Lime spatula

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Registration number
25495
Item name
Lime spatula 
Category
Drug/Medicine
Sculpture/Carving
 
Indigenous name
 
Maker
 
Associated cultural group
 
Place
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Western Province > Unknown > Fly River
Map
Collector
Unrecorded 
Acquisition date
September 11, 1985 
Acquisition method
Donated by Ms Elizabeth Hopkins 
Raw material
Wood
Dimensions
H: W: 28 mm L: 340 mm D: 10 mm Circum:

Description

Lime spatula carved from dark wood. The handle is rectangular with cylindrical disks carved at each end and a small, flat section carved at the top end and incised with curvilinear designs. The blade is flat with a rounded end. Registration number 25495 on tag attached to spatula.

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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