burmese betel boxDIA60xH50mm, Myanmar

For the first item of the Asian Folkcraft Collection, we have a miniature of Burmese’s traditional lacquer betel box from SOIL.

 Betel, tobacco and pickled tea is an expression in Burmese language that speaks of hospitality and welcomes a visitor to one’s home.

 The circular betel box at first glance, looks solid, but is in reality nicely fitted with a lid over a small container for holding betel nut. The top of the bowl is fitted with two shallow trays, one on top of the other. The upper tray has four little cups to hold ingredients for making betel nuts: cloves, cutch, and seeds, shredded wild Licorice or sweet creeper.

 In the second tray is a layer of dried tobacco leaves. Only when the tray is taken out of the main bowl are green fresh betel leaves revealed.