Dating back in 16th century, Maluku became a beautiful queen for spices lovers and traders, especially Arabian, Japanese, Portuguese, Dutch and English. Lots of those spices troops decided to stay or even live make-essay in Maluku afterward for such a long time. This situation did not only trigger the wide-stretch trade of spice and the other goods such as clothes and ceramics in South East Asia, but also create a unique assimilation of European and Asian culture. However, this kind of assimilation does not always work in a smooth way. After Dutch greedy traders (VOC) hogged the spice trade, there were lots of rebellions and wars led by Malukunese heroes and heroines. Do you now get curious and interested in finding out what happened next? Be really excited, because all the things you seek are well displayed in the great Siwa Lima Museum.
Siwa Lima Museum is located in Maluku’s capital city, Ambon. It is only 5 km far from the central area, so you can reach there by public vehicles or rent a motorcycle/car. It is not difficult to recognize the museum, because the big building which formerly was the head quarter of Irian barat Liberation is at the top of the hill (that’s why it has a very exotic view of Ambon gulf). To get into this historical adventure building you do not need to spend much money, because you only need to pay Rp 2,500/adult, Rp 1,500/kid and Rp 1,000/group. You might also have to pay the additional charges if you intend to bring along your camera and smartphone to capture the moment (flash is forbidden) inside the museum. But don’t worry, you will just spend Rp 20,000/dslr and Rp 2,000/smartphone. In addition, there will always be museum guide who will passionately explain you about the details of all collections in the museum.
By the time you get into the front hall, the museum has greeted you warmly with a “Usu Mae Upu” which means “Please, Come In”. This tourism site with over 5,000 collections has two big buildings which offer distinctive pleasure here: Museum of Culture and Museum of Marine. In the former building, you will get to know about Malukunese cultures, photograph of tribes, unique custom houses, indigenous ceremonial equipment, typical woven fabrics, and many more. This building also shows you some antique commodities which commonly became part of Malukunese trading during spices era such as old coins and luxurious Japanese jars.
You will feel that the atmosphere is definitely different when you move to the second building, Museum of Marine. The history of marine in the island of spice always becomes interesting to learn. It’s not only because of Malukunese sailors who were known of their valor and boldness but also Maluku’s biodiversity. The Museum of Marine is so amazing that it has lots of giant fossils, for instance, the skeleton of the biggest whale in the world with length of 19 m!
Other than that, you can request the museum representative to present the traditional dance/musical performance or give you the opportunity to learn how to weave Maluku’s traditional fabric. The last but not least, don’t hesitate yourself to visit this well maintained place once more, because they will alternately show the other half of the collections every 5 years. This is actually because the insufficient area of the museum, so there are still thousands ancient goods kept in the warehouse. Who won’t be excited to visit the same museum but with different collections?