Adresse: Jalan Tegal Bingin, Mas, Ubud, Kemenuh, Gianyar
From the audacious dreams of a Balinese businessman, a space from which to fly off on the wings of fantasy - it’s the Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets, created 14 years ago by collector Hadi Sunyoto in order to preserve traditions at risk of being lost for the benefit of all. Spread throughout tiny wooden buildings known as “joglo”, the museum is immersed in a typical Indonesian village just outside of Ubud, where rice paddies trace the landscape. The museum holds 1700 masks and 5700 marionettes from all over Indonesia but also China, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia - ritual and religious objects but, above all, protagonists of the rich theatrical traditions that are common to all the regions of the area. To complete the collection, Sunyoto added pieces gathered from across the globe - thus, right next to the characters of Indonesian shadow theatre, we find masks and puppets from Africa and Japan, Venice and Papua Nuova Guinea. However, Setia Darma isn’t merely a museum - it’s spacious open-air amphitheatre can hold up to 500 spectators, desirous to enjoy some enchanting puppet theatre on its stage.
Following the eruption of Monte Batur in 1926, an entire village and the adjoining temple were totally submerged in lava. However, the main sanctuary remained and the temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012, was rebuilt quickly in a safer location.