Brunei Darussalam is richly endowed with a cultural heritage that the government and the people have worked tirelessly to maintain. The nation’s Arts and Handicraft Centre, for example, is a living testimony to the preservation and the proliferation of the arts and crafts for which Brunei was once renowned, including boat making, silversmithing, bronze tooling, weaving and basketry. Visitors will also find Malay weaponry, wood carvings, traditional games, traditional musical instruments, silat (the traditional art of self defence) and decorative items for women to be some of Brunei’s most unique cultural offerings.
The introduction of Islam, of course, also dramatically changed Brunei’s cultural landscape, adding its own distinct artistic forms. The nation’s mosques and other Islamic sites of importance are all works of art in themselves, and many contain some of the most striking examples of Islamic arts that can be found outside the Arab world. Examples include gilded Holy Korans, ceremonial items and the intricate mosaics that adorn several monuments throughout the nation’s four districts.