Lime spatula

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
9579
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
Unrecorded 
Acquisition date
 
Acquisition method
by Church of England Board of Missions 
Raw material
wood; lime
Dimensions
H: 325 mm W: 60 mm L: D: 20 mm Circum:

Description

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.

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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