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Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia


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Collection No. T-4983
Size 10cm to 14cm
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia
Four Finely Carved Betel Nut Knife Handles Indonesia

This set of very beautifully carved handles from Betel Nut Knife Crusher are from the Sasak People on Lombok Island of Indonesia. Caved from Water Buffalo Horn in the form of ancient stories going back to the Hindu & Buddhist periods of Indonesia. The first carving is of one man riding another like a horse, perhaps a slave or captive of war being humiliated.  ( if you know more about this subject please I would very much like to hear from you ) Two others are carved in the form of two couples in an erotic embrace. The last one is of a single man with a large phallus.  These were collected in Indonesia in the late 1960s, it is possible that they are all by one very skilled artist, they have a feeling that they relate to each other.  They are likely  60 years old conservatively but possibly much older.

Betel Nut Chewing is endemic throughout SE Asia & the Pacific Islands. The seed of the Areca Palm is a mild stimulate much like a strong cup of tea or coffee, locals chew it from a young age and all through their lives. Chewed together with Piper betle leaves and slaked lime ( burnt and crushed seashells) it is widely used but causes mouth cancer & people lose their teeth and that is why the Betel Knives are used to crush the betel nut into a paste for consumption.

Betel chewing has been used for thousands of years and the many cultures that chew betel make beautiful small scale artworks used in the preparation & consumption of the betel nut.

 

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