bad imitation of one used by the Malays. [1885.—“Regarding the Ceylon curry. … It is known by some as the ‘Malay curry,’ and it is closely allied to the moli of the Tamils of Southern India.” Then follows the recipe.—Wyvern, Culinary Jottings, 5th ed., 299.]

MOLLY, or (better) MALLEE, s. Hind. mali, Skt. malika, ‘a garland-marker,’ or a member of the caste which furnishes gardeners. We sometimes have heard a lady from the Bengal Presidency speak of the daily homage of “the Molly with his dolly,” viz. of the mali with his dali.

1759.—In a Calcutta wages tariff of this year we find—

“House Molly … … 4 Rs.”
In Long, 182.

MOLUCCAS, n.p. The ‘Spice Islands,’ strictly speaking the five Clove Islands, lying to the west of Gilolo, and by name Ternate (Tarnati), Tidore (Tidori), Mortir, Makian, and Bachian. [See Mr. Gray’s note on Pyrard de Laval, Hak. Soc. ii. 166.] But the application of the name has been extended to all the islands under Dutch rule, between Celebes and N. Guinea. There is a Dutch governor residing at Amboyna, and the islands are divided into 4 residencies, viz. Amboyna, Banda, Ternate and Manado. The origin of the name Molucca, or Maluco as the Portuguese called it, is not recorded; but it must have been that by which the islands were known to the native traders at the time of the Portuguese discoveries. The early accounts often dwell on the fact that each island (at least three of them) had a king of its own. Possibly they got the (Ar.) name of Jazirat-al-Muluk, ‘The Isles of the Kings.’

Valentijn probably entertained the same view of the derivation. He begins his account of the islands by saying:

“There are many who have written of the Moluccos and of their Kings, but we have hitherto met with no writer who has given an exact view of the subject” (Deel, i. Mol. 3).

And on the next page he says: “For what reason they have been called Moluccos we shall not here say; for we shall do this circumstantially when we shall speak of the Molukse Kings and their customs.”
But we have been unable to find the fulfilment of this intention, though probably it exists in that continent of a work somewhere. We have also seen a paper by a writer who draws much from the quarry of Valentijn. This is an article by Dr. Van Muschenbroek in the Proceedings of the International Congress of Geog. at Venice in 1881 (ii. pp. 596, seqq.), in which he traces the name to the same origin. He appears to imply that the chiefs were known among themselves as Molokos, and that this term was substituted for the indigenous Kolano, or King. “Ce nom, ce titre restèrent, et furent même peu à peu employés, non seulement pour les chefs, mais aussi pour l’état même. A la longue les îles et les états des Molokos devinrent les îles et les états Molokos.” There is a good deal that is questionable, however, in this writer’s deductions and etymologies. [Mr. Skeat remarks: “The islands appear to be mentioned in the Chinese history of the Tang dynasty (618–696) as Mi-li-ku, and if this be so the name is perhaps too old to be Arab.”]

c. 1430.—“Has (Javas) ultra xv dierum cursu duae reperiuntur insulae, orientem versus. Altera Sandai appellatur, in qua nuces muscatae et maces; altera Bandam nomine, in qua sola gariofali producuntur.”—N. Conti, in Poggius.

1501.—The earliest mention of these islands by this name, that we know, is in a letter of Amerigo Vespucci (quoted under CANHAMEIRA), who in 1501, among the places heard of by Cabral’s fleet, mentions the Maluche Islands.

1510.—“We disembarked in the island of Monoch, which is much smaller than Bandan; but the people are worse. … Here the cloves grow, and in many other neighbouring islands, but they are small and uninhabited.”—Varthema, 246.

1514.—“Further on is Timor, whence comes

  By PanEris using Melati.

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