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Papua New Guinea Betel Nut Mortar


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Papua New Guinea Betel Nut Mortar

Papua New Guinea Betel Nut Mortar


Antique Sepik River Betel Nut Mortar, from Papua New Guinea. Made in the late 19th/early 20th Century, in the Sepik River area of Papua New Guinea. It depicts two figures, back to back, supporting the Betel bowl on their head. Typical faces with hook nose. Height 23 cm.

Peoples throughout the Sepik region use betel nut, the fruit of the areca palm, which is chewed with lime made from burnt shells or coral and other substances to produce a mild stimulant effect. Sepik peoples create a variety of betel nut chewing accessories. The cup-like object seen here is a betel nut mortar, used by individuals who have lost their teeth to aid in chewing betel nut. When chewing, the individual periodically places the nut and a small quantity of lime in the mortar and crushes it with a pestle to release the active ingredients before placing it back in the mouth. Some betel nut mortars, carried by male elders, served as marks of secular and religious authority. Often adorned with images of spirits, ancestors, or other supernatural beings, some also had magical properties. - The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Condition: good condition with age related wear

Antieke betelnoot vijzel uit Papua Nieuw Guinea. Gemaakt in einde 19e/begin 20e eeuw, in het Sepik River gebied van Papua Nieuw Guinea. Het verbeeldt twee figuren met de ruggen tegen elkaar die de Betelnoot kom op hun hoofd ondersteunen. Kenmerkende gezichten met haakneus. Hoogte 23 cm.

Conditie: goede conditie met ouderdomssporen


Data sheet

Tribal Art

Specific References