Photo: Don’t make them like they used to.

The Moon of Pejeng

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The Moon of Pejeng is a colossal bronze kettledrum believed to be the largest bronze-age antiquity in the world, housed high in a pavilion at the rear of Pura Penataran Sasih about six kilometres west of Ubud.





Similar (though not as large) metal drums have been found from China through Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and as far as west as Papua New Guinea possibly originating with the ?ông S?n culture (700-500BC—300AD) in northern Vietnam. The drums were both musical instruments and cult objects as well as articles of trade.

Meet the Moon of Pejeng Photo taken in or around The Moon of Pejeng, Ubud, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Meet the Moon of Pejeng Photo: Sally Arnold

The origins of this particular drum are unclear, evidence of bronze casting in Bali around the same time has been found, however neither copper nor tin to make bronze is found on the island. The local legend for its origin affords it the epithet “The Moon of Pejeng”.

The fable was first recorded by a German botanist working for the Dutch East India Company in Ambon, Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (1628-1702) in his posthumous work The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet and the story goes, that the drum was once a wheel of the chariot that carried the moon across the night sky, as bright as the moon itself. One day it fell from the heavens into a tree at Pejeng, glowing so luminously it hampered a gang of thieves going about their thievery. One hapless chap decided to urinate on the shining object, dulling it to the bronze colour we see today. Apparently pissing on the moon’s shinny wheel is not advisable (if you ever happen to be in that situation), as it resulted in ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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The Moon of Pejeng
Around 6 km west of Ubud
Admission: By donation

Location map for The Moon of Pejeng

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