- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Milne Bay Province > Alotau > Massim style
- Mr W. Cottrell-Dormer
- Acquisition date
- January 01, 1980
- Acquisition method
- Donated by Mr W. Cottrell-Dormer
- Raw material
- Wood; lime
- H: W: 11 mm L: 240 mm D: 30 mm Circum:
Lime spatula carved from dark wood. The handle is carved in openwork with circle and curvilinear incisions infilled with lime. The blade is flat with a rounded end and tapers toward the handle. Registration number 24484 marked on blade in black.
Betel nut chewing is a pastime known in parts of Asia and the Pacific where betel nut, the seed of the areca palm (Areca catechu), is chewed with betel leaves and lime made from burnt shell and coral. Used frequently as a mild stimulant and for medicinal purposes, the betel nut stains user's saliva, lips and teeth red. The highly carved spatulas are accessories showing rank and are often used for ornament only [ref H. Beran, Betel-chewing Equipment of East New Guinea].