Sunday, 24 January 2016

Indonesia, Bali (Taman Nusa)

While in Bali, we visited Taman Nusa, a cultural park - featuring a collection of traditional houses found in different parts of Indonesia. In total, there are about 34 provinces in Indonesia and each of them has its own unique architecture and tradition. Hence, you can expect an extensive showcase of architectural exhibits and cultural displays here. 

There is a lot of walking to do though because the park itself is very huge. I would spare myself at least 3 hours to explore this place, with a hat and sunglasses on, of course. The heat here is quite unbearable. There were times whereby I kept thinking of my nice cool sanctuary back at the villa while I was walking around. Imagine that!!

Well, here are some of my photos in Taman Nusa.

There's a miniature Borobudur right at the entrance of the park. I have always wanted to go to Central Java to see the real thing, but didn't have the opportunity yet. So seeing this mini Borobudur in Bali is quite a consolation for me.  

Over here is the house of the Papuan tribe in Papua, formerly known as West Irian Jaya. The Papuans are really good in wood-crafting and even the exterior walls of their homes were decorated with interesting wood crafts. Presently, the Papuans still live in small villages and follow traditional tribal customs. 

We met a Papuan couple in Taman Nusa and meeting them was quite awkward for me. Somehow I had in my head mental images of headhunting, cannibalism, and deadly sorcery. 

I find this door interesting. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the name of this traditional house or from which province it belongs to. It was such a hot day on that day and the sweltering heat was making me really uncomfortable.

There were quite a number of traditional houses that caught my attention. The house of the Sasak tribe, for instance, can be found in Lombok. The uniqueness of the house is its roof. It is shaped like a mountain and is made of woven bamboo. There is only one window in the house so the interior was quite dark and musty. There's, however, a verandah right beneath the house, so I guess people spend most of their daily time there.

Another interesting structure in Taman Nusa is this conical house, which belongs to the Wae Rebo community, in the Flores Island. Made of wood, bamboo and rattan fibers, this house has five levels. Starting from the first level, the house consists of the family's living quarters, followed by the storage for food and goods, then the storage for seeds, then the reserved storage for food in times of drought and lastly, the place for the offerings of ancestors. 

Currently, there is an ongoing project to preserve this traditional house in Flores as there are only about 8 such houses left.


This is one of the simple interior decorations that make a kampong house looks presentable and tidy. 

The art of weaving mat using screwpine leaves is also shown here. When the mat is complete, it will be used to sit on or sometimes, to sleep on.

Here's another tribal house, which has some interesting features. There were some animals' skeletons right at the front of the house. These skeletal display marks the status of the person living in the house, so it seems that the more skeletal display hung outside the house, the higher the status of the person is.

And that's not the only interesting thing about this house.

Me: Where's the door?
Guide: This is the door.
Me: What? Isn't this the window?
Guide: No. This is the door. (Then, he placed his hands on the ledge, elevated himself from the ground and pushed up his body to get to the small opening which he claimed to be the door. After that, he brought his knee up, so that he could enter leg first into the house

Urghh.. I don't think I want to do those acrobatic moves just to enter this house. I guess this is the way the tribal people prevent intruders from entering their homes. And to some extent, it works!

Of all the houses which we had seen, I like these two houses the most. The house of Sulawesi and the Gedang House of Minangkabau are really unique especially their rooftops.

Overall, I would really love to go to Taman Nusa again. It will be nice to wander on my own, without a guide, and then read the information board without having to feel rushed. Also, the best timing to visit the park is at 4pm, when the weather is cool and the sun is not directly above your head. 

That's all for now. Ciao.

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