This thesis examines the social reality of Western museums in Bali, Indonesia in order to understand the larger relationship between Western institutions and indigenous cultures in the postcolonial world. Using qualitative data gathered during four months of fieldwork in 1991, this study investigates the Balinese perceptions of museums and the impact of these institutions on a culture that does not adhere to nor adopt Western definitions of time and material. The study draws on recent theories within the field of museum studies which view museums as instruments of Western domination and which emphasize the political roles museums play as creators of culture, certifiers of national identity, and promoters of tourism. The study reveals, however, that although museums in Bali operate under Western definitions that challenge Balinese tradition, the Balinese have molded museums to fit their cultural reality.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

Request Access



© Copyright 1993 Murray G. Walsh