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Cultural Activities

Cultural Activities


Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, also spelled tjanting), or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colours are desired.


The word batik is Javanese in origin. It may either come from the Javanese word amba ('to write') and titik ('dot'), or may derive from a hypothetical Proto-Austronesian root *beCík ('to tattoo'). The word is first recorded in English in the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1880, in which it is spelled battik. It is attested in the Indonesian Archipelago during the Dutch colonial period in various forms: mbatekmbatikbatek and batik.




Culture The province of Yogyakarta with its status as a special region lies in the Southern part of Central Java, in the heartland of Javanese culture. As the former capital and the center of several kingdoms in the past, this region and its people are very rich in a variety of cultures.

It is widely known from to historical records that the civilization, art and culture had developed well in the center of those kingdoms respectively in the era of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom (8th - 10th Century) the second Mataram Kingdom (17th - 18th Century) and Sultanate Ngayogyokarto from the mid of 18th Century up today.


Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments used are metallophones played by mallets and a set of hand-played drums called kendhang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, a bowed instrument called a rebab, and even vocalists called sindhen.

Although the popularity of gamelan has declined since the introduction of pop music, gamelan is still commonly played on formal occasions and in many traditional Indonesian ceremonies. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian culture.




In 1760, after the foundation of the new Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, the Dutch governor of North Java coast Nicolaas Harting requested a fort to be built in Yogyakarta. The barracks was built on a plot provided by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first fort was a simple wooden fort with four bastion. Later in 1767 the fortress was extended and converted into a more permanent structure under supervision of a Dutch architect Frans Haak. After its completion in 1787 the fort was named Fort Rustenburg ("Resting fort" in Dutch).

On 1867 the old fort was destroyed by an earthquake. The fort was rebuilt and renamed Fort Vredeburg, which in Dutch language means "Peace fort" due to peaceful co-existence of the fort and the Kraton of the Sultan.

Later in 1942, during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, The fortress was taken over by the Japanese army and made into the army's headquarters and war prison. After the Japanese left in 1945, Fort Vredeburg served the Indonesian Army as military command post, barracks and prison for suspected members of the communist party.

The Museum


In 1947 the ceremonies on honoring Budi Utomo's 40th founding anniversary were held in the fort. At the occasion, Ki Hadjar Dewantara expressed the idea of converting the fortress into a cultural institution. To realize this, a newly set up foundation took charge the gradual restoration of the former fort.

An agreement was concluded to have a cultural institution in the fort, between Daoed Joesoef, the Minister of Education and Culture and Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX in 1980. As a result, major renovation of the building took place in 1982. In 1984 Nugroho Notosusanto, the new Minister, changed the original plans and instead, created a museum intended to showcase Indonesia's struggle for independence. The museum was officially opened on 23 November 1992.

Yogyakarta was devastated by an event that damaged large number of buildings and cultural properties in the region, including the fort. It was repaired later afterwards.



Kotagede silversmiths grew since the establishment of Kotagede as the capital of Mataram. During that time, the traditional silver, gold and copper industries began to develop, dominated by the use of repoussé (embossing) techniques. The products of this region were to fulfill the need of household and ceremonial equipment for the royal family. During the colonial period of the 1930s, silverworks and silver handicrafts prospered in Kotagede. The Dutch colonial government established the Stichting Beverding van het Yogyakarta Kent Ambacht to protect the silverwork of Kotagede. Filigree technique enters Kotagede around 1950 under the influence of craftsmen from Kendari, Sulawesi. According to local silversmiths, Sastro Dimulyo with his company "SSO" was the pioneer for introducing filigree technique in Kotagede.

Kotagede's silverware is characterized with its floral motifs, e.g. leaf or lotus flower, based from the Hindu tradition; and their manual labor, kept historically authentic. Types of silverware produced by Kotagede are filigrees, silver-casting, sculptures (miniatures), and handmade products (necklaces, rings).