Sonobudoyo Museum: Yogyakarta’s most complete

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Sonoboyo Museum claimed to be the most exhaustive institution of its kind in Yogyakarta, with an array of historical artifacts such as various kris, artworks made from bamboo, a variety of batik works, statues made from gold, silver, bronze, and many more. The museum has a total collection of approximately 42,700 items. (photo: IO/Dessy Aipipidely)

IO, Yogyakarta – Yogyakarta is a cultural city. It would not feel right visiting the Gudeg (traditional Javanese cuisine) City without visiting the Sonobudoyo Museum, directly accessed from Kraton Yogyakarta, across from the north Alun-Alun.

Sonobudoyo Museum has a joglo structure styled similar to the Keraton Kasepuhan Cirebon Mosque and is complemented by a small and large pendapa, and a left and right gandok.

The museum is claimed to be the most exhaustive institution of its kind in Yogyakarta, with an array of historical artifacts such as various kris, artworks made from bamboo, a variety of batik works, statues made from gold, silver, bronze, and many more. The museum has a total collection of approximately 42,700 items.

Entry to the museum costs a mere Rp 3000 or 20 US cents. The Sonobudoyo Museum is classified as a general museum as it has 10 types of collections: technological, geological, art, biological, ceramics, ethnographical, philological, archaeological, numismatic AL, and historical.

One of the specialties of the museum is its kris collection which contains kris from all around Indonesia. The museum has a collection of approximately 1,200 kris which vary in shapes and types. For instance, the Javanese kris has 7, 11, 13 luks or waves with some having no wave, and also come in a number of pamor or patterns. Kris from outside Java in the collection include kris rencong from Aceh, mandau from Kalimantan, and kris from Madura, Bali, and Sulawesi. The museum also has a collection of raw materials used to make kris from 700 AD called Wesi Buddha. Other than kris, the museum also has a collection of batik’s with various motifs, and artifacts starting from pre-history until the arrival of Islam in Indonesia. The artifacts are in the form of stone axes, stone graves, wayang figures, masks, batik fabrics, and others. There is also a Puspa Sarira gold mask in the form of Gayati.

The collections are exhibited inside and outside of the museum building. Usually, those kept outside are made from materials that can withstand the weather, such as temples, statues, and decorations. These artifacts are from the time of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Central and East Java. Meanwhile, the collections kept inside are generally those with more fragile compositions and are displayed from inside vitrins. Among these are masks from Bali and Java, wayang golek, boats, palanquins for Kiayi Wegono Putro, Kiayi Purbonegoro, and Kiyai Kudus, and many others. There are also Javanese batiks and the equipment used to make them such as canting, small stoves, and fabric. The museum also features statues made of gold, silver, and bronze such as the genta statue from Kalasan, the kuwera statue and many more.

Sonobuidoyo Museum also has a collection of scripts and books relating to culture which are often used by scholars for research. (Dessy Aipipidely)