Massim Canoe betel nut mortar 19th century
TitleMassim Canoe betel nut mortar 19th century
Stunning Massim betel nut mortar, circa late 19th century, in the form of a kula canoe, made from black ebony. Frigate birds motifs at the bow and stern and decorated with similar designs that are found on canoes and splash boards. Mortars are used by older men and woman in the village to crush betel and mix with lime. Harry Beran, ( world authority on Massim cultural ) has also recorded that in his research, these ornate mortars were also used for mixing the magical concoction which apprentices have to drink to internalize master carver knowledge.