Explore Indonesia’s Maritime Heritage At The Illustrious Museum Bahari

September 24, 2016

Heritage Film

With an impressive collection of nearly 1800 traditional sea vessels, Museum Bahari can best be described as the foremost authority on Indonesias maritime heritage. Having procured a myriad of conventional boats from all corners of the country such as Malukus Kora-Kora, Kalimantans Jukung boat, Javas Mayang, Papuas Cadik Karere boat, Riaus Lancang Kuning and Bugis Pinisi boat the venue also displays sailing paraphernalia, ocean flora and fauna, paintings and other nautical items of interest.

Contained within the former East India Company warehouses built by the Dutch, the museum is located within the northern end of Indonesias capital in the Sunda Kelapa port area. Exploring the countrys maritime history in great detail the museum houses an extensive collection of ships from the entire archipelago of islands that make up the nation. Its most attractive exhibit is of course the ancient sea vessel collection which includes the two-masted schooner known as the Pinisi. Used during the Second World War in the Japanese occupation, these 10 – 15 metre long boats also had a remarkable holding capacity of nearly 30 tons of cargo. Other highlights include Gelati fishing boats also dubbed the Jung Raje which played a significant role within the Bali Strait. Built almost entirely of teak it is said that the 12-meter long vessel also broadcasted traditional Dangdut tunes from a speaker attached to the mast.

The Lancang sailing boat is another must-see attraction when touring the museum as it holds special significance to the peoples of Kalimantan, Sumatra and Banten. The Yellow Lancang or Lancang Kuning was also a ship model that was used by the sovereign as a pleasure craft while high ranking officials of the kingdom were also known to traverse the Indonesian waters on board this expansive vessel.

Visitors should also take note of the shipbuilding instructions, utensils and tools that are on display at the museum in addition to information regarding local maritime traditions and ancient paintings of key figures in the nautical field. The Biological Oceanography section of the museum is also worth exploration as it deals with coastal Indonesias vibrant fish population and its inherent bio-diversity. As an institution that focuses on the past as well as the present, modern day shipping in the country is also a focus at the museum. Offering guests valuable insights into map making, navigational equipment and the countrys scenic lighthouses the museum also displays historic photos of KPM ships that date back to the golden era of Indonesias sea faring history.

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Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry

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