Lime spatula

placeholder
Registration number
2913
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
September 28, 1953 
Acquisition method
Donated by Miss E. M. Boddington 
Raw material
Wood; lime
Dimensions
H: W: 40 mm L: 260 mm D: 25 mm Circum:

Description

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.

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].

Go to top