The museum was designed as the integral part of the whole Taman Mini Indonesia Indah complex. It was meant as a learning center of Indonesian culture, “one stop to learn about Indonesia”. The museum and the whole TMII complex was built and inaugurated in 1975 under the patronage of Mrs. Tien Suharto.
The museum is elaborately decorated with Balinese statues and ornaments. It was built in exquisite Balinese architectural style. Some large Paduraksa and Candi Bentar (split portal) style Balinese gates, as well as several corner towers adorn the complex. The museum park took the theme of Ramayana Hindu epic, such as the bridge to main building took form of Naga serpents with vanara ape army that built a bridge to Lanka.
The main building consist of three floors in accordance to Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, the concept that emphasize the three aspects of human’s complete happiness; to nurture the harmony with God, with fellow human beings, and with the nature.
The permanent exhibit and collections of Indonesia museum is arranged within three sections located on each three floors.
The theme of first floor exhibit is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). It features traditional formal dress and wedding costumes of 27 provinces of Indonesia (Indonesian provinces from 1975 to 2000). The exhibit also displays Indonesian artforms, such as various types of dances, wayang and gamelan, also the painted glass map of Indonesia. The exhibit displays the rich diversity of Indonesian people and culture and also celebrate the pluralism of Indonesia, formed from different languages, traditions, religions, cultures, and customs of Indonesian people.
Manusia dan Lingkungan (Human and Environment) is the theme of second floor exhibit. It meant to showcase the interactions of Indonesian people with their nature and environment. The exhibit featured different traditional houses, religious buildings, rice barn, and the layout of the houses and living spaces. Such as the houses that built on elevated platform, built on trees or on the river, and various style of traditional vernacular buildings.
The dioramas of the parts of Indonesian traditional houses is also in display, such as Palembang wedding room, Javanese middle living room, and Batak kitchen. The objects used in daily life, such as for hunting, gathering, farming, and agriculture objects also in display. The ceremonies concerning human life cycle is also displayed, such as Mitoni (sevent month of pregnancy) ceremony, Turun Tanah ceremony (a ceremony for baby), Khitanan (circumcision) ceremony, Mapedes ceremony (Balinese coming of age ceremony incorporate teeth cutting), Datuk (traditional community leader) inauguration ceremony, and Minangkabau Pelaminan (wedding throne).
Seni dan Kriya (Arts and Crafts) is the theme of third floor. The room showcases the traditional and contemporary arts and crafts of Indonesian people. Traditional textile crafts such as Songket, Tenun (weaving), and Batik is in display as well as metal and wooden crafts.
The intricate traditional wooden carving traditions, such as the ones belongs to the Jepara (Central Java), Bali, Toraja, and Asmat culture also in display on this floor. The centerpiece of this section is a large wooden carving of Kalpataru tree, the tree of life. This eight meters high and four meters wide tree symbolize the nature and universe and contains five basic elements; air, water, wind, earth, and fire. The centerpiece conclude the whole displays of the museum.
Sometimes the museum also displays non-permanent or temporary exhibitions with specific themes, such as topeng (traditional mask), traditional textiles, weapons, paintings, also art and craft demonstrations; such as batik or wayang kulit making.
Other buildings within the museum complex is Balinese park, Bale Panjang, Bale Bundar, and Soko Tujuh building that available for rent to host public or private events.
The Indonesia museum is popular destination for local and international visitors, students, and sometimes VIPs, the official guest of the state; most in order to catch a glimpse of Indonesian rich cultural diversity within a single visit, a “one stop to learn about Indonesia”.
(Indonesian) TMII Official website
(Indonesian) Museum Indonesia
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