Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Exhibition on traditional Brunei boats opens


Borneo Bulletin
By Achong Tanjong
January 27, 2006

The chief guest viewing the exhibition
while being briefed by Awg Matzin.

A "Traversing the Blue" exhibition, organised by Brunei Museums Department, was officially launched yesterday by Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Yakub bin Abu Bakar.

The launch was held at the Malay Technology Museum in Kota Batu.

Also present at the launching ceremony were Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Awg Haji Jemat bin Haji Ampal, Director of Museums, Haji Matassim bin Haji Jibah, Deputy Director of Museum, Awg Bantong Antaran, and senior officers from Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as departments under it.

The exhibition on boats aims to highlight Brunei's past maritime industry, especially shipping related activities in line with national development.

Archaeology Officer and exhibition chairman, Awg Matzin bin Haji Yahya, said the exhibition also aims to provide an overview and pictures on local sailing traditions that are slowly being forgotten in the modern era.

He said the exhibition is part of Brunei Museums Department's efforts to reintroduce various types of traditional boats, used mainly in the past that are not in use anymore these days.

The exhibition showcases 30 model boats and five life-size boats including the Tongkang, Pengabat, Pelauk, Bagong, Pedayong, Kumpit and Bidar Temuai. Also on show are materials used to make the boats such as ulak-ulak, ragum, pembahas, sapit-sapit, gigis and cecatuk. Boat remains from the Limau Manis River archaeological site are also on display.

Awg Matzin said, "In Brunei Darussalam, early traditional water transportation consisted of stems and bamboo boats such as Gaman and Rakit, while Gubang and Jompong boats were made by digging the centre of large logs using an axe and adze. The boats were used mainly along rivers, expect for the Gaman, which was used at sea."

He hoped that through the exhibition, public members especially students could understand the national heritage, history, economy, and social culture of sailing-related activities, while increasing their understanding on the uniqueness and skills of boat and ship making in the country.

The Archaeology Officer said the exhibition is part of early preparations for a permanent exhibition to be held by the department when construction of the Maritime Museum Building is complete. Construction works will start soon, he added.

The exhibition coincided with the launching of the book, "The Boats of Brunei Darussalam", written by the chief guest.

The exhibition, to be held from January 26 till May 31, is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm and on Friday between 9am and 11.30am and from 2.30pm till 5pm.


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