A community of Tamil ship builders, whose roots can be traced back to Pozhgainallur near Nagapattinam in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, lived along North Bridge Road and Jalan Sultan in Singapore up to mid - 20th century. While some continued in the ship building line, others diversified into other businesses and owned provision shops, etc. Marriage was usually within the same community. This is a vettilai petti or betel leaf box used by Marimuthu d/o Manickam Pillai or Mrs.Veerappen, who belonged to the aforementioned community. Betel nut and leaf chewing iss an indulgence common to the women of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.