In the past in Java and Bali, royal courts or rich persons were major patrons of the arts. They continue their support, but other institutions joined them. The Dutch founded the Batavia Society for the Arts and Sciences in 1778, which established the National Museum that continues to display artifacts of the national culture. The Dutch-founded National Archive seeks to preserve the literary heritage, despite poor funding and the hazards of tropical weather and insects. Over the past several decades, regional cultural museums were built using national and provincial government funding and some foreign aid. Preservation of art and craft traditions and objects, such as house architecture, batik and tie-dye weaving, wood carving, silver and gold working, statuary, puppets, and basketry, are under threat from the international arts and crafts market, local demands for cash, and changing indigenous values.
A college for art teachers, founded in 1947, was incorporated in 1951 into the Technological Institute of Bandung; an Academy of Fine Arts was established in Yogyakarta in 1950; and the Jakarta Institute of Art Education was begun in 1968. Academies have since been founded elsewhere; the arts are part of various universities and teacher training institutes; and private schools for music and dance have been founded. Private galleries for painters and batik designers are legion in Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Academies and institutes maintain traditional arts as well as develop newer forms of theater, music, and dance.
Indonesia's literary legacy includes centuries-old palm, bamboo, and other fiber manuscripts from several literate peoples, such as the Malay, Javanese, Balinese, Buginese, Rejang, and Batak. The fourteenth century Nagarakrtagama is a lengthy poem praising King Hayam Wuruk and describing the life and social structure of his kingdom, Majapahit. The I La Galigo of the Bugis, which traces the adventures of their culture hero, Sawerigading, is one of...
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