Prestige Lime Spatula Gabaela Province Milne Bay, Aire Massim, Papua New Guinea

Frédéric Coridon
2800 €


CategoryAfrican art, Tribal art
Period20th century
Condition Very good state

Gabaela prestige LIME SPATULA
Milne Bay Province, Aire Massim, Papua New Guinea
First half of the 20th century
Tortoise shell
Height: 22cm

This prestigious lime spatula is called Gabaela or 'Nga. It can be identified by its particular material, tortoise shell, but also by its characteristic shape reminiscent of a fan. Its straight, thin and short handle opens onto a finely incised crescent moon spatula. The inner part of the crescent presents an openwork decoration of volutes enhanced with lime.
Certain regions assimilate to it parts of the human body: the spatula would be the head, the lateral extremities would refer to the arms, the junction with the handle would be similar to the chest and finally, the handle could mean the nose, a foot, or even the male sex attribute. Other regions turn the spatula so as to see a canoe: the handle would then rise like a mast.

These spatulas are not intended for the absorption of lime but are well reserved for the ceremonies of the South of the Massim area. They sometimes accompanied young women of marrying age and thus formed part of their dowry. They could also serve as a bargaining chip.

Former collection of Monsieur and Madame L. (Paris).

Tortoiseshell specimen in accordance with CE regulation 338-97 art. 2 w. mc. of December 9, 1996. Prior to June 1, 1947.
For a possible export, it will be up to the purchaser to inquire before any purchase with the customs of the country concerned, particularly if it is the United States.

Text and photos © FCP CORIDON

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Frédéric Coridon
Frédéric Coridon
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