Cassowary Bone Lime Spatula from Papua New Guinea

Item BR89 

This Item Sold on 6 November 2007 for $48

Similar artifacts for sale are often found on the Asian Artifacts web page. 

Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices.

Betel nut is a mild stimulant that is chewed throughout the Asian continent. The almost ceremonial and habitual chewing of the betel nut usually involves four ingredients: areca nut (bunga), fresh pepper leaves (buyo), powder lime (apug), and damp tobacco leaves. Slaked lime (Calcium Hydroxide) is used to release the alkaloid in the Betel Nut.

This item is a cassowary bone spatula that is used to take lime out of a long bamboo container. The user then licks the lime off of the spatula. The lime then reacts with the chewed betel leaf and areca nut to produce a mild high. There is a residual of the betel paste on the tip of the spatula. The bone socket was carved to resemble a head (see photo below). Length = 38 cm ; Weight = 34 gm

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