Monday, October 1, 2012

Wayang Museum (Shadow Puppet Museum)

Wayang is a theatrical performance employing puppets or human dancer. The puppet could be made of leather which perform shadow puppets play, or of wooden. Wayang Museum (used to be called as Shadow Puppet Museum as well) is a museum which keeps collections of wayang from various territories in Indonesia and even from other countries. The idea of building Wayang Museum started when H. Ali Sadikin, the governor of DKI Jakarta, attended the second wayang museum week in 1974.  With the support of the committee of the wayang museum week, wayang lovers, and the governor of DKI Jakarta, then the building at Jalan Pintu Besar Utara # 27, West Jakarta decided to be Wayang Museum. The museum was officially open on 13th August, 1975 by the governor of DKI Jakarta, H. Ali Sadikin.

History of Wayang Museum Building

wayang museum

Wayang Museum Building was constructed at a former old church location, which built by VOC in 1640 with a name of “de oude Hollandsche Kerk”. The church was functioned as a house of worship for Dutch civil and military in Indonesia until 1732. In 1733 the church was renovated and the name was changed to be “de nieuwe Hollandsche Kerk”. The building existed until 1808, until an earthquake broke it making the church could not be occupied anymore. On the location where the church previously stood, a building then constructed, it's the one stands there currently, which initially functioned as a warehouse belonged to Geo Wehry & Co. Initially in 1912, the front side of Wayang Museum was constructed with a Neo Renaissance style, but then in 1938 the whole building was renovated and adjusted to be like Dutch buildings in the colonization time. The open garden of Wayang Museum which located at the former yard of the Holland church was estimated as the funeral of General Governor Jan Peiterszoon Coen.


Leather WayangThe collections of Wayang Museum are very various, in both small and big size. Wayang Museum collects Indonesian leather wayangs, like Kedu, Tejokusuman, Ngabean, Surakarta, Banyumas, Cirebon, Gedog, Sadat, Madia Krucil, Sasak, Kaper, Wahyu, Kijang Kencana, Ukur, Suluh, Klitik, and Beber. Wayang Museum has collections of scarce wayang as well like Intan wayang, Suket, Beber and Revolusi.  Besides, Wayang Museum also has some collections of wooden wayang like Catur, Cepak Cirebon, Kebumen, Pekalongan, Bandung, Gundala-Gundala from Tanah Karo, and Si Gale-Gale from Tanah Batak. There are collections of mask which were sourced from Cirebon, Bali, and Center Java. Some other stuffs are also displayed in Wayang Museum, like gamelan, Blencong lamp, glass wayang, zinc wayang, and paintings. There’re some collections that sourced from abroad, some of them are from Kelantan, Malaysia, Suriname, France, Cambodia, and Thailand.

  •      World Heritage of Masterpiece Creation

On 7th November, 2003, the United Nation recognized Indonesian wayang as the world heritage of masterpiece creation. Hence, if you visit Jakarta you should put Wayang Museum in one of interesting places list that you must visit.

  •     Wayang Museum conducts wayang presentation periodically on every second, third and fourth Sunday every month, from 10:00am to 14:00pm.

  •     Wayang Museum located next to Fatahillah Square, and near to Jakarta History Museum as well as Fine Art and Ceramic Museum which are also interesting to visit.

  •     Wayang Museum located at Kota Tua (Old City)area which previously known as Batavia. There are many buildings inherited from Batavia age around the museum, like Red Shop (Toko Merah), Kota Intan Bridge, Batavia Hotel, Maritime Museum (Museum Bahari), Syahbandar Tower, Sunda Kelapa Harbor.

  •     Bank Mandiri Museum and Bank Indonesia Museum located at the cross of busway terminal, about 300 meters away from Wayang Museum. If you are interested in Indonesian money and banking history, then you should visit these museums. You might want to enjoy the Kota Tua Station for the unique inside the station, and seeing the activities inside.

  •     To reach Wayang Museum you could ride a taxi or public transportation, like busway. If you choose to ride busway, please ride the first corridor busway with Blok M to Kota Tua route. You need to get off at the Kota Tua Terminal (Old City Terminal) which is the last terminal where the busway will stop before go back to Blok M. You could reach Wayang Museum by walk from the terminal, since the distance is only about 300 meters, or you could ride a bicycle which local people call as bicycle ojek.

Interest to buy Wayang ( Shadow Puppet )
Contact Person 
Joko Susilo 
Email :

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