Knives and Betel Nut Crackers of Gujarat

Metal, Ritual Crafts

Knives and Betel Nut Crackers of Gujarat

Areca/ betel nut accessories like nut-crackers and knives are some of the accessories and functional items which grew around the paan-supari culture in India. This tradition, going back at least 2,000 recorded years, continues till today. The betel nut is ingested for a variety of reasons: it is a digestive, it has medicinal properties, and it is also chewed for pleasure. Betel-nut accessories include metallic spittoons, trays, nut-crackers, and lime boxes.

The paandan or paandani, a box to store betel leaf, which is served after a meal also has compartments to store the additives like areca nut, tobacco, mukhvaas, mouth refreshments. Perforated lids on each compartments ensure that there is air circulating within the box.

The most ornamented of all metal products, the sudi, the nutcracker was once found in traditional households. These were fashioned to different forms, ranging from human figures to animals, birds and floral shapes. Cast in two parts, the sudi is joined at one end with a rivet.






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