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Traveller's Tales


Museums around Jakarta

Not many people in Jakarta may be aware that there are as many as 63 registered all kind of museums around Jakarta, even Kites Museum……
However, it was pity (if not a tragic) that it is totally forbidden to take pictures in THE NATIONAL MUSEUM, for which the attendants of the Museum could not explain the reasons behind restrictions. It is therefore that this main Museum in Jakarta will not be included in this article……… well, only a picture from the front gate ………. 
“Kites Museum”
(Museum Layang-Layang)
Kite Museum is located in Jalan H. Kamang No: 38, Pondok Labu, Jakarta 12450 (GPS Coordinate: S06.18.419 - E106.47.427) This museum is totally sponsored by Mrs. Endang Puspoyo who has a deep passions for Kites since she was a child. Having been a successful Entrepreneur, she put her dreams to have a Kite Museum into a reality.
I noted some interesting tales about The Kites, which perhaps not many people are aware that kites have a respectable place, as cultural and indeed ritual tools in many areas throughout Indonesia. The people of South East Sulawesi would raise their kite for as long as one week uninterrupted in order to express their joy and indeed thankful for the successful harvest. Where as in Bali, the kites considered as resemblance of human being that has the spirits of the Goddess, called Rare Angon, which literally means Shepherd Boy. In Bali, there are many rituals that must be performed, in order to make a kite that has a cultural significant, namely: the day, the materials used you name it. There are also kites for festivals with so many forms and makes so many sounds believed to be the sounds of flute of the Goddess. The Kites Festival for sure is one of typical colorful Bali events. Well, if you want to know more of the Kite’s legend, it’s all in the book: “Layang-Layang of Indonesia” (The Kites of Indonesia) edited by Mrs. Endang Puspoyo, which is available for sales in the museum.
Visitors could see how a kite is being made with its accessories in this museum….
“Keris Museum”
Museum Keris is located in “Taman Mini Indonesia Indah” (Miniature Indonesian Complex) GPS Coordinate: S06.18.319-E106.53.744
Keris is very synonymous with The Jawanese Culture. Legend has it that a Jawanese man is not complete without possessing 5 things, they are: Keris – Horse – Bird – Woman and House.
Keris is treated as a symbol or status instead of “a killing tool” and almost in the Jawanese aristocrats’ family has a Keris Pusaka or The Ancestor’s Keris that has a name and good history behind it. Depends on the family tradition, the Keris Pustaka and other family’s owned items will have to go through kind of purification ceremony each year.
Owning a Keris apparently is not as easy as owning other things. There are a complex rituals involved in order to make sure that a Keris will accept the bearer, otherwise a disastrous events might occurred if the Keris is not chemistry fit with the bearer. There are a bunch of few people who should be contacted for advice whether a particular Keris is fit for a particular bearer or not. Where the Keris should be placed is equally complex, because it depends on whom wearing it and for what purposes, let alone to conduct many ceremonial events to make sure that “the spirits” of the Keris is happy …
To add to the already cloudy mystery around the world of Keris, apparently not many people agreed as to where the words Keris originally came from. In the Encyclopedia of Keris, this is available at the museum. However the very first words related to Keris was written as “Kres” found written in a bronze plate dated back in year 824 in a village of Karangtengah in Central Jawa and since then it gradually developed into the words “Keris” we know today.
Jakarta Historical Museum
(Pangeran Jayakarta Museum)
Jakarta Historical Museum or Museum Pangeran Jayakarta is located in “De Oude Jakarta” or The Old Jakarta Square (GPS Coordinate: 06.08.128-E106.48.801). In those colonial days, the grand old colonial building was a Statehuise or the Government House, kind of the Office of the Dutch Governor.
As it is the case   in almost any Dutch Statehuise, it should have 3 things: The Building; The Square and The Church. Where as down the line, where The Dutch Regent, known as Kabupaten after the independence, the area or Kabupaten has the similar 3 things: The Boepati’s House , The Park or Aloen-Aloen and The Grand Mosque, instead of The Church, for obvious reasons.
The Building which is now The Museum; The Square “The Jayakarta Square” or Taman Pangeran Jayakarta which is still being restored   and The Church is now occupied by The Wayang Museum.
The Government of Jakarta with the assistance of Foreign Aids is now doing a major restoration of the Old Buildings and other historical places around Jakarta and one of the priority is to restore “De Oude Jakarta” or Jakarta Tempo Doeloe” where The Jakarta Historical Museum sit right in the middle of it.
The restoration is being done professionally and those who happened to visit the museum, say some two years ago, perhaps would not believe to see the changes.
Looking at the design, the building in the back is being restored particularly to honor the lines of the past Dutch Governor Generals in Jakarta, with the colonial scenes beautifully painted as the decoration.
However, the most intriguing of all, of which this museum is well known, is the Meriam Si-Jagur (Si-Jagur Canon)
Pointing out to a beautiful statue of, supposedly an Angel……..
“Wayang Museum”
Wayang Museum located in “The Old Jakarta Square” or Taman Fatahillah, next to Pangeran Jayakarta Museum or Jakarta History Museum (GPS Coordinate: S06.08.117-E106.48.746). The building was originally a Church, where a lot of old colonial dignitaries were buried there, including the famous name such as: Abraham Patras, Gouverneur Generaal van Nederlands India; Willem van Outhoorn, the Gouverneur Generaal van Nederlands India, Gustaaff Willem Baron van Imhoff, the Infantries Generaal etc. Legends have it that it is also the resting place of the most famous Gouvernrue Generaals: Jan Peterzoon Coen van Hoorn.
Besides the traditional Wayang made from Cow’s skin, the museum displays the Puppets Wayang or Wayang Golek, not just from Indonesia …
…… but also from the Dutch, the Pinocchio kind of puppets
….. the Wayang “Po Te Hi”, the Chinese Wayang.
Even Indian influence Wayang …..
It is interesting to note that the museum also display the type of Wayang normally popular during the struggle for independence from the Dutch with kind of “patriotism” stories….
Being in Jakarta, the symbol of Jakarta “Ondel-Ondel” is a must presence …..
Museum Taman Prasasti
(Old Cemetery)
It is interesting to note that there is somewhat called it a Museum, however,   as a matter of fact, it is an Old Dutch Cemetery. This so called Museum is located at Jalan Tanah Abang I, No: 1 (GPS Coordinate: S06.10.341-E106.49.178)
Well, it is indeed a cemetery, therefore one would find nothing except many grave sites with old kind of architectural structures and shapes, which perhaps explained where the name Prasasti came from, which   literally means Old Archeology things.
Equally interesting, the site also has a monument commemorating the Japanese Soldiers who died over the battle over the war.
There is also in display an ancient Carriage for carrying the coffin……
I must say that the place is so peaceful, where you find many people taking the advantage for a peaceful nap to forget the hard life ……..
Textile Museum
(Museum Tekstil)
Textile Museum is located in Jalan K.S. Tubun, No: 2-4, Petamburan, Jakarta 11420 (GPS Coordinate: S06.11.296-E106.48.593) in a grand looking Old Colonial Building.
In the same complex, there is also the Display room mainly Batik, in equally unique Old Colonial House.
Besides the display, the museum also performing how Batik is being made.
Please see also in this web: Batik Pesisir Pekalongan.
Maritime Museum
(Museum Bahari)
A rather depressing looking Museum, which is not well maintained, is located in the Pelabuhan Sunda Kerlapa (GPS Coordinate: S06.07.651-E106.48.536))
People wander around, sleeping around the museum complex.
When visited, the area was flooded by sea water and the Ground Museum was flooded by sea water and could not be visited.
The author managed to enter the Light-house where there are two room displaying the Old Jakarta Map and pictures of old ships. When climbing to the top of the Light-house and the view of the traditional Boats in Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa was rather beautiful, this happened to be the only pleasing moments during the visit…….
List of Museums around Jakarta:

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