The public, especially history lovers now have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and learn more about the glorious history of Brunei Darussalam’s maritime by visiting the Brunei Maritime Glory Gallery located at the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum which is open for public visits.
The gallery is divided into three zones, which among others, narrates the emergence Brunei’s empire, one of the country’s oldest kingdoms in the Malay Archipelago. Chinese and Arab records show that this trade kingdom began as early as the 7th or 8th century located at the mouth of the Brunei River and the early government was under the rule of the Srivijaya Empire in the 9th Century and the Majapahit Empire in the 13th century.
The reign of Sultan Bolkiah (1485-1524) was the golden age of Brunei Darussalam at that time. The existence of a great civilization in the history of the world due to maritime trade as well as the strategic location between China and the Southeast Asian region makes Brunei Darussalam an entrepot and accumulation of international trade.
During the 13th to 17th Century AD, international trade was actively implemented with China, Pegu, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Melaka, Java, Acheh, Bugis, Manila, Suluk, Patani and Siam. Evidence can be seen through archaeological discoveries such as coins, beads and glass bracelets, shells (which were also used as currency exchanges), netting weights and also local products, especially from copper materials.
These historical relics play an important role in providing understanding in recognising the past and also as evidence of trade activities carried out in this country.
Trading will only happen when there is a way to find customers. The exhibition also emphasises on the importance of the river, which is also synonymous with the life of the people of Brunei in implementing daily needs such as communication, economy, transportation and social including trade. The materials on display include replicas of boats used in the country for future reference and listings
The ceramics of Southeast Asia found during excavation work in Brunei Darussalam also strengthen the evidence that Brunei also undergoes international trade.
The ceramics on display are from Thailand, Viet Nam, Champa and Burma and the type of pottery is earthenware and rolling pottery produced in the 10th-13th Century AD. This is the content for one of the newly renovated galleries in the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum.
Visiting hours during the ‘de-escalation’ period is every Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday between 9.00 am to 2.00 pm and is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
The Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum was inaugurated 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 23 March 2015.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department