Lime spatula

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Registration number
24484
Item name
Lime spatula 
Category
Drug/Medicine
Sculpture/Carving
 
Indigenous name
 
Maker
 
Associated cultural group
 
Place
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Milne Bay Province > Alotau > Massim style
Map
Collector
Mr W. Cottrell-Dormer 
Acquisition date
January 01, 1980 
Acquisition method
Donated by Mr W. Cottrell-Dormer 
Raw material
Wood; lime
Dimensions
H: W: 11 mm L: 240 mm D: 30 mm Circum:

Description

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.

Research notes

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].

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