You may be surprised, but Bali has many museums, in various fields and with very interesting content. Is it a way to value the local culture so as not to forget it? Or the means of appropriating a culture long sacked by Westerners? Indeed, many treasures have ended in American and European museums.
There are about fifteen museums in this small island. Denpasar has two very interesting museums to learn about the local culture.
The Bali Museum focuses on the history of the province since ancient times. An archeology department presents period objects in architecture similar to that of temples. You can see traditional costumes, kriss, these daggers with curvy blades used during ceremonies, sculptures, etc.
History and archeology; examples of architecture of puri (palace) and pura (temple), ancient stone carvings, kriss, masks and costumes of dances, traditional weaving … The museum was built in 1910 at the initiative of a Dutchman who wanted to stop the haemorrhage of the looting of Balinese works of art to the Netherlands and the United States. Unfortunately, the museum was destroyed in 1917 by the Gunung Batur eruption and several earthquakes. It was rebuilt in 1925 and served as a warehouse for works of art and works of all kinds until 1932 when it finally became an anthropological and ethnographic museum under the leadership of Walter Spies and some Dutch officials. The museum is made up of several traditional style pavilions that reproduce the architecture of palaces and temples. Inside, the displays are lacking explanations and are rather sober. On the other hand, you can see many masks, kriss, paintings and sculptures that vividly trace the history and especially the Balinese style. It is certainly the best museum in Bali to discover the culture of the island, understand its traditions and history.
he north, a pavilion houses the masks and costumes of Rangda and Barong. There is even a barong landung that tourists are unlikely to see during their stay, unless they are present on the right dates. In the main building, you can see some prehistoric objects, stone sarcophagi dating from the 2nd century BC and bamboo or rattan cages to carry the roosters. Two black and white photographs of the puputan on which we see the Dutch troops landing in Sanur and the bodies of Balinese strewing the ground.
In the south pavilion, curiously built in the style of the North, you can see traditional fabrics such as the songket, the prada and various ikat but also the geringsing, or double-ikat, one of the last woven double tinted frame coming from from Tenganan.