National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Todd Barlin through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2008
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
The fine, crescent-topped wooden lime spatula is carved from turtle shell and beautifully decorated with shells, incised patterns filled and heightened with lime. Spatulas of this kind were also used as handles for small shell currency discs and were exclusively made in the southern part of the Massim area. Turtle-shell spatula is regarded as more prestigious and worn by women as ornament during ritual dances.