Collection of Indonesian Music and Artefacts

The Collection of Indonesian Music and Artefacts (CIMA) is a physical and virtual collection of field data from the various islands and provinces of Indonesia. It includes performing arts and cultural objects of many ethno-lingual groups, ranging from Sumatra in western Indonesia to Java, Bali, Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara in western and central Indonesia to Sulawesi, Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara and Papua in eastern Indonesia.  Our extensive collection of items from Sumatra is listed in a separate special collection, the Sumatra Music Archive.

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The contents of CIMA reflects the many decades of collecting and recording activity by MAMU and comprises the traditional vocal and instrumental music, dances, theatre, bardic arts and martial arts of Indonesia and their associated properties, including musical instruments, theatre puppets, paintings, carvings, dance costumes and textiles worn at domestic and religious rituals and performances. Its audio and audio-visual recordings also include new music, dance and theatre items that are performed at festivals, competitions and on government and commercial occasions, in the media and in the streets and fair grounds. A large proportion of CIMA's holdings were acquired by staff and students of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University in the course of ethnomusicological fieldwork in Indonesia from 1970 to the present day.

The Gamelan Digul

One of MAMU's most prized possessions. This one-of-a-kind gamelan was built in 1926 – from any materials at hand – by Javanese anti-colonial prisoners in a Dutch prison camp in West Irian (now Papua New Guinea) during Dutch rule of Indonesia. It was brought to Australia in the 1940s to promote Australia-Indonesia relations and support the Indonesian Independence movement. It was given to the Museum of Victoria in 1946, which donated it to MAMU in 1976.

Between 2008 and 2018, parts of the Gamelan Digul orchestra  were regularly borrowed by the Australian National Museum and displayed as an historical symbol of Indonesia's independence movement and the beginnings of Australian-Indonesian relations. (Image: a bonang [gong chime set] from the Gamelan Digul, where a wooden frame supports 12 pannikins instead of kettle gongs in two rows. Ethno-lingual group: Javanese).