How are you? I have just finished my 2 weeks summer holiday in Indonesia and it was really fun! I went to Bali for 4 days (staying in Ubud and Kuta, so that I can enjoy both mountain and beach atmosphere).
I would like to divide my experience in Bali into 2 parts. I would like to share about my experience visiting Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppet in Ubud, and reviewing about two new hotels I’ve been to this holiday.
So let’s get started!
Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppet is located in Ubud area, Bali, around 10 minutes drive from the city center.
Address : Jalan Tegal Bingin, Mas, Ubud, Kemenuh, Gianyar Sub-District, Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Phone : +62 361 8987493
Open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM
Admission fee : free (but I recommend you to give donation, since this place is really nice and informative)
In my opinion, this place is such a hidden jewel. The collections are extensive consisting of several Indonesian traditional houses (not only from Bali) fully packed with masks and puppets collection. You will not only be able to see masks and puppets collection from Indonesia, but also several selected collections from overseas. Not only from neighboring southeast Asian or Asian country, you can even see puppet from Italy.
Despite of its excellent collection, I do not think this place attracts many tourists yet (especially local tourist). When my family arrived there, we are the only guests there. A guide guided use from one house to the other and he explains really well about the collection. I am also impressed about the cleanliness of the facility. When we arrived there we spot at least 5 staffs are cleaning the garden and area. Washroom is also exceptionally clean!
One café and one souvenir shop is also available. In the souvenir shop you can get a really good mask miniature (for around 20 USD, the quality is really good)
A little bit more about the collection
Since I am actually not artsy at all, I will only explain some collections that I can understand.
- Barong collections
They have barong collections from all over Indonesia. From the guide, I was told that actually barong has a good role in the folklore (although in my perspective it looks scary like a monster). Barong looks scary because he is a lion-like creature.
The next picture is the barong from Bali area (located in the middle), the one on his left and right side are the enemies called Rangda, she is a female witch. We can see this set usually in Kecak dance performance.
- One sad story called Barong Landung : a story about Chinese princess who married a Balinese king. The king, however, ask The Gods of Batur to look for a women that can deliver his heir. He lied about his marital status however, condemning himself and the Chinese princess to be barong 😦
- Shadow puppets, from all over Indonesia as well as other country. The one that I show here is from Indonesia and China.
- Chinese string puppets and finger puppets
- Extensive collections of masks, the one that I took the picture is from China, Japan, and Indonesia
- Other puppets collections
- One Japanese artist also donated Noh (classical Japanese drama) masks (sorry, i do not have the picture)
- Wayang beber collection (where the story is told based on scroll-paint presentation (sorry, i do not have the picture)
In overall, I really recommend you to visit this museum!
This museum really tries to preserve the beauty heritage of Indonesian masks and puppets. Make sure you do visit this museum next time you go to Bali and spread the news! 🙂
With a lot of love,