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Betel nut box

late 19th century
early 20th century


Unknown Artist

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Lanao del Sur Mindanao Philippines
    Cultural origin
    late 19th century
    early 20th century
    Media category
    Mixed media
    Materials used
    silver inlay with beaded handle
    8.0 x 17.0 x 8.0 cm
    Gift of John Yu 2020
    Not on display
    Accession number
  • About

    This betel nut container is a beautiful example of local material culture influenced by Islamic design. Chewing areca nut, more commonly known as betel nut, was a widespread pastime in Southeast Asia, where there developed a ceremonial mode of consumption with its own set of accessories. This container was produced by the Maranao Muslim community that has strong ancestral links with early seafaring Sultanates that resisted Spanish imperialism. The Maranao share cultural and religious practices with neighbours in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia and are renowned for their architectural woodcarvings. In fact, the curvilinear designs on this box are similar to those found in Maranao woodcarvings and the beaded strap used to carry this box appears to be a langkit band usually used to join a malong (traditional skirt or sarong).

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition