The Museum Pusaka Nias is the only museum on Nias Island and it has a large collection of objects related to Nias culture and history. The exhibition featuring the highlights of the collection is housed in four large pavilions. The exhibition is open to the public daily and offers an in-depth introduction to the indigenous culture and history of Nias Island. The displays includes jewellery worn by nobles, weapons, crocodile-hide battle armour, traditional fishing and hunting equipment to headhunting paraphernalia, wood carvings used in ancestor worship, ceremonial drums, coffins with dragon heads, and beautiful scale models of traditional houses.


The Museum cultural dance group performing in front of the exhibition rooms.


There are many artifacts on display in the gardens surrounding the exhibition pavilions.

To understand the history, meaning and function of each exhibit there are interpretational signs in Indonesian and English. Many large artefacts such as megalith stones and authentic traditional houses from different areas of Nias can be found in the gardens surrounding the exhibition buildings.

Since its opening in 1995 the Museum has been the center of the cultural and artistic community of Nias. As the only exhibition of Nias cultural and historical collections, the Museum has become an icon and a reference for visitors who are interested to learn about the island 's rich culture . The Museum is recognized as one of the best in Indonesia and in 2014 the founder received an award for “best conservationist of cultural heritage” from the Indonesian ministry of culture.

Learn more about how the collection was acquired and how it is maintained here 

PAVILION I – Glory of the past

This room showcases a variety of artefacts depicting the majesty of Nias culture. The objects in this room were used by the highest levels of society; warriors, priests and Chieftains. This includes jewellery and weapons, ceremonial drums, pre-christian religious objects and an impressive scale models of a chiefs house in South Nias.


Pavillion I - The first exhinition is called 'Glory of the past' and showcases objects worn by Nias Noblemen.

PAVILION II – Traditional Feasts & Celebrations

Life on Nias were characterized by traditional feasts (Owasa) held in order to increase the status of a person. This room presents artifacts used during Owasa feasts and other celebrations. Objects range from various types of jewelry and banquet equipment, clothing and sedan chairs used during processions. There is also objects related to death and artifacts used in ancient religious rites .


Pavillion II - Owasa feasts and ceremonial objects.

PAVILION III – Daily life

Like other people, Niasans also performed a variety of routine activities. Artefacts from the daily life of Nias people can be seen in this room , ranging from shelter and housing,  tools for hunting and carpentry, household items, worship, headhunting and traditional musical instruments, some of them unique to Nias Island.


Pavillion III - Showcasing objects and displays about daily life on Nias.

PAVILION IV – Temporary Exhibitions

This room houses short term exhibitions that are changed on a regular basis. Past exhibitions have included;

  • Photographic exhibitions featuring historical photographs from Nias.
  • History of Catholic missionaries on Nias.
  • Rehabilitation of traditional houses after the 2005 earthquake.
  • ‘Bolo Nafo’ hand bags used to present traditional gifts of betel nuts for important guests.

The temporary exhibitions room is also used for lectures, audio-visual presentations and cultural education for visitors.


Pavillion IV -Temporary exhibition room where special topics and photo exhibitions are displayed.

Megalith Room

Nias is famous for its megalithic stone culture. Important events in the life of Nias people were often immortalized in stone. Megalith stones can tell the current generation about the past of their ancestors. The Megalith room is an open space in the middle of the exhibitions pavilions which has been covered to display a selection of stones sculptures and tables.


Museum Staff

The staff working at the exhibition has a lot of knowledge about Nias culture and the artefacts on display. English speaking guides are available. For groups and private guided tours or special visits contact the Museum for arrangements.


A number of experienced and knowledgeable guides work in the museum.

Digital StillCamera

Opening times:

Mon – Fri:          08.00 to 17:00

Sat:                      08:00 to 16:00

Sun:                     12:30 to 17:30

Ticket price:

Adult:      5000 Rp

Child:      2000 Rp






Osa’osa Ni’oböhö
Stone sculpture resembling a mythical animal combining the deer and dragon head (lasara)


Adu Sarambia
Wood carving of Ancestral Mother "Sarambia" and her children


Necklace worn by Nias Warriors made from coconut shells


Öröba Si’öli
Metal vest worn by South Nias warriors

Toho: Si sara Ndrami ba Bulusa 
Spears with different shapes for hunting and war fighting

Shield with unique shape used by Nias Warriors


A "Tolögo" sword with magical amulets worn by Nias Noblemen


Adu Zatua
Statue of ancestor used in ancestor worship


Naha Gamagama
Jewelry box made from weaved fibers


Hasi Nifolasara
Burial coffin with "Lasara" head from South Nias


Osa-osa Ni’oböhö
Dear shaped seat for noble men, used during “owasa” feasts.


Sukhu Eu
Wooden comb with ornaments


Tulo Gana’a
Weighing scales used for gold


Stone sculpture with human features



© Yayasan Pusaka Nias 2017. Designed & Edited by Björn Svensson & Shanti Fowler