The Ballalompoa Museum: Daily “Changing of the Guard”
A new attraction has recently been added to Makassar. Since the beginning of March, an impressive “Changing of the Guard” ceremony takes place at the Ballalompoa Museum, the former Palace of the Sultan of Gowa.
Wearing resplendent bright red costumes, “soldiers” involved in the “Changing of the Guard” at the former Gowa Palace will perform their drill for the public to watch every morning at 09.0 am, promised the Bupati (Regent) of the district of Gowa .
Built in 1936, the Palace of the Sultan of Gowa, formerly also known as the Sungguminasa Palace, is a large wooden structure built on stilts and has an imposing roofed staircase that leads to the reception room. It has five wooden panels in the gable of the roof, which denotes royalty and may be used only by the Sultan.
The Sultanate of Gowa in South Sulawesi rose in power and had its heydays in the first decades of the 17th century dominating present day Makassar. The Sultanate was later defeated by the Dutch, and the Sultan was given domain only over the Sungguminasa region.
The Ballalompoa Museum today houses the resplendent treasure and regalia of the former Sultan of Gowa, among which the Gowa gold crown, bracelets with precious stones, royal swords, keris and gold jewelry.
Every year a special ceremony called “Acera Kalomponag” is held to cleanse and weigh the gold crown, which is believed to have been inherited from the first female ruler of Gowa, called I Tanisamanga. According to belief, the crown never weighs the same each year it is weighed. When its weight increases it is a good omen that all will be well in the region.