Female bhuta.
India, state of Karnataka, coastal south Kanara, ca. 1800. Wood with traces of pigment. Lent by Dr. Siddharth Bhansali.

This small, stocky image of a bhuta, or supernatural spirit, may represent the goddess Chikku (literally, small one), a petite, demure figure who is reportedly today's favorite bhuta. She is abundantly ornamented with her hair drawn to one side as a ponytail, and her strikingly stylized facial features giver her an air of austere grandeur. A bowl of sacred ash, known as vibhuti, often rests in her upraised hand.

Return

Female bhuta.