Ajman- Emirates Tourism Magazine : Ajman Museum represents a long history and a story that withstood the test of time, loftily extending through time. The site is a historical oasis that testifies to the past life of our ancestors, including its slightest details. Encompassing cultural monuments, the traditional items in the Museum bespeak the solemnity of the past and reflect the essence of man’s life at bygone times.
Earlier, Ajman Fort was the only monument that reflected the life of ancestors in the UAE, being a vibrant register and an immortal legacy as the headquarters of authority and presidency and the first line of defense in Ajman. Then, in a noble gesture from His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, the Fort was gifted to the people of the UAE. Sheikh Humaid decided to transform the Fort into a bustling-with-life museum, filling its halls with samples of antiquities and models of traditional artifacts.
History lingers for a while in the Ajman Museum so that the new generation get access to an illustration of the life of pass generations.
Ancient life and popular fashion
Popular fashion in Ajman Museum has a special glamour, as Fashion section encompasses among its exhibits a collection of ancient clothes that reflect lifestyles in the past, including men, women and children dresses at home and outside, on various occasions. Interestingly, these different dresses retain the features of ancient times, when woman used to play the main role in tailoring and knitting them. In the past, every family would tailor their own clothes according to their needs.
However, such clothes always conformed to the common taste of the time in a manner that imparted a special imprint to clothing and ornaments in the ancestors’ life. This includes white Kanduras (conventional UAE name for the Arabian garment “Thawb”) in its traditional form for men and children, and the female Kandura, in its modest shape and variety of colors that suit different occasions, though mostly black. In Ajman Museum, there are several men, women and male/female children garments indicate that life in the UAE was, and still is, marked by particularity in every aspect.
Clay pots and popular kitchen
The discovery of the Emirati kitchen of the past remains a source of commemoration by researchers in the state due to its simplicity and utilization of natural elements for tools. Therefore, the Emirati woman faced no difficulty inside her unassuming kitchen, where should could cook whatever she liked within a small area. It was marked by beauty and peculiarity, being fully derived from nature. In Ajman Museum, the section for the Emirati Kitchen is vibrant with all its ancient contents, including clay pots made of pure clay. These clay pots are still manufactured nowadays, knowing that it has been scientifically proven that clay pots are by all means the best and healthier utensils. In the past, too, Emirati women would use clay pots for storing water and for cooking popular dishes, knowing that the pots would lend a savory taste to the food.
Today, numerous popular cuisine contests are held with the purpose of reproducing ancient recipes. Noteworthy, the referees in such contests are aged persons. Besides, all ancient Emirati clay pots are preserved in a manner that dazzles visitors and exposes them to a unique experience.
Ancient Emirati life was marked by richness and handicrafts were bright stars in its sky, lighting up all houses and passing over from one generation to the other. What is remarkable about Ajman Museum, however, is that it encompasses a large number of ancient handicrafts and presents it for public display, including Teli (handicraft in which cotton embroidery yarn is used to adorn women clothes) and Sadu (using Bedouin type of fabric in knitting tents, carpets and other household products).
As for other handicrafts based on palm fronds, the museum abounds with its products, in addition to brides craft items and all other common items in the ancient Emirati community. All this represents a journey back to the ancient times.
Environment of the past
Ajman Museum full encompasses the different aspects of traditional Emirati environment, including the agricultural aspect. It displays ancient agricultural tools in a clear indication to the considerable effort exerted by Emirati ancestors in agriculture.
So, these agricultural tools clearly reflect the lifestyle of that time, when the farmer used to draw on agriculture as a primary occupation, drawing mostly on animals for labor and for food products. Then, farmers would grow animal fodder crops. Even some ancient farming tools still have room in the museum as a witness to the Emirati agricultural lifestyle of the past.
Fishing was the main craft for many Emiratis in the past, took to the sea and discovered its secrets on board their ancient ships that are now called heritage ships.
The ancient Emiratis also manufactured traditional fishnets and ships as the main tools in their marine life, developing pearl diving into a full-fledged craft. Ajman Museum displays glimpses into such life, which is recorded by many contemporary researchers.
The museum contains models of ancient palm-frond houses and traditional ships that had been used in sea boarding and pearl diving entailed a swing in fishing at that time. Another corner of the museum displays ancestors’ full aquamarine environment and popular medications derived from desert plants, desert life where camels featured prominently along with palm trees as a source of foodstuff and other ancient life crafts.
The museum also provides a special hall for culture and heritage, a popular market, a section for ancient popular games, a section for old manuscripts, and a popular café with its special splendor in serving popular dishes and soft drinks.
Besides, old canons are present in one of the corners the museum that largely represent a monumental depository that satisfies the tourists’ desire to acquaint with and reflect on Emirati life in the past.
It should also be mentioned that the ground floor of the museum encompasses Sheikh Rashid’s chamber, and the chamber of souvenirs, historical pictures, traditional costumes, women crafts, ancient weapons and Barajeel (wind-towers).