chapter  26
Museum Balanga as a site of cultural hybridization: Christina F. Kreps
WithCHRISTINA F. KREPS
Pages 9

THE PROVINCIAL MUSEUM OF CENTRAL KALIMANTAN, Museum Balanga, is located in the provincial capital of Palangka Raya. The town, with a population of approximately 100,000, is a “frontier” community carved out of the once thick forests of Central Kalimantan.1It is the commercial and government center of the province, situated some 80 miles (or 130 kilometers) from the Java Sea. The primary means of accessing Palangka Raya is by boat or airplane since few roads exist in the province that are navigable year round. In the eyes of some, Palangka Raya’s remote location makes it an unlikely place to find a museum. As one Australian visitor wrote in Museum Balanga’s comment book: “I hardly expected to find a museum in Palangka Raya or in all of Borneo, for that matter.” This visitor’s comment reflected not only the prevalent image of Borneo as a wild and “uncivilized” land, but also popular attitudes regarding the context in which one expects to find a museum.