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Betel Chewing Culture in Sri Lanka
Betel chewing is a tradition that has come down among the Sri Lankans from very early times. This habit no doubt was a universal particularly among Asians. Betel leaves, arecanut, chunam, tobacco and spices such as nutmeg, cloves, cardamom: etc. constituted ingredients of betel chewing.
While this culture promoted the growth of the spices, it also helped with the development of crafts. The arecanut slicers adopted various shapes and designs using Sinhala art motifs of the times. The abstract art motif Serapenda common motif adopted in arecanut slicers.
In the case of human designs, a popular motif was the bust of a woman with
hands In Mudra. The slicers were usually made of brass, while in some the body
of the upper blade was of silver designs.
The betel bags of the Karidyan Period too were good specimens of embroidery
work at the time. These bags were fairly large betel leaves, which were used to
bring betel to the royal court.
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