Lime spatula

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Registration number
1391
Item name
Lime spatula 
Category
Drug/Medicine
Sculpture/Carving
 
Indigenous name
 
Maker
 
Associated cultural group
 
Place
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Manus Province > Ninigo Group > Awin Island
Map
Collector
Dr Pike  
Acquisition date
June 01, 1951 
Acquisition method
Donated by Dr Pike  
Raw material
Wood
Dimensions
H: W: 30 mm L: 240 mm D: 15 mm Circum:

Description

Lime spatula carved from light wood. The handle is carved into two curved planes forming a V-shape and alternating geometric shapes. The blade is narrow and flat with a rounded end. Registration number 1391 marked on midsection 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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