- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Milne Bay Province > Alotau > Massim style
- Raw material
- wood; lime
- H: 325 mm W: 60 mm L: D: 20 mm Circum:
Lime spatula carved from dark wood. The handle is O-shaped with lime filled circular and curvilinear designs incised on both sides. The blade is flat with a rounded point and tapers toward the handle. Parts of blade and handle have indentations and faint red pigment on the blade. Old paper label on blade 'Lime stick used as...'. Registration number 9579 marked on blade in white.
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].