Karen Woven Betel Box

c. 1900
$180 USD
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H: 3.75" Dia: 3.25"
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In many southeast Asian cultures, offering guests a betel quid to chew was the fundamental symbol of hospitality. A blend of leaves, nuts, seasonings, and sometimes tobacco, betel was kept in finely worked and decorated boxes. This round betel box by the Karen people of the Thai/Burma border is formed of woven bamboo strips coated in dark lacquer. Unlike Burmese betel boxes, which favor vibrant red and gold finishes, Karen boxes are colored with a natural soil-based pigment.

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