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Bhuta Figures of South Kanara

Title:Bhuta Figures of South Kanara
Author:Poovaya-Smith, Nima
Enumeration:Vol. 43 Issue no. 3; March 1992, p. 41-56
Abstract:The south Kanara district of coastal Karnataka has retained certain pre-Hindu belief systems and associated rituals, virtually intact, over several hundred years. The demi-gods and folk deities are either bhutas (spirits), serpents, or mother-goddesses, all distinctly non-brahminical figures. Though now largely confined to south Kanara, bhuta cults existed all over India. These nature spirits are inhabitants of trees, rivers, and woods; they demand periodic propitiation from the local people in return for protection. Bhuta cults have also been the source of spectacular sculptures, found in large numbers in shrines dedicated to major Hindu gods and goddesses, but their absence in contemporary bhuta rituals has never been explained. This article discusses the following sections: Bhuta Cults and Legends, Bhuta Enactors and Possession Rites, and Bhuta Carvings.

Source of Abstract: Provided by Publisher

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