Collingwood Bay man with lime spatula, New Guinea Art, Oceanic Art, Tribal Art, South Pacific Art
The benefit of field collecting is hearing the firsthand stories about the objects from the old men who used them. For example, in Collingwood Bay the lime spatulas are not just about bringing the white powdered lime from a gourd to the mouth when chewing betel nut. They were the most important objects of material culture, passed down from father to son. They were objects of power and ancestral authority that had the ability to settle disputes and authorize contracts.