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THE STAMP MUSEUM

A Look at the Museum Prangko Indonesia - Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

The Stamp Museum stands on a plot of 9.590 m2 and is flanked by two support buildings. The first, covering 204 m2, functions as a reception hall and rest area for guests.

The second, alco covering 204 m2, functions as a post office. The post office provides postal services to visitors to the Indonesian Stamp Museum and sells stamps and other items of philatelic interest.

The Indonesian stamp Museum was established with the aim of providing recreational and educational facilities that would be able to reflect the history of the indonesian people and the beauty of Indonesian culture as portrayed in stamps.

Inside the museum is a vast collection of stamps, also dioramas which describe the activities involved in publishing and printing stamps as well as the events which inspired the designs of various Indonesian stamps.

In the inner courtyard is a monument in the shape of a globe with carriage pigeon perched a top bearing a letter. this monument symbolizes the vision and mission of the Indonesian Postal Service.

The main entrance to the exhibition hall is ornamented with wooden carving characteristic of the town of Jepara in Central Java. In front of the entrance is a statue of Hanoman, the white monkey-god of the Ramayanan epic. In wayang theathre the character Hanoman serves as "Dhuta Dharma", or bearer of news, whose duty is thus the same as that of the Indonesian Postal Services.

Beneath the statue is a plaque signed by President Soeharto commemorating the dedication ceremony of the museum.

One of the wood carvings above the main entrance portrays a carrier pigeon bearing an envelope.

On the left and right sides of the main entrance are two paintings in the Balinese style by the painter Drs. Wayan Sutha S (Wana Prasta Studio, Padangtegal, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali).

The two painting portray scenes from the Balinese wayang which demonstrate the writing of letters in the traditional manner using the medium of lontar palm leaves.

The tale behind the month known as Watu Gunung in the Balinese calendar.

Since childhood Watu Gung had been separated from his mother the goddess Shinta. This was due to Watu Gunung own acts, which angered Shinta. As a result of her anger watu Gunung left home and became a wanderer. In his wandering he acquired extraordinary supernatural powers. No king, nor even the gods, could match his powers, except for the god Vishnu. Watu Gung continued to wander until one day he was captivated by the sight of a beautiful woman who on fact was none other than the goddess Shinta, his own mother. In order to foil Watu Gung's designs to marry her, Shinta laod down one conditions for him to fulfill first: that was for him to marry the wife of Vishnu. She made this condition knowing that Watu Gunung could not defeat the powers of Vishnu. As proof of his love for Shinta, Watu Gung accepted her condition and sent his messenger Sang Wariagadant to Vishnu with aletter asking permission to marry his wife. Upon reading the letter, Vishnu was enraged. He engaged Watu Gunung in a furious battle, and Watu Gunung lost. In his memory the name Watu Gunung has been immortalized as the name of one of the months (oe WUKU) of the Balinese calendar.

The story :

The Korawas, led by the noble Prabu Duryudahana, wanted to hold a ritual ceremony for the sake of tranquility throughout the world. However, in order to hold the ceremony one of the conditions that had to fulfilled by Prabu Duryudhana was the provision of black blood. He thus sent his messenger Karna with a letter written on Lontar palm leaves to Dharmawangsa of the Pandawa kingdom. The letter asked that the black blooded hero I Malen (also known as Semar) be sent to serve as sacrifice in the ceremony. The Pandawas granted the request, but Semar escaped and went into seclusion, during which he acquired magical powers. With those powers he fought against both the Korawas and the Pandawas and won the battle.

In main building there are four pillars, each decorated with carvins and reliefs in the shape of a winged lion, symbolizing the king of the jungle and his power to protect.

In the center of the main exhibition hall is an octagonal structure with a table and support pillars of a unique design. It fuctions as an information desk. On the ceiling is a rosette in the shape of a sun casting its rays in the eight cardinal directions. These are seven showcases in the exhibition hall.

Showcase I. The history of Stamps in Indonesia

This room presents in brief items connected with the culture of letter writing using lontar palm leaves, as well as the history of stamps, both in Indonesia and throughout the wrorld, and the history of the Indonesian postal service.

Letter writing in Indonesia dates to the times of the Mulawarman, Sriwijaya, Tarumanegera, Mataram, Purnawarman, and Majapahit kingdoms, though at that time it was limited to communication between kings. Delivery of letters was undertaken by special messenger employed by the different kingdoms. The media used in in the era for writing letters were flattened tree bark, this pieces of bamboo, pandanus leaves, and lontar leaves.

it was in the beginning of the Dutch colonial period, starting with the rule of the Dutch East Indies cash and Company (VOC) from 1602 on, that paper was first used as a medium for letter writing. Postal fees however were still paid for in cash and designated by officials seals of various forms. This continued until the use of the first Dutch Indies stamp in 1864.

Under the Dutch government mail was carried over sea by VOC ship or 'pacalang' vessel and carried over land by horse, carriage, or two-wheeled cart.

This exhibits in this showcase include:

1. Photographs illustrating the materials and tools used for writing on lontar leaves, as well as a model of a man writing on lontar leaves.

2. Important items relating to 1602- 1864 perios such as:

a. A portrait of Sir Rowland Hill, the Englishman who had the idea of using stamps to show that payment had been made for the delivery of mail.

b. A photograph of "Penny Black," the first stamp in the world, issued in England in 1840.

c. A photograph of the Batavia Post Office, the first in Indonesia, opened in 1746.

d. A photograph of the first Dutch stamp, bearing the likeness of king Willem III, issued in 1852.

e. A photograph of the First Dutch Indies (Indonesia0 stamp, also bearing the likeness of King Willem III, issued on April, 1864.

f. Miniatures of the means of transport used to carry mail in the era, namely: VOC warship, 'pacalang' vessel, horse, carriage, and two wheeled cart.

3. Slide showing envelopes which bear postals seals stating the amount of postal fee due, dating from the start of the VOC era in 1602 up to the issuance of the first Dutch Indies stamp in 1864.

4. A reproduction of a painting illustrating the construction in 1809 of the 1000 kilometer Great Post Road from Anyer to Panarukan under the orders of Governor General Daendels.

5. A sculpture of a modern day postman.

6. Several collections of envelopes of the "Tempo Doeloe" era.

 

Showcase II. Stamp Printing

This room presents in brief items connected with the process of making stamps.

The Indonesian word for stamp, prangko, orginates from the Latin word franco, which means a mark indicating payment full of a postal fee. Before 1840 in countries which had a postal service payment of postal fees was made directly in cash. In 1840 under the initiative of sir Rowland Hill, England issued the world's first postal stamp : a mark indicating payment in full of postal fee. The first stamp in the Dutch Indies (Indonesia) was issued on April 1, 1864.

Printing of stamps by the nation of Indonesian began in 1945. Although these first stamps were printed on simple rice-fiber paper and bore only simple images and colors, they were nevertheless able to record the historic events of the Indonesian nation's struggle for independence.

Today the printing of Indonesian stamps is done by the security printing company in Jakarta and bandung using modern printing presses to produce stamps of high quality.

 

Showcase III. Stamps by Period of Issue (I)

This room presents the museum's collection of stamps dating from the period 1864 to 1949.

From 1864 up to the modern day the issuance of stamps has gone through a number of periods, namely:

1. The Dutch Indies era

2. The Japanese Occupation

3. The War of Independence

4. The post-War of Independence period

Changes occurring in these periods are captured in the visual designs of the stamps issued in Indonesia. Each stamp captures in memory the events of its respective era. Stamps are also able to illustrate all aspects of the lives, culture, and environment of a nation's people. Thus have there been many Indonesian stamp immortalizing the historic events, important figures, national heroes, and social issues involved in the founding of the Republic of Indonesia.

The exhibits in this showcase include:

1. Stamps issued from 1864 to 1949

2. Enlarged slides of Dutch Indies stamps.

3. A slide of a stamp commemorating 10 years of Independence in Indonesia.

4. An oil painting depicting the November 19, 1945 Battle of Surabaya

5. An enlarged photo of a stamp depicting President Soekarno (Bung Karno) and Vice President Hatta (Bung Hatta), the nation's founding fathers.

Showcase IV. Stamps by Period of Issue (II)

This room presents the museum's collection of stamps dating from the period 1950 to the present.

The exhibit in this showcase include:

1. Stamps issued from 1950 to 1959

2. Stamps issued from 1959 to 1966

3. A portion of the stamps issued from 1966 to the present.

4. Several First Day Cover (FDC).

5. A series of enlarged stamps commemorating the Asia-Africa Conference, the Presidential Decree to Return to the 1945 Constitution, and the Palapa Satellite.

Showcase V. Stamps Grouped by Theme (II)

Stamps as representatives and bearers of information about a nation are all the more effective and interesting because of their numerous and varied visual designs, capable of rendering the beauty of a nation and of its works of art.

This room contains dioramas depicting farmers at work in the rice paddies. These are also several collections of stamps based on the themes of society and culture, tourism, flora, fauna, the environment, and human nature.

Showcase VI. Stamps Grouped by Theme (III)

The room contains diormas depicting the activities of Boy and Girl scout in nature, also several collections of stamps organized around the themes of sports and scouting. Several slides depict former first Lady Ibu Tien Soeharto in scout uniform signing the first edition stamp of the Sixth International Scout Jamboree in Cibubur in June of 1981.

Showcase VII. Philately

Philately, or stamp collecting, is an activity with universal appeal. In Indonesia philately has significance as a healthy and beneficial activity, especially for the younger generation, to the extent that the government has given special attention to ensuring its rapid development.