By Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
These 18th century icons have been researched & documented by Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal, UNESCO Fellow, for Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation.
Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation is privileged to have partnered in the research, documentation and authentication of these rare 18th Century figurines of 11 Bhootas. These icons belong in the private collection of John Delano from USA.
A Figurine of Kodamanithaya (1700-01) by UnknownSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
What is the Bhoota Kola?
Bhoota means ‘spirit’ and kola means ‘play or performance’ in the Tulu language. During the ritual, oracles summon spirits and are temporarily possessed by them, forecasting future happenings or providing solutions and mediation for familial or inter-community disputes.
A Figurine of Jumadi (1700-01) by UnknownSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
The Bhootas, also known as daivas, are semi-divine spirits distinct from humans and gods. The stories of Bhootas are often based on historical figures who performed heroic deeds and achieved martyrdom in the past.
A Figurine of Kalkuda (1700-01) by UnknownSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
The Bhoota performance is called nema, originating from niyama (meaning rules and regulations in Sanskrit). During a Bhoota-Kola, a variety of Bhootas are invoked, and each one has specific associations with particular castes and communities.
Video of the Bhoota Icons (2020-09) by SGMFSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Bhoota Icons: A Narrative
Research & Documentation: Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal, Tagore & UNESCO Fellow
Images: All Rights Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Photography & Film: Nandith Jaisimha for Studio 080
Collection: From the private collection of John Delano, USA