Image source: Didi Trowulanesia

In the village of Prumpung in Muntilan, Central Java (about 30 kilometers north of Yogyakarta), several hundred people make their living as sculptors. They claim to be the direct descendants those who built the Borobudur temple.

About 20 sculpture studios flourish in the village. On display are dozens of statues of Vishnu, Shiva, Buddha and Ganesha, garden lamps, fountains and more, all made from andesite stone from the sacred Merapi mountain.

Customers come to order classical statues for hotels, offices, yoga centers, temples and monasteries. Other popular requests include replicas of panels from Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar.

Image source – Didi Trowulanesia

Many visitors commission pieces with the studios, providing their own designs and samples. A three-meter statue can sell for Rp 35 million.

The sculptors first char the stones with firewood, smearing it with herbs and burying the stone in the ground for a year before proceeding. Stone for the statues is treated with a variety of materials, including tea, turmeric and gambier, according to the tradition.

The biggest workshops in Muntilan are:

• Kinara Kinari workshop

• Syailendra workshop

• Taruna Sakti workshop – Jl. Pemuda Barat No 28 Sidoharjo Taman Agung, Magelang Muntilan 56413

• Kendali Sodo workshop – JL. Sidoharjo, Nlepen, Gunungpring, Kec. Muntilan, Magelang 56411

Image source: Didi Trowulanesia