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Betel box
Place of Origin: Philippines, Mindanao
Date: approx. 1900-1970
Materials: Brass with silver inlay
Dimensions: H. 4 1/4 in x W. 8 1/4 in x D. 3 3/4 in, H. 10.8 cm x W. 21 cm x D. 9.5 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Naomi Lindstrom
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Metal Arts
Object Number: 2010.556
On Display: Yes
Location: Tateuchi Thematic Gallery
Culture: Maranao people

Description

Label:

The Maranao people of the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines are particularly renowned for their inlaid brass betel boxes. These boxes, sometimes decorated with intricate scrolls of inlaid silver, often contain four compartments for the ingredients involved in rolling a betel quid: the sliced areca nut (a mild stimulant), betel leaves, lime powder, and tobacco. Octagonal brass boxes were also produced to hold these substances.

It was considered polite to offer every visitor a betel quid. Historical reports from the early twentieth century emphasize the importance of these boxes as status symbols; some wealthy homes contained hundreds of such containers.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Sights Unseen: Recent Acquisitions", Tateuchi Gallery, September 2, 2006 - March 25, 2007

"Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories", Asian Art Museum, 7/14/2017 - 3/11/2018
Label:

The Maranao people of the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines are particularly renowned for their inlaid brass betel boxes. These boxes, sometimes decorated with intricate scrolls of inlaid silver, often contain four compartments for the ingredients involved in rolling a betel quid: the sliced areca nut (a mild stimulant), betel leaves, lime powder, and tobacco. Octagonal brass boxes were also produced to hold these substances.

It was considered polite to offer every visitor a betel quid. Historical reports from the early twentieth century emphasize the importance of these boxes as status symbols; some wealthy homes contained hundreds of such containers.


Exhibition History: "Sights Unseen: Recent Acquisitions", Tateuchi Gallery, September 2, 2006 - March 25, 2007

"Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories", Asian Art Museum, 7/14/2017 - 3/11/2018