Brunei’s maritime golden age on display

Rokiah Mahmud

A media preview to the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum in Kota Batu was held yesterday to showcase the Brunei Maritime Glory Gallery.

The gallery is open for visitors and divided into three zones including the rise of Brunei Empire – one of the oldest Malay kingdoms in the Malay Archipelago; Brunei in international trade; and the ceramics of Southeast Asia.

During the preview, members of the media were briefed about the gallery that showed Brunei at its height of power during the reign of Sultan Bolkiah in the 15th century (1485 to 1524). The Golden Age of Brunei was due to maritime trade and its strategic location between China and Southeast Asian region making Brunei an entrepot.

The second zone of the gallery shows international trade between 13th to 17th Century Brunei with China, Pegu, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Malacca, Acheh, Bugis, Manila, Suluk, Patani and Siam. Archaeological artefacts such as coins, beads, glass bangle, shells (once used as currency) and some of products produced by the sultanate such as copper are exhibited.

The exhibition also showed historically riverine Bruneians carry out their daily necessity such as communication, economy, transportation and social activities as well as trade. Collections on display included replica boats.

On the third zone of the gallery, ceramics from a number of Southeast Asia kingdoms are on display. The items are from Thailand, Vietnam, Champa and Burma. Carbon dating showed they were produced in the 10th Century to 13th Century.

Under the fourth de-escalation plan, visiting hours will be on Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm and closed every Monday and Friday.

The museum was opened by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office on March 23, 2015.

A media preview to the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum in Kota Batu was held yesterday to showcase the Brunei Maritime Glory Gallery divided into three zones: The rise of Brunei Empire; Brunei in international trade; and the ceramics of Southeast Asia.
ABOVE & BELOW: Artefacts on display at the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum; and the museum in Kota Batu that opened in 2015. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Replica boats on display