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TIBA/Betel Nut and Tobacco Container Bamboo from the highlands of central West Timor

Small and sweet this well loved container has a rich natural patina from years of use in the kampongs. The natural bamboo join has been used to effect the top and bottom.

9cm / 3.5" tall.


Freight is additional. See Zz freight tables at the bottom of the left hand categories column. Category A. Insurance and or tracking is additional.

Because of the diameter of this treasure it must be sent as a parcel. You can put 2 or 3 items of a similar weight into one parcel to maximize shipping. 


Yes it is chalk powder but it is not as neutral as the chalk that we use on our blackboards.
Lime powder in Timor the fossil coral which is gathered and crushed then stewed in a pot, then put into the sun to bake into cakes then re-crushed and strained so as to remove the dirt and grit and other impurities. It is fine balance of just how much lime powder to add to your betel mix because even just a little too much can burn your mouth.

When chewing betel nut, first the nut is prepared by peeling the skin off and cutting the seed into quarters, sometimes eights and placing it in the cheek pouch in the mouth. Then out comes the lime powder container – KAL AU. A small amount (and they are very careful) is tapped out into the palm of the left hand and tossed into the mouth. Mastication begins. Next from the betel/tobacco container - TIBA comes the sirih leaf or asparagus-like spear from the sirih vine. A whole leaf or about one sixth of a spear is tossed into the mouth. This is all well chewed resulting in a bright orange salivary mix the excess of which is spat onto the ground retaining the bulk of the solids in the mouth and continuing to chew. If tobacco is going to be added it is about now that the chewer takes a small wad of chewing tobacco and slips it under the upper lip to moisten it prior to combining it with the rest of the mixture held in the mouth.

All in all a fine art indeed.   Can you imagine squatted under a tree in the middle of the day with your friends sharing conversation and chewing betel nut until your mouth is numb and your head is spinning.....

For more information about Betel nut and its place in Timorese society please go to Julies site www.timortreasures.com/julie or clik link under paypal sign on the left top of home page and look under Culture in Timor.

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