Taman Sari

The royal “water palace,” built 1758-1765

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The east entrance.

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The central pool is currently drained. Notice the naga head under the arch.

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This seems to be a water filtration system, as it leads away from a toilet room.
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A toilet. Hopefully no one has ever fallen into the hole.

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A secondary pool to the side of the central one. At the time, this was the only pool with water and active fountains.
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9 months in Yogya

Over the next few days, I will be posting some photos (in no particular order) from different places around Yogya. Many were taken in the first few months of my stay, as I was exploring the city.

Today will be the Keraton Ngayogyakarta. The Kraton is open most days for public viewing, for a small fee (12,000 Rp if I remember correctly). On Sunday mornings, there is always a gamelan performance in one of the larger pavilions near the visitor entrance. This starts with a very slow, very long, and very loud gendhing. After that, there is a female group-dance (most often Ayun-Ayun), then a male dance, and finally a wayang wong excerpt of one kind or another. The gamelan here is not the ‘official’ Kraton troupe, but is made up of teachers from Institut Seni Indonesia, professional players from the local community, and advanced students.

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“A Historic Sino-Javanese Inscription of 1940. This Sino-Javanese inscription was presented to the Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX to congratulate and honor his coronation as the new Sultan. The inscription symbolizes the harmonious and cordial relationship between the Chinese community and the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, particularly with Sri Sultan HB IX. The presentation was supposed to be held on March 18th, 1940, the day of the coronation, but due to the war and political turmoil, it could only be done on March 18th, 1952. The inscription was presented by five of the eight original Chinese signatories, namely Oen Tjoen Hok, Lie Gwan Ho, Sie Kee Tjie, Lie Ngo An and Ir Liem Ing Hwie, and it was received by the Sultan and BPH Soerjowidjodjo, BPH Soerjopoetro, BPH Praboeningrat, BRM Seonwoto, BPH Poedjokoesoemo, BPH Moerdaningrat, GPH Hadikoesoemo, BPH Hadinegoro, BPH Mangkoediningrat, BPH Djojokoesoemo, and GPH Boeminoto of the royal court.”
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Kyahi Guntur Madu, played only for Sekaten (the birthday of prophet Muhammed). It is hard to see from the picture, but these instruments are something like twice the size of those in a typical gamelan.
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Notice the stool for the bonang player, and the extra pots to either side.
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DON’T STEP ON
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The gamelan that plays for visitors as they enter the Kraton.

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The massive bedug near the center of the complex…
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…and its partner, the massive kentungan
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A remarkably European band-stand.

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There are many rooms exhibiting pictures, batik, uniforms, furniture, heirlooms, etc. Unfortunately, much of this is off-limits for photography.
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Batik oven mitts: the height of refinement

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In the back area that serves as a kind of ‘green room’ for musicians and dancers, the resident pembatik work on their craft.

Selamat datang

My name is Ethan (also known as “Mas Bro,” “Hey look, a bule,” and very occasionally “Pak Guru”). I am an American currently studying at Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta. My hope is that this blog will be a place to showcase and explore Javanese culture, in particular gamelan Yogyakarta.

Some of the content here will be directly related to gamelan practice (recordings, notation, theory). The rest will be anything and everything related to life in Indonesia, Indonesian/Javanese language, people and places, food, Indonesian news, and possibly cats.