Manipa was an island in front of the coast of Hoamoal (Western Seram), a clove-producing region, and under the control of the kimelaha, the leader of Hoamoal with whom the VOC was periodically in conflict. The mutual relations between the VOC and the inhabitants of the island were generally bad, and the island was the target of several Dutch military expeditions in the course of the 17th century.

Manipa was deliberately destroyed ecologically at the beginning of the Great Ambon War (1651-1656): in retaliation for the surprise attacks on VOC posts in March 1651, of which the one on Manipa was the most brutal, the island was turned into “an eternal wasteland” by cutting all the trees that were useful to the human population of the island. At the end of the war, the remaining inhabitants were forced to resettle around the Dutch fort Wantrouw on the south coast of the island.