Learning Javanese Culture At Ullen Sentalu Museum Yogyakarta

Learning Javanese Culture At Ullen Sentalu Museum Yogyakarta

Ullen Sentalu is a museum in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta, which have a lot of collections that illustrate the culture and life of Java. In this museum displays a large collection relating to the civilization of the Javanese Mataram dynasty. Mataram dynasty itself was the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Mangkunegaran Palace and the Pakualaman. There are many rooms inside Ullen Sentalu, which make me very excited! Even starting from the first room.

In the first room or welcome room, there is a panel that explains the history of the Ullen Sentalu. From the description of the guide, we know that this museum is aims to preserve the cultural heritage of Java which is a descendant of the Islamic Mataram, the palace of Yogyakarta, Surakarta palace, Mangkunegaran and Pakualaman castle.

One of the aisle inside Ullen Sentalu Museum
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One of the aisle inside Ullen Sentalu Museum

Most of the museum’s collection tells story about the princess of the palace, where in their time must follow the role so they never showed up and always stays in the palace. In the middle of the room there is a statue of Goddess Lakshmi, or in Indonesia known as Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice plants that symbolize fertility. This sculpture came from the Hindu Mataram kingdom, perhaps to remind again that great kingdom in Java was born around Mount Merapi.

The next room is the Dance Art and Gamelan. In the middle of the room there is a set of gamelan as a grant of GBPH Yudha Nigrat, brother of Sultan HB X of Yogyakarta. On the walls there are some paintings that dances which created or danced by the royal family. Apparently in the past, the king must not only know about the political problems, they should also have to master the art, so at least they create a dance.

Then, continue to the hallway that was on the left side of the Welcome room. Along the hallway wall there are many pictures and paintings depicting of kings and princesses of the royal offspring four Islamic Mataram, named: Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Mangkunegaran and Pakualaman. Each picture and painting has an interesting story, for the example, the Sultan HB IX also have Dutch names as Henkie, then Sunan PB XII who is a handsome man and very close to his mother.

Gusti Nurul photo collection at Putri Dambaan room.
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Gusti Nurul photo collection at Putri Dambaan room.

Another story is Raden Ayu Kuspariyah – who’s mother of Sunan PB XII was so modern women and smart playing the piano. Or, Sunan PB X who is the richest king in Java, Paku Alam VII and his queen dressed Gusti Retno Puwoso Java with modern style, Gusti Nurul – Mangkunagara VII is the modern princess who reject the polygamy, and Gusti Partini – VII Mangkunagara daughter who enjoys writing and has published folklore Ande Ande Lumut. It seem that we were not going to get bored, even if asked to entered this Ullen Sentalu museum many times.

After the first room, we moved to the next location, it’s namely Kampung Kambang area. This place was built above a pool of water. The first room we entered was Poem Room for Tineke. This room contains letters to GRAj Koes Sapariyam, daughter of Sunan PB XI, who had nickname, Tinneke. The letters were written between the years 1939-1947 were found in the booklet in the room Kaputren Kraton Surakarta, contains poems and lyrics were written by relatives and friends he was in Dutch. These letters are intended to entertain Tineke grieving, because he’s mother, Mrs. Ageng, did not approve of someone her loved.

Turning to the next room, we went to the Royal Ratu Mas Room. Ratu Mas is the consort of King Sri Susuhunan Pakubuwono X, the ruler of Surakarta. In this room, there are exhibited the paintings and photographs the Ratu Mas, her husband Sunan PB X and their daughter. In this room many trinkets completeness of her clothing too. One collection that caught our attention was her hat collection. That said, the uniqe hats are her own design, and was made in France. Well, it turns out in the past, the royal family is not only fashionable in Javanese dress, but they were fashionable in the European style too.

I love the design of Ullen Sentalu Museum ticket
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I love the design of Ullen Sentalu Museum ticket

From the Royal Ratu Mas Room, we went to the room of Batik. There are two rooms featuring a collection of batik, a special room is Kraton Surakarta style batik from past PB PB X to XII, which is a special room-style palace of Yogyakarta Batik from future HB HB VII and VIII. From the description of guide about batik recalls me that Batik is not just a cloth with decorative motifs, but has a deep philosophical meaning. One of them is the motive sujen Parang, machete sword meaningful means war, so if we want to go to the king, then do occasionally wearing this motive, because it could be considered against the king.

The next room is a room that must be enjoy, namely Putri Dambaan Room. This space is a live album GRAy Siti Nurul Kamaril Ngarasati Kusumawardhani Soerjosoejarso, or better known as Gusti Nurul. Sole daughter of HRH Mangkunagara VII with GKR empress Mursudariyah East is one of the prettiest princess at the time, so many princes who wanted to ask for to being her husband.

Although living in the palace, Gusti Nurul has a style and way of life are quite modern for that time. She went to school of Netherlands, and likes to do things that are not commonly done by the daughter of the palace at that time, such as playing tennis, swimming, and horseback riding. Gusti Nurul also known for his courage in breaking down old habits, one of which is the principle he did not want to polygamy. Eventually she married with KPH Soerjosoerarso, an army officer, and now they live in Bandung.

Somehow this board take my attention. This was placed in front of Ullen Sentalu Museum
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Somehow this board take my attention. This was placed in front of Ullen Sentalu Museum

Finally, we arrived in the outside area of the museum. Then guide took us to the Sasana Sekar Bawana, passing through the Retja Landa corridor. This corridor displays statues of gods and goddesses 8-9 century AD, or from the future development of Hinduism and Buddhism in Java. One of the statues that I remember is the statue of Ganesha, the god of science in Hindu mythology.

Behind the Retja Landa corridor, there is room Sekar Bawana Sasana. In this room there are paintings and statue. The first painting that we encountered was the painting of Sri Sultan HB X and the consort of Ratu Mas who is receiving state visit of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. This painting reflects that the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta are very good. On the left side of the painting PB X, there is a dance painting Bedaya Ketawang being danced before Panembahan Senapati.

The ticket of Ullen Sentalu Museum was IDR 50000 for Adult, and IDR 30000 for children.
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The ticket of Ullen Sentalu Museum was IDR 50000 for Adult, and IDR 30000 for children.

Bedaya Ketawang including sacred dance, and should only be danced by the girls who are in the sacred. This dance is danced by 9 people, and believed that in the middle of the dance, Kanjeng Nyai Roro Kidul will also dancing as a dancer to-10. In the painting, the presence of Kanjeng Nyai Roro Kidul displayed in the form of the 10 dancers who wander over the other dancers.

Last, the final painting is a painting that must be seen Paes Ageng, or the bride’s makeup style Yogyakarta. Paes Ageng a wedding dress from the palace, and until the reign of Sultan HB VIII should only be used by relatives of the king. However, during the reign of Sultan HB IX, Paes Ageng be used for the general public. Not only in the form of painting, the bride who wore Ageng Paes is also immortalized in statue form.

At the end of the tour, we took a little break at room Bale Nitik Rengganis. Not to forget we were treated to a special drink, the recipe is a legacy Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mas, consort of Sunan PB X. While Tastings drink, we guess, perhaps it is composed of ginger, cloves and brown sugar, and other ingredients that we do not know. That said, this drink gives health and youthful.

No picture taking is Allowed inside Ullen Sentalu Museum, but outside you can take any picture like this.
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No picture taking is Allowed inside Ullen Sentalu Museum, but outside you can take any picture like this.

Note : Holiday in Yogyakarta would be more efficient if you stay at the hotel which is centrally located, comfortable, and friendly service like at Hotel Gallery Prawirotaman. Located in Prawirotaman which have many interesting, tasty culinary and shopping centers that close to the Gallery Prawirotaman Hotel . To get additional discounts, room reservations can be made here.

Happy Adventure, Traveler!!
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