Boats and Ships during Kingdoms Era in Nusantara Archipelago

Boats & Ships during the Hindu – Buddhist Reign in Indonesia

One of the pieces of evidence that depicted the traditional boats and ships of Nusantara during the Hindu-Buddhist reign was the carvings on Borobudur Temple. The shapes and sizes of ships were among others:

  • Big ships with large sails which could carry hundreds of tons of cargo and around 200 passengers.
  • Small boats without outrigger, known locally as jukung, dugout canoe, single mast boat with or without outrigger, row boat, and double mast outriggers.

The shape and size of Nusantara traditional boats and ships then was very much influenced by Chinese junks which had large sails.

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Sriwijaya Ships

The Hindu-Buddhist kingdom of Sriwijaya which had its power base in South Sumatra, was a respected maritime kingdom in the 7th century AD. According to various sources, including written records, the naval force of Sriwijaya which commanded the Malacca Strait, had junks of various sizes, weighting hundreds of tons. According the researchers who conducted studies on the Sriwijaya’s ships, no material nails were used on the ships, instead the shipbuilders need wooden pegs.

Other types of boats from the Sriwijaya is mortar boats, boats made of one large and long logs with a hole in the middle. The types of mortar from the royal boat, among other things: a very simple boat mortar, mortar boats are enhanced with outrigger, and a heightened mortar boat without outrigger. The boats have a pole equipped with a single and some are equipped with a double pole.

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Majapahit Ships

Majapahit was a large Hindu kingdom in 13th – 15th centuries AD which reign over almost all parts of Nusantara, including some areas outside Indonesia, as it had already had well developed trade and sea transportation systems. Ships during the Majapahit reign comprised various sizes and weights which were designed to suit their voyages to their destination points. Large ships that could carry hundreds of tons of cargo were used to carry spices from Ambon, Sumbawa, Flores and other islands in the eastern part of the archipelago while smaller ships or dugout carries were used to travel to areas around Java island.

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Types of Boats & Ships during the Islamic Kingdom

During this period, many boats like mayang and dugout canoes and junks were furnished with sails. They were used in Java. Between 1700 and 1800, new types of ships, kora-kora and pirate were introduced. Kora-kora was equiped with a large sail and outrigger, so that it would not be easily overturned by rolling waves. Besides functioning as a trade ship. Kora-kora also functions as a war ship because of its streamlined shape. In 1800, many Bugis sailors made use of the west-northwest tailwind to sail with their Pa’dewakang, a large traditional cargo ship, to transport commodities to various destinations until nort coast Australia.

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Source :

From Maritime Museum, North Jakarta

All data taken by Sastro family when Culture tour visiting Museums in Jakarta.

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One response to this post.

  1. Sesepuh kita sdh memberitahukan bahwa kapal2 yg ada dicandi2/ataupun di tulisan2, ini menandakan bahwa negara kita hrs dipersiapkan diri dan memperbanyak kapal2 utk kepentingan NKRI baik keamanan maupun sbg transportasi.

    Reply

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