- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Western Province > Unknown > Fly River
- Acquisition date
- September 11, 1985
- Acquisition method
- Donated by Ms Elizabeth Hopkins
- Raw material
- Wood; lime
- H: W: 45 mm L: 335 mm D: 10 mm Circum:
Lime spatula carved from brown wood. The handle is carved into a large spiral at the end of the handle that extends toward the blade and two smaller curves; between the large spiral and blade another curved section is carved with two symmetrical U-shaped hooks. Circles, crescents and curvilinear designs are incised on the handle and extends down the blade. The blade is flat with a rounded end and tapers toward the handle. Some lime residue in incisions. Registration number 25496 marked on blade in black.
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].