The Lombok Museum or the Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat is the main repository of Lombok Island’s ancient artifacts, archeological finds, armors and arms, and local handicrafts. They speak of the beauty and uniqueness of Lombok’s local culture. The museum building itself represents the intricacies of the modern Berugak architecture. Berugak is a traditional Lombok building that is primarily used to receive guests and as venue for cultural performances. This means museum guests get a feeling of entering a traditional Sasak home when visiting the museum.
Inside the museum, a number of illustrations are displayed along the corridor that connects the Lobby Hall and the main exhibition areas. The illustrations include that of the Gandrung (traditional Indonesian dance), Rudat (traditional Sasak dance), Cepung (traditional Sasak song), Wayang (shadow puppet), and Jaran Kamput (traditional song). These all depict the lifestyle of the natives of West Nusa Tenggara province in south-central Indonesia, where Lombok Island is located. (Lombok Museum is also refereed to sometimes as Museum of West Nusa Tenggara.) The other side of the corridor displays paintings of Melengke, Sak Eco, Toja, Konya, Handra, and Rebana Rea.
The locals and earliest settlers in Lombok are the Sasak people. Not much is known about them, but people believe that they are closely related to the Balinese and directly linked to the ancient Javanese. They are very creative, as seen in their local hand-woven baskets and intricately designed handicrafts and woodcrafts.
At the end of the corridor is Permanent Exhibition Hall I, which is divided into the Left Wing and Right Wing exhibit areas. The Left Wing contains dinosaur fossils that were unearthed in the region, paintings the show the tectonic structure of the West Nusa Tenggara islands, and pictures of Indonesia’s protected birds, which include the Jalak Putih, Camar Cokelat, Rangkong Sulawesi, and Dara Mahkota. The Right Wing, on the other hand, displays a collection of rare wood fossils, such as the Rajumas, Lingsar, Cempaka, Kepundung, Bajur, and Kelincung.
The next stop inside the museum is Permanent Exhibition Hall II. On display are paintings that show traditional villages and traditional wedding dresses of the Sasak, Samawa, and Mbojo ethnic groups. Also on display are ancient writings and literature of West Nusa Tenggara’s tribal races. Among the rarest items here are the palm leaf manuscripts of the Asta Dasa Parwa (Mahabharata), Takepan Kotaragam, and Pisau Pangot, among others. Still in Exhibition Hall II are weapons of the ancient Bima Sultanate, various tools (kodong iping, bosang, and bubu) used to catch freshwater fish, hunting tools (puyuh bird trap, chicken string, traps for Tekukur birds, and a Pendiwai), game and musical instrument, and old local currencies that were propagated in the years when the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch controlled the province. There are also several pieces of Kriya artworks and traditional art pieces from all over the West Nusa Tenggara province.
Located on Panji Tilar Negara street in the South Ampenan area, Lombok Museum is open every day except Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and then again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is not difficult to find since locals know it very well. It is just about 7 kilometers from Mataram City, Lombok’s capital.