Heritage and the Politics of Culture
The forgotten temples of East Java are a rich source of material on Hindu and Buddhist practices in the Javanese manner and are distinctly different from those on the neighbouring island of Bali. They have, however, been largely neglected and left unprotected, as a result of which they have been gradually plundered and their sculptural decorations either defaced or looted over the centuries.
How are these temples seen by contemporary Indonesians? What do they mean to Javanese Hindus and how do Javanese Muslims view them in terms of both cultural heritage and sacred sites of the past? These and other questions will be addressed in this paper as well as taking a close look at some of the remaining temples and their architectural and sculptural heritage, their history and their relevance in contemporary Javanese life. Attention will also be paid to any missing or misplaced sculpture and the iconography of such sculpture. The focus will particularly be placed on certain sites: Candi Kidal, Candi Singosari, Candi Jawi.
It is hoped that new light can be shed on these temples and their use in contemporary worship and ritual, their place in the history of Javanese sacred spaces and their future prospects as protected monuments of great historical importance to Javanese culture.Attention will also be given to their role as tourist attractions and historic sites within the context of present-day Indonesia's tourism policies.