A display statue or what we often call a mannequin is one of the elements that we often encounter in museums. Moreover, the existence of these mannequins is actually expected to be a supporting tool for the exhibition as well as photos of documentation. Mannequins become an object that often appears, especially in ethnographic museums as a way to reconstruct a particular culture.
Mannequins are here to help a shadow of the cultural imagination in the museum. It is common for us to find mannequins of various shapes and identities in museums because of their role in helping the collection to tell about its function and purpose. One of the mannequins that later became part of the museum's collection is a statue of a Bedhaya dancer mannequin. This Bedhaya dancer's mannequin was made when the museum was first opened to present a representation of the Bedhaya Dance which is a very sacred traditional dance from Java. This dance is closely related to the Kraton tradition.
This dance is a ceremonial custom or part of a ceremony, has a sacred value because it is seen as a dance created by the Queen among all spirits and is a dance of love or marriage and has a symbol of affection. This is also the reason the Bedhaya Dance is often played when the Sultan marries his son as part of the ceremony. This dance is so sacred, that the dancers consisting of nine women are not chosen arbitrarily.
The statue of the Bedhaya dancer from the museum is made of cement, which at that time was indeed popular as a material for making mannequins. This statue is made as real as possible close to the original figure. It takes a fairly high skill to produce a mannequin on display in a museum. The accuracy of facial expressions, body postures, and hand gestures must be in accordance with the reality that exists in the real world, so that the mannequin has the power to represent a dance culture that is very sacred to the people.