Sireh container

This sireh container belonged to a ‘tempat sireh’ (‘sireh set’) which is the Baba Malay term for a box with a set of containers used to store the various ingredients used in betel-chewing, a practice common among the Peranakan Chinese. This covered silver container with floral and leaf designs engraved on it, would probably hold ingredients such as ‘gambir’ (gambier) or ‘temaco’ (tobacco). ‘Tempat sireh’ is traditionally very important in Peranakan culture, with special significance for the Nonyas. Other than accompanying the day-to-day pleasure of chewing sireh, ‘tempat sireh’ also played an important ceremonial role in many important rites such as those in a traditional wedding.

Late 19th-early 20th centuries
The Straits Settlements
Object size: 6.0 x 6.0 x 5.7 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edmond Chin