Museum Wayang (The Puppet Museum of Indonesia) might not be the first place to visit in Jakarta, but it is still an interesting museum and one which documents the traditional art form of puppetry very well. The Puppet Museum of Indonesia is open from 09:00 to 15:00, from Tuesday to Sunday and entrance costs Rp 5,000, which is very cheap.
‘Wayang’ is the traditional art form of storytelling with puppets controlled by skilled puppet masters. In Indonesia, there has been a mix of leather (used for shadow puppets) and wooden puppets used, both of which are displayed at Museum Wayang. The English descriptions next to each puppet could be improved and overall the museum does feel a little dusty and outdated, but anyone with an interest in traditional arts and crafts will no doubt enjoy the experience.
Puppetry workshops are regularly held at the museum in order to pass on the skills involved in operating the puppets and trying to keep the art alive. There are also masks and other performance paraphernalia, such as musical instruments used to accompany performances, displayed at Museum Wayang. Displays have been sourced from across Indonesia and from other countries, including Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand.
The museum is located in a charming old church in the Old City district of Kota Tua. The church was formerly owned by the Dutch military in Indonesia until the 18th century, and the exterior has been lovingly restored to its former glory with an ornate façade.
The Puppet Museum of Indonesia
- Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 15:00
- Location: Jalan Pintu Besar Utara No.27, Pinangsia, West Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 692 956 0