- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Milne Bay Province > Alotau > Massim style
- Raw material
- H: W: 40 mm L: 290 mm D: 25 mm Circum:
Lime spatula carved from dark wood with a handle in the form of a seated human figure. The figure has a rounded head, prominent brow and nose and circular eyes; the limbs are incised with circle and curvilinear designs; and a section is carved out separating the arms and legs. The blade is flat with a rounded end and tapers toward the handle. Registration number 4570 marked on blade in white.
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].