The provincial museum is located in the southern outskirts of the city (Padang Harapan). It has an extensive collection of prehistoric stoned and several less old bronze drums, as well as wooden models of traditional houses. In other rooms the traditional Engganese weavings and machines are showed. Especially very interesting are the batik weavings which are mainly made in Bengkulu (kain besuruh), with motives from the Arabian calligraphy and the sunshine Majapahit.
The museum also displays imported ceramics and tabut, towers of paper and wood which are used in a local ritual with the same name. Every year, the towers, which can be over ten meters high, are carried through the city on 10 Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year, to honor the grandson of the representative Muhammad, Husain, which died in the battle near Karbala in Iran in 680 AD.
This ceremony is a remainder of the earlier Sjiite influence; however Bengkulu currently supports the Sunni branch of Islam. The city has two small temples, where participants of tabut sometimes burn candles to ask for help. When their prayers are heard, they gave financial support to the construction of the tabut-tower. This museum is also opened on Sundays.
Location map of The provincial museum
Last revised on October 24, 2009
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