A ladle is another name for a spoon. Ladles are generally used for serving food or liquids rather than for eating. Because of their special use, the handle on a ladle is usually longer than the handle on a common spoon. Modern ladles are mostly made of metal, usually stainless steel or aluminum. Ladles used for very special or formal occasions, like weddings or parties, may be made of silver or crystal.
Some ladles are used for spices and/or condiments. These types of ladles generally possess shorter handles that are wider than those on common spoons. One of the first clues concerning the use of a ladle is the length of the handle. The longer the handle, the more probable it is that the ladle is used for serving liquids. The shorter the handle, the more probable it is that the ladle is used for condiments, ceremonies, or for decorative purposes.
THE COWHIDE LADLE
This object is made from the hide of a cow that has been cleaned, tanned, molded and shaped in the form of a ladle. In proportion to the bowl, the handle is long and is wrapped in rows of yellow, red, blue and black beads. It dates from 1880 – 1890. It is presumed to have come from the Lakota Sioux tribe. It is 12.5 inches long. The bowl measures 3 inches wide.
THE HOPI LADLE
This object is polychrome (more than one color) pottery from the Hopi tribe of New Mexico. It is decorated with the image of the Hopi Corn Mother. For the Hopi, the corn Mother is the giver of life. She is synonymous with Mother Earth and represents growth, life, creativity and the feminine aspects of the world. This piece is fashioned to serve as a ladle. In this instance the handle of the ladle is short with a curve at the end.
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