Old Pelacak handle in the form of a woman praying, Bali.
The superbly carved small wooden handle was carved for a pelacak (pronounced pelor-choc), a tool used by older indonesians when they loose their teeth and can no longer chew betel nut, the hard seed of the Areca palm.
A pelacak is made by attaching a beautifully carved handle to a steel chisel blade which fits inside a deep mortar. The betel chewer inserts the betel nut and chops and crushes it before wrapping the fragments with the pepper leaf and white lime powder to make a mildly narcotic betel nut chew.
This superbly carved handle depicts a Balinese woman praying in a pose which will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever visited Bali - with her hair nealty dressed, kneeling back on her heels in prayer.Height 9 cm / 3½ inches.