TIBA/Betel Nut and Tobacco Container Bamboo from the highlands of central West Timor
Offering this group of 3 TIBA from the SoE in TTS West Timor These containers have been lightly decorated around the body with stylised motif bands. One bears the signature of its maker Bapak (Mr) A Benu. Benu is the family name of one of the remaining Animist villages.
In all pieces have the top and bottom created from the natural bamboo join.
15cm / 6″ tallest
11.5 cm / 4.5″shortest
Freight is additional. See Zz freight tables in 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 another item of a lesser weight into one parcel to maximize shipping.
LIME POWDER AND THE ART OF CHEWING BETEL IN TIMOR
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 Timor go to the Timor button and select anything from the drop down….and go on a Timorese adventure.