The king of Hitoe, the northern part of the island of Ambon, held court at Hiettolama. The Company did no business with this king, but dealt instead with Captain Hitoe, who wielded the real power. At first Captain Hitoe was an implacable enemy of the Company, but later negotiation became possible; the VOC could have the clove monopoly provided they did not attempt to convert the population to Christianity.
Contrary to the agreement, Captain Hitoe traded with the Ternate islanders, who were Muslims like himself. Religious differences played an important role in trade on Ambon and the Company was continuously plagued by difficulties in compelling the rebellious Muslim villages to sell their cloves exclusively to the VOC.