Home Attractions Puppet Museum ( Museum Wayang )

Puppet Museum ( Museum Wayang )

Featuring one of the best collections of wayang puppets in Java, its dusty cabinets are lined with a multitude of characters once used for performances. The collection not only includes puppets from Indonesia but also from China, Malaysia, India and Cambodia.

If you want to get a taste of how diverse Indonesia is and you can’t get out of the city, then the Museum Wayang in Jakarta will give you a good feel for it. Museum Wayang in Jakarta is located in front of the Oude Hollandsche Kerk (Old Dutch Church) which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1808. Museum Wayang in Jakarta was first used as a shop house owned by a Dutchman and then in 1939 it became the home to the Batavia Arts and Science Institute. Finally it became the Museum Wayang in Jakarta as you see today. Earlier the top brass of the Dutch rule all worshipped in the church. Today, you can even see a few of the church’s old gravestones inside Museum Wayang in Jakarta.

  The features of Museum Wayang in Jakarta include:

  -  It contains the gravestone of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the leader of the Dutch forces which captured Batavia in 1619.

  -  Inside, the exhibits show off Indonesia’s traditional Wayang puppet culture. The puppets are fascinating in their detail and show a range of cultures from all over the Indonesian archipelago

  -  If you’re here on a Sunday you can also get to see a Wayang puppet show and a demonstration on how the puppets are made (10am-2pm Sundays).

  -  Besides the display of the Wayang Kulit (leather puppets) from Java and Bali, there are a wide range of three dimensional puppets and special dance masks.

  -  They represent the finest craftsmanship in this particular form of traditional theater.

  -  The traditional puppet theater is based on the Hindu Ramayana and Mahabarata epics (Wayang Orang), combined with themes from Javanese folklore.

  -  Wayang is used to teach morals as well as to entertain, and is seen as a highly influential popular art form for spreading morality and social criticism.

  -  Many politicians and successful businessmen are seen as dalang, the skilled men who control the puppets in wayang performances.

  -  The gamelan orchestra, a set of bronze gongs and other percussion instruments including a xylophone is an integral part of the wayang performances.

Life in Indonesia has a way of working much like the plots of all-night wayang performances at Museum Wayang in Jakarta - slowly and with many unpredictable twists and turns.

Opening Hours: 09:00 -15:00 Tuesday -Thursday & Sunday 09:00-16:00 Friday, 09:00 -14:30
Address: Taman Fatahillah, Kota
Contact: +62 21 692 9560