Female bhuta.
India, state of Karnataka, coastal south Kanara, ca. 1800. Metal. Lent by Dr. Siddharth Bhansali.

This metal image with hands joined in a gesture of adoration is usually placed in home shrines situated in a room at the rear of the house. Only on festival days would such an image be taken out of its seclusion and brought into the square where the Koolam dance is performed. This bhuta has a wide, infectious smile, elaborate jewelry, a topknot pulled to one side of the head, and a skirt whose swirling movement are ingeniously depicted.

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Female bhuta.