Carved Coconut Lime Container by Wally ClanCarved Coconut Lime Container by Wally Clan
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Carved Coconut Lime Container

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This is a container for lime (chewed with betel and sirih leaf), carved from a coconut, with a wooden spatula featuring a female figure. The coconut is carved with the traditional spiral design called, in Babrongko, airembu homo, representing the life force or 'ground of being' of the people. The dark brown colour is obtained by suspending the carving over a fire, after which it may be polished with a pig tusk. Traditionally, coconut lime pots could be used only by the chief's wife; commoners were restricted to pots made from gourds. It is said that the chief's wife could put a spell on someone by pronouncing the person's name as she struck the inside bottom of the gourd with the stopper, sentencing them to imminent death. There were also those in the chief's household charged with various kinds of magic, including inducing fertility in women who took lime from the container. The four lime coconuts in the collection came from Babrongko and at least one may have been carved by Marthinus Melangsena.

Artwork Information

Location Pacific Islands
Region Western New Guinea
Artist Wally Clan
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 1995
Dimensions 9"
Materials & Edition Coconut

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