Ancient Manuscripts at the Gedong Kirtya

Ancient Manuscripts at the Gedong Kirtya
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Ancient and precious books and manuscripts contain the Balinese cultural traditions within the Gedong Kirtya Museum in the district of Buleleng. Born as a library in 1928 during the Dutch colonial period in the then-capital of Singaraja, the museum was called the "Liefrinck van der Tuuk Library" after two Dutch scholars, F.A. Liefrienk and N. van der Tuuk, who studied the traditions and customs of the Balinese people at length. From being a depository for historic collections, the library was transformed, over time, into a museum with the construction of new buildings, offices and a multi-purpose pavilion, also known as a bale bengong. Thousands of religious texts as well as those regarding architecture, medicine, literature, black magic and philosophy in the Balinese language and Kawi (ancient Javanese), but also in Dutch, German and English are available with the celebrated lontar manuscripts (written on dried palm leaves with sharpened blades called temutik), the traditional prasasti (engravings on sheets of copper or other metals) and paper manuscripts featuring Balinese and Roman characters. Authentic pieces, some original works from the Royal Balinese court, and copies, are divided into categories and held at the museum in special wooden boxes called keropak. It is possible to admire the technique for writing on the lontar carried out by functionaries of the museum as they copy the ancient lontar into new books in such a way to guarantee that ancient traditions can be preserved for future generations.

Marzia Acampora - © 2022 ARTE.it for Bulgari Resort Bali
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