University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Lime Container [Object of the Day #120]


November 29, 2012

Lime Container
Lime Container


Small wooden container used to carry powdered lime. In many parts of the world lime, chopped areca nut and betel leaf are combined and formed into a quid which is sucked and chewed as a mild stimulant.  The practice is called betel chewing. This lime container, with a lid carved in the form of a seated man, is from Northern Luzon, in the Philippines. The most startling side effects of betel chewing are the staining of the teeth and lips red and the production and constant spitting of blood red saliva.  “Bloody Mary,” in the musical South Pacific, was a betel chewer.

Penn Museum Object #P2101
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