Betel Box (Teluok)

19th century

Indo-Pacific Art

On view, 3rd floor, Indo-Pacific Art

Elaborately decorated betel implements may indicate status. Betel is a mild narcotic used throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific. A small bundle of chopped betel nut (the fruit of the areca palm), the fruit or leaf of a betel pepper (Piper betle, not botanically related to the areca palm), and lime is known as a “betel quid” and is chewed on all social occasions. The containers that hold the betel quid—like this example—are often ornately decorated and function as personal or household treasures.


Wood with mother-of-pearl, beads, and cotton


6 1/2 × 2 5/16 × 1 3/8 in. (16.5 × 5.8 × 3.5 cm)
base: 2 5/8 × 2 9/16 × 6 1/2 in. (6.6 × 6.5 × 16.5 cm)

Credit Line

Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971

Loan number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Ex-collection: B. Frank, New York
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

boxes (containers)

Technical metadata and APIs


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