Lime-spatula made from palm wood. Human figure with incised curvilinear designs on handle. Traces of lime mixed with saliva on spatula blade indicate that this object was used.
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander lime spatula
L 240 x W 18 mm
History and use
Betel-nut chewing is a traditional practice performed throughout Papua New Guinea. Betel-nut (from the seed of the areca palm) is chewed alongside mineral lime – usually made from burnt shell, coral, or other materials – and used as a mild stimulant to cause narcotic effect. Lime-spatulas such as this are used to serve the lime.
This object was collected by donor Peter Watt in 1990 and donated to the Museum of Tropical Queensland in 2012.