Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World
Mon 31 Oct 2016 – Sun 23 Apr 2017
9:30am – 5:00pm
WA Maritime Museum
About the exhibition
Merchants and sailors have crossed the Indian Ocean for thousands of years and 70% of the world’s goods continue to do so today. This vast expanse of water was the world’s first highway and has been the centre of world economy for millenia, but how well do we know it? This exhibition, fittingly located in the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle on the edge of the ocean, takes you on your own journey across the Indian Ocean to discover its rich history through ancient objects and stories about its traders, explorers and the many different peoples who inhabit its shores.
Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World is a paid exhibition.
Fly me across the Indian Ocean!
Thanks to our good friends at Singapore Airlines and Hilton London Metropole, we have return flights and five nights accommodation plus money-can’t-buy experiences in the heart of London for two lucky WA Museum visitors.
To enter, visit Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World
before Sunday 23 April and complete an entry form.
Tickets are available for purchase below or at the front desk of the WA Maritime Museum.
Courtesy Rijksmuseum Dirk Hartog Dish, 1616: Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog’s flattened pewter dish is the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil.
Courtesy Rijksmuseum Eighty years after Hartog’s landing, Willem de Vlamingh discovered Hartog’s marker at Cape Inscription and replaced it with his own.
Courtesy Western Australian Museum Batavia's Graveyard Archaeology - Amber beads: Recent excavations of four new Batavia victims revealed personal items such as these beads made of prized amber from the Baltic.
Courtesy Western Australian Museum A market stall in the Indies, oil on canvas, attributed to Albert Eckhout, 1640-1666: This Dutch painting shows an exotic Indonesian market stall, a common site for travellers reaching Java and the Spice Islands.
Courtesy Rijksmuseum, Gift of E.J. Speelman, London Saucer, c. 1635 – 1645: Chinese Kraak porcelain, so-named for the Portuguese ships or carracks that carried it.
Courtesy Rijksmuseum Amitabha Buddha, 750-850: This monumental stone Buddha sits in the meditation gesture. Similar images appear across India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia.
Courtesy Art Gallery of New South Wales Aepyornis Maximus fossilised egg: The Madagascan Elephant Bird stood over 3m tall. This egg washed up on the WA coast, 7,000 km from its native home.
Courtesy Western Australian Museum Clay model boat, Royal Cemetery, Ur, 2500 BC: This model, made around 5,000 years ago, is one of the oldest depictions of a boat from the Indian Ocean.
© The Trustees of the British Museum Engraved ‘Gaara’ Pearlshell by Aubrey Tigan Galiwa (dec).:Saltwater design by the late Aubrey Tigan Galiwa, master pearlshell carver and senior Mayala man from the West Kimberley.
Courtesy Western Australian Museum Mentawai Islands, Indonesia 2016: This painting depicts the effects of globalisation and climate change on the Mentawai Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Courtesy Larry Mitchell
The Gemma Constantiniana returns to Western Australia
The Gemma Constantiniana, crafted in 312 CE to celebrate Roman Emperor Constantine’s battle victory, was first in Western Australia in 1629 when it wrecked aboard the Batavia. Visit Travellers and Traders to view this exquisite artefact that is in WA for the first time in 388 years.
Learn more about the cameo's fascinating story and world travels here.
'A dip in the Indian Ocean’: Monthly Family Friendly Tours
What happened when three children found a giant egg and what bird did it come from?
Join us for a family-friendly tour that kids will love. Each month features a different highlight object.
All tours run from 10.30am - 11.15am
Focus Object - Clove Boat: Book - Sat 11 March
Focus Object - Market Stall: Book - Sat 8 Apr
'A dip in the Indian Ocean’: Monthly Curator’s Tours
Take a guided tour through the exhibition with curators and experts who share behind-the-scenes insights into objects and stories of the Indian Ocean world.
Each month features a different highlight object.
All tours run from 11.30am - 12.15pm
Focus Object - Clove Boat: Book - Sun 12 March
Focus Object - Market Stall: Book - Sun 9 Apr
Harbour Sundays Exhibition Exclusive
After a jam-packed 2016, Harbour Sundays is back for 2017. This free live music event runs over five weekends and showcases some of Perth’s premier musicians.
An exclusive Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World tour with the exhibition’s curator, Corioli Souter, will be running before each Harbour Sunday session.
Join this special event and learn fascinating insights about the exhibition’s unique objects, before grooving the night away on the balcony of the WA Maritime Museum.
For more information click here.
Learn about objects and artefacts within the exhibition from researchers and curators. Look for the headphone symbol within the gallery and stream the audio using our online audio guide.
Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World has been developed by the Western Australian Museum in partnership with the British Museum.
The exhibition is supported by the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) Program. This program provides funding for the purchase of insurance for significant cultural exhibitions. Without AGIEI, the high cost of insuring significant cultural items would prohibit this major exhibition from touring to Australia.
Copyright Western Australian Museum
1300 134 081
The WA Maritime Museum is located within walking distance of Fremantle Station visit the Transperth website for timetables.
The WA Maritime Museum is serviced by the free Fremantle Cat Service, at stop 24. Visit the Transperth website for timetables and details.
Paid parking is available in the City of Fremantle car park just outside the WA Shipwrecks Museum. Additional paid parking is available in the Wilsons car park at the WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay which is a short walk from the WA Shipwrecks Museum.
Captain Cook Cruises offer a range of ferry services from Perth which stop nearby at B-Shed ferry terminal.
Comprehensive accessibility information about the WA Maritime Museum can be found on the Access WA website.