Bali Museum

Bali Museum, Traces of Cultural History of Bali – Among the many museums of art and culture that are scattered in Bali, there is one museum that holds a wealth of traditional Balinese culture since time immemorial. The museum in question is the Bali Museum.

The Bali Museum is located on Jalan Mayor Wisnu, on the east side of Puputan Badung Square, Denpasar. Since its establishment, the museum was indeed designed as an ethnographic reference for Balinese people from prehistoric times to the present.

Bali Museum
Bali Museum

The construction of the Bali Museum is inseparable from the anxiety of Dutch artists who settled in Bali. In the early 19th century, Bali began to attract the attention of the western world. Many Europeans with various backgrounds came and settled on this island. The Europeans are interested in various handicrafts of Balinese society.

Various handicrafts such as sculptures, carvings, jewelry, paintings, and other works became hunted by collectors from abroad. Increasingly, little by little the traditional cultural heritage from Bali was taken out of the island. These objects are used as souvenirs when tourists return to their respective countries.

These conditions caused anxiety among a group of Dutch artists. The increasing number of relics of Balinese culture that are used as souvenirs and taken out of Bali, are feared to cause impoverishment of Balinese cultural heritage.

Upon the proposal of a number of parties, W.F.J. Kroon (South Bali Resident Assistant) initiated the establishment of the Bali Museum in 1910. The museum was inaugurated on December 8, 1932.

Architecturally, the Museum of Bali building is made following the principles of traditional Balinese building layout (Lontar Asta Kosala Kosali). In addition, the museum, which was originally built on an area of ​​2,600 square meters, is adapting the layout of the Puri (royal palace) and Pura (house of worship) buildings.

Inside the museum complex, there are three pages. The three pages are the outer page (jaba), the middle page (middle jaba), and the inner page (innards). Each page is bounded by a wall and gate.

In addition, this museum also has three exhibition buildings, each of which represents the architecture of buildings from several regions in Bali. The three exhibition buildings are the Tabanan Building, Karangasem, and Buleleng.

Over time, there were additional facilities. Some of the additional facilities are a library, auditorium, conservation laboratory, office building, an exhibition building (East Building). The area of ​​the museum complex also expanded, to 6,000 square meters.

The items that are collected in this museum are arranged based on the trimandala concept. According to this concept, collections that are sacred are separated from collections that are not sacred.

Gedung Timur keeps collections that are not sacred. Collections stored in this building are displayed based on their periodization: the era of hunting, the era of farming, the era of perundagian, the era of Ancient Bali (before the arrival of Majapahit), Middle Bali (era of Majapahit) and New Bali (colonial until now). Collections that can be seen in this building include various stone tools, jewelry, sarcophagi, statues, traditional weapons, parachutes, and various paintings.

At the Buleleng Building, a collection is displayed relating to the development of traditional Balinese textile crafts, including plain cloth, poleng cloth, geringsing cloth, cloth clap, songket, and so forth.

As for the Karangasem Building, various collections related to the panca yad rituals are displayed, namely various ritual ceremonies performed in the daily life of the Balinese people.

In the Tabanan Building, exhibited sacred collections such as ritual devices that still exist in the community today, including barong, rangda, as well as traditional dance devices such as row dance, candidate dance charcoal, sanghyang dedari dance, and tamiang dance magoret.

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