Makara Gallery

Himalayan arts - Asian arts

Areca nut cutter


representing a parrot.

Probably from the Deccan plateau,
Central or southern India.
Brass, iron
19 cm long
In # 233 b
These hinged one-bladed instruments in the form of tongs were used to cut slices of areca nut used for the preparation of betel, a stimulant like tobacco, which is chewed in many societies in South and Southeast Asia. The basic ingredients of betel are areca nut, betel leaf and lime paste, usually made from chalk, coral or shells. These tongs are mostly from countries and regions that have been influenced by Indian culture.