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Finial from a Lime Spatula
probably late 19th to early 20th century
Milne Bay Province
wood and traces of lime
8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
Bequest of Morton D. May
Place of origin:
Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea
On View, Gallery 109
In the Massim region, as in much of Island Melanesia, lime is chewed together with betel nut and the pepper flower. The lime releases an active ingredient in the betel nut to roduce a stimulant. A lime spatula is used by men to take the lime from its gourd container and place it into their mouths.
by 1972 - 1983
Morton D. May (1914-1983), St. Louis, MO, USA 
Saint Louis Art Museum, bequest of Morton D. May 
 Morton D. May lent this object to the Saint Louis Art Museum in 1972 [loan number 1972.1001].
 Last Will and Testament of M. D. May dated June 11, 1982 [copy, May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, September 20, 1983.
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