- 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: 20 mm L: 285 mm D: 10 mm Circum:
Lime spatula carved from dark wood with a pointed handle split through the centre. Two crescents are carved at the midsection and joined at the middle by two bands carved in relief. The handle and midsection have bands of lines and curvilinear incisions on both sides, some filled with lime. The blade is flat with a rounded end and tapers toward the handle. Registration number 2914 marked on the 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].