For some unique and very personal insights into the wonderful world of kites, why not visit the Layang-Layang Museum which is a private collection of Madame Endang W. Puspoyo, housed in her own property in the south of Jakarta. The area is serene, beautiful, and feels totally disconnected from the busy streets of Jakarta, says Ivanna Sudin Mendels who visited the museum with her family.

On arrival at the museum, visitors are first treated to a video introduction of the culture and history of kites (layang-layang in Indonesian). This gives us plenty of background information that later is helpful as you look  around the collections. After the video, a guide will show you around the three-parts Joglo style house, a Javanese traditional house.

According to our guide, Madame Endang bought her first kite in the United States in the 1970s. That day, she fell in love with the whole concept of kites dancing gracefully in the skies, so she began collecting them. In 2003, she decided to build a museum to promote the beauty of kites and to preserve their place as a popular Indonesian traditional pastime. This idea was supported by other kite-lovers who donated many of their own kite collections to the museum.

Do not be fooled by the size of this museum. This charming little gem houses around 300 kites from all over the world, ranging from traditional hand-made kites, to international competition kites.

Highlights of the museum includes: Kalimantan kites with flute-like instrument attachment that makes wonderful music in the skies, one of the largest kites (9 m x 26 m) and a couple of the smallest ones (about 2 cm wide) in the world. For me personally, the most interesting kite in this museum is the kite made entirely of dried leaves! Our guide confirmed that all kites could be flown, regardless of their size – wouldn’t it be really interesting to see how the tiny ones would fly?

After the visit, visitors can make their own kites. For older kids, there is also ceramics painting, paper umbrella decorating and other crafts to do. This activity costs a little extra but it was totally worth the price. For younger visitors, there are ready made kites to be decorated, while older children and adults will have the chance to make one from scratch.

During my visit, our guide stayed with us, helping my kids with their crafts, while patiently telling them about the kite flying competitions that the museum staff went to every year.

What fascinates me is that all the guides here are avid kite-lovers who have been participating in many competitions. This makes their stories and information so much more personal and it helps us understand the value of the kites much better. Madame Endang herself has been actively participating in numerous kite flying competitions.

Visiting this museum was a pleasant experience for all of us, and I think it will be a great idea to go watch a kite competition this year!

The Indonesian Heritage Society annual welcome event.
On Wednesday 14 September ar Erasmus Huis Auditorium, starting at 9:30 am.

Come to this free event and learn more about The Indonesian Heritage Society and all the activities it has to offer.

Museum information:
Museum Layang -Layang (Kite Museum)
Jl. H. KAMANG No. 38, Pondok Labu, Jakarta Selatan
Tel. 021 765 8075

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 09:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Closed on: Public Holidays
Ticket price: Rp15.000

The Indonesian Heritage Society Library

The Indonesian Heritage Society Library

The Indonesian Heritage Society Jakarta is a non-profit organisation offering the opportunity to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia. The varied activities of the society, including tours, lectures and study groups, provide a stepping stone to discovering the culture, life, history & art of this vast archipelago.