The “spoon” seen here was carved and polished from blue-green jade by the unknown Olmec artist(s) and was probably recycled from an earlier celt, or hand axe. The “bowl” part was likely fashioned from the original handle while the present handle was likely earlier used as the blade of the celt. This particular spoon may have been used for ritual consumption of tobacco/hallucinogenic materials.
Like many jade objects across Mesoamerica, this spoon may have been associated with rituals or mortuary practices, or those connected to fertility in order to ensure smooth agricultural production. However, jade also existed as a form of monetary exchange as the most precious material in the Mesoamerican world. Thus, such objects could be viewed as having some similar functions as currency, but with far broader spiritual implications.