- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Milne Bay Province > Alotau > Massim style
- Acquisition date
- September 28, 1953
- Acquisition method
- Donated by Miss E. M. Boddington
- Raw material
- Wood; lime
- H: W: 40 mm L: 260 mm D: 25 mm Circum:
Lime spatula carved from dark wood with a handle in the form of an animal figure. The handle is incised with curvilinear designs, some filled with lime. The blade is flat with a rounded end and tapers toward the handle. Registration number 2913 is marked on a tag attached to the spatula.
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].