New galleries to exhibit ancient history

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds


THE Brunei History Centre will be opening three new galleries to showcase the sultanate’s ancient history and Brunei-China ancient trading customs.

The three galleries are The Golden Age of Brunei, Brunei’s Ancient History and another exhibiting the life of Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, the Brunei ruler who died in China.

Pg Hjh Mahani Pg Hj Ahmad, the centre’s head of services and exhibition, said the three galleries are currently under construction.

In an interview, she said the Golden Age and Brunei’s Ancient History galleries are scheduled to open in May this year, while the gallery in honour of Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan will open sometime in September.

The galleries will include a giant tortoise, which was discovered in the village of Yinxi in Nanjing.

Pg Hjh Mahani said the giant tortoise was believed to be the tomb of Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who died during his visit to China in 1408.

She said texts in Malay, English and Chinese languages will be available to provide detailed information on the artefacts.

She said the exhibition seeks to provide a better understanding of Brunei’s ancient history and to pay tribute to important figures such as the late Sultan Bolkiah who marked the golden age of Brunei during his reign.

“This exhibition delves into a specific and significant era in our history that has not been presented in such detail before. I really stress the importance of this because I believe our children, the future should know of our Bruneian roots inside out,” she said.

To set up the exhibition, Pg Hjh Mahani said curators dug deep into personal and national archives to look at important moments in history that included Chinese settlement in Brunei and the history of Kampong Ayer.

“Through this exhibition, I hope visitors to the galleries will not only learn about Brunei’s history on a deeper level but also understand where we came from because this is truly important,” she continued.

The galleries will also feature villages in Kampong Ayer that no longer exist today. “As part of our gallery, we will also emphasise the names of villages in Kampong Ayer we had in the past that has disappeared,” she said, adding that each village had a ‘speciality’.

These names include Pandai Basi, Sungai Kuyuk, Bakut Cina and Pemproanan.

“Many do not know that these villages existed and each were known for different skills. For example, we studied about Sungai Kuyuk, people by its name might think it’s a village with many dogs but the people are actually known to be great in fishing,” she said.

The village has since changed its name to Kg Sungai Pandan.

The Brunei Times