Brunei Unlisted Crocodile Miniature Cannon

Miniature cannons were made of Bronze, Brass, Copper, Iron and a mixture  of other metals in Brunei from the 19th to the beginning of the 20th Century. The designs of these miniature cannons were based on the earlier large canons used in warfare with the addition of various decorations. Similar miniature cannons were also widely in use in the neighbouring States of North Borneo and Sarawak.

Most of the Brunei miniature cannons may be categorized into two distinct types i.e. the Bedil and the Meriam. The length of a majority of these miniature cannons vary between 160 mm - 310 mm. Some of these cannons were shaped into the form of a dragon, crocodile, buffalo etc., or had these animals as decorations on them.

These miniature cannons were extensively used in Brunei, Sabah and Sawarak and were much valued by the Dusun and other native tribes of this area. Some of the main uses of these cannons were as follows:

In the engagement and wedding ceremonies the inclusion of miniature cannons was a must during the exchange of gifts. The status of a family depended on the number of these cannons in their possession.

Before the present system of cash payments, these cannons were used for trading purpose, barter of goods and the payment of fines against offences between communities.

Boats plying the various rivers had a few miniature cannons to indicate the importance of the owner. A boat was considered as not fully equipped unless it had a few of these cannons attached to act as decorations as well as symbols of wealth.

These miniature cannons were also used for firing during important ceremonies like weddings, births of children, visits of very important people and lastly to drive away evil spirits.

With the introduction of coins in Brunei, these cannons gradually fell out of use. A lot of them were melted during the 2nd World War. Nowadays these miniature cannons have become collectors items and are in great demand.
Source:The Coins Of Malaysia Singapore And Brunei 1400-1986 by Saran Singh AMN.FRNS.

Brunei Cannon (Meriam Type)

Length 320mm,width 140mm and high 80mm,the Meriam is mounted on a brass Crocodile and carriage with four wheels.The total weigh of this Brunei Crocodile cannon is 1 kilo grammes.


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