Digital Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Balinese Kulkul Artefact and Practices

Book Chapter
Pramartha, Cokorda
Davis, Joseph G.
2016, October
Published in: 
International Conference on Digital Heritage (EuroMed2016), Nicosia, Cyprus
Published in: 
LNCS 10058, Springer Berlin Heidelberg
One of the goals of digital preservation of cultural heritage is to gather, refine, maintain, and share cultural resources that can subsequently be used and developed by scholars, members of the community, and future generations. We present the details of our research dealing with one aspect of Balinese culture, the Balinese traditional communication system (kulkul), undertaken in the Indonesian island of Bali. We introduce a new framework based on Balinese cultural principles (Tri Hita Karana and Desa Kala Patra) to capture, classify, and organize cultural artefact and practice knowledge, and design and develop an online digital portal prototype to enable the sharing and growth of knowledge related to the Balinese kulkul. This knowledge is held largely in tacit form in the Balinese community, poorly documented, and fragmented, which makes the preservation difficult and yet crucial. The aim of the project is to document, preserve, and educate the Balinese community and the younger generations in particular on an important aspect of Balinese culture. This community will be encouraged not only to learn about kulkul and related practices but also contribute their own knowledge to enable the online digital portal to evolve into a living repository of Balinese cultural knowledge. The basic kulkul knowledge and understanding was obtained through in-depth interviews with selected Balinese cultural experts and knowledgeable community members (Professors from a Balinese University, spiritual leaders, senior community leaders, and craftsmen). As part of the digital portal, our project also includes the development of a basic ontology of key kulkul-related concepts and terms, and their inter-relationships to support the semantic searching and browsing of online resources.