Long ago, the Dutch governor setup this place to collect cool stuff to help promote Indonesia’s indigenous culture. The Sonobudoyo Museum has an extensive & broad ranging collection that is considered the second most important museum in the country with a more complete collection across all of Indonesian culture than the National Museum in Jakarta.
The reproduction of a Neolithic burial pit displayed in the museum floor is an interesting exhibit which gives us an insight into peoples of Stone Age origins which have previously been uncovered all over the region. This particular example suggests people thousands of years ago also used ceremonial rituals to bury their dead rather than just abandon the corpse to the wolves, all before organised religion made chanting, kneeling & giving religious people lots of money the normal thing to do. It demonstrates across time & space that we as humans share a high level of spiritualism & abstract thinking, this obviously separates us from the cockroaches.
There is also a reproduction of the skull fragment of Java Man, uncovered nearby in Solo in 1891, one of the oldest remains of Homo Erectus ever found, commonly thought of as the missing link between humans & our most common ape ancestor, dating back almost 2 million years.
Many people don’t get puppets. I’m not talking about an old sock over your hand but a proud tradition of imaginative storytelling & entertaining anecdotes’ which the cultures of SE Asia all seem to have in common. The Indo puppets on display vary in characters from over-the-top caricatures’ to heroic warriors & demonic looking Dutch officials with big noses.
Chinese people will continue to scratch their heads as all info is either in English or Bahasa, surprisingly, the information is of a high standard. We didn’t encounter any annoying guides here or toothless women trying to separate us from our rupiah. Surprisingly the museum was professionally managed & very clean. Better still, the air conditioning was running & we were left in peace to wander alone.
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