The Real and the Ideal: Towards Culturally Appropriate and Collaborative Heritage Practice in Kalimantan

  • Christina KrepsEmail author
Part of the Asia in Transition book series (AT, volume 4)


This chapter critically examines changing approaches to museum development and heritage work in Kalimantan. The first part consists of an excerpt from my book Liberating culture: cross-cultural perspectives on museums, curation, and heritage preservation (2003). The book is based on ethnographic research conducted on the Provincial Museum of Central Kalimantan, Museum Balanga from January 1991 to August 1992. The second part, with the first serving as background, describes my work with the Dayak Ikat Weaving Project and the Museum Kapuas Raya, both based in Sintang, West Kalimantan in 2002, 2003 and 2008. These last two projects highlight the pivotal role international cooperation and collaboration play in these museum and heritage initiatives. Taken together, the case studies illustrate how museum ethnography, or the application of ethnographic research methods to the study of museums and museological processes and practices, can provide valuable insights into local conditions and the realities of what is happening on the ground. I show how museum ethnography is not only the basis for critical analysis but also for change in the direction of more culturally appropriate, collaborative, and participatory approaches. I conclude, however, that these approaches remain largely an ideal, or aspiration, without sufficient knowledge of local contexts and time to get to know a community and its specific needs and interests.


Kalimantan Museum ethnography Heritage Museum Balanga Dayak Ikat Weaving Project Museum Kapuas Raya 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arts and Administration ProgramUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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