Loan Object

Betel Box (Teluok)

19th century

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)
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
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.
Made in Pantar, Indonesia
On view
19th century
Containers - Wood

Ex-collection: B. Frank, New York

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 such records is ongoing.