Wood, with stand (stand is no longer included with object in cabinet [5-2-11] MD). Object is dark brown in color. Man in profile view sitting on spatula. Body is incised geometric designs and has open work carving. Incised areas were possibly filled with white pigment.

Lime Spatula, 20th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

Betel chewing is a common practice throughout India, Indonesia, and Oceania. Frequently called betel nut, a "chew" actually consists of three components; a paste made from the crushed kernel of an areca palm nut, the fruit or leaf of the betel-pepper plant, and a quantity of powdered lime, obtained from burnt coral or shell. Often this combination takes the form of a small bite-sized package which is placed in the cheek and chewed in a manner similar to chewing tobacco.Betel chewing is a social and personal habit, but betel is also chewed in ritual and ceremonial contexts. The use of betel in Oceania has led to the manufacture of finely decorated paraphernalia including lime containers, lime spatulas, and mortars. These objects have been considered among the finest of Melanesian carvings.

Details
Title
Lime Spatula
Role
Artist
Accession Number
89.35.2
Curator Approved

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Wood, with stand (stand is no longer included with object in cabinet [5-2-11] MD). Object is dark brown in color. Man in profile view sitting on spatula. Body is incised geometric designs and has open work carving. Incised areas were possibly filled with white pigment.