Skip to main content

Spirit Worship: Jumadi-Banta Kola


I had earlier written a post titled Of Daivas and Spirits, about a custom indigenous to this part of the coast- Spirit Worship. As mentioned earlier, these spirits are many, including Panjurli, Varthe, Guliga, Jumadi - Banta, Mantradevate, etc. There is a very interesting story behind these spirits, which you can read HERE.

Of the many rituals conducted to appease the spirits, the most colourful (and glamorous) is conducting a Bhoota Kola. This is a night long ceremony to invoke the spirit(s) concerned, which then occupies an Oracle temporarily, and can even converse with people through a mediator. The Kola season lasts for about 4-5 months, i.e December to May. 

Earlier this year, we decided to visit a Kola held in at our village. This particular one is conducted in a grand manner every year, and is thronged by people of the surrounding villages. The spirits invoked are Jumadi - Banta. The place was beautifully decorated. Lot of musicians and drummers were involved. The silver headgear was polished to shine blindingly as night engulfed. And the artists invoking the spirits knew their trade perfectly. The synchronisation was very good (watch the video at the end of the post).  We did not stay back for the dance with the artists donning the headgear, as it was already well past mid-night and I had to get back home as the next day was a working day. Here are a few photos from the evening.
The Nadibettu Daivasthana, Moilottu village, Mulki 

The musicians

The masks and idols of the spirits, inside the mantap

...Possessed!

Wearing siri, made of tender fronds of the coconut palm

Swish and swash of the siri

The dialogue through expressions...

...and the dance.

Expressions!

The decorated headgear

The idols that are taken out on a procession

A short minute-long clip from the evening. 
Look at the expressions and the synchronisation.


To read my recent posts on this topic (an eleven-part series on organising a Kola), click on the links below: 
Bhoota Kola


Comments

  1. This is interesting. It looks like the "Thaiyam" in kerala. Pictures are good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the counterpart of Theyyam, conducted here in Tulunadu. I wish to visit a Theyyam ritual some day!

      Delete
  2. Very elaborate ritual! Well documented!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Magiceye! You should visit one sometime, on your next visit to your village!

      Delete
  3. Very colorful captures! So much full of life!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks a lot for the handy info. Short but precisely written.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Popular posts from this blog

A Slice of the Western Ghats: AGUMBE

Agumbe is a tiny village in Shimoga district, and part of the eco-sensitive zone of the Western Ghats, the lifeline of the coast. The region receives very heavy rainfall, and is also referred to as the Cherrapunji of the South. The region has lush beautiful rain forests, and is also home to a number of unique flora and fauna, indigenous to the zone. The enigmatic King Cobra also resides in the in the thick rainforests.

A summer sunset

A quick post! Over the past few weeks, I haven't been able to dedicate much time to this space, owing to more pressing matters, both personally and professionally. However, I'm making it a habit to write down in my journal as often as possible, so as to make a record of my thoughts, which have been quite interesting. 
With this post, I hope to resume writing posts at-least twice a week, starting today! This picture was taken in my village in the Summer. It was a clear evening, and the sky was spotless. The setting sun against the horizon made of various palms made for a very pretty picture. The tiny glistening lake looked nice too.

See also:Summer Activity: Mango Picking!Summer Sky

(Find more pictures of the sky from across the globe, HERE)

A Slice of Rural Mangalore

FortyShadesMore!
Last evening we'd been to our village for a Spirit Worship ritual. The drive was quite smooth, save for a particular moment where I braked all of a sudden, to save a small snake slithering slowly on the tar road. I got quite a shouting for it! In the past few days, the village had seen showers, and everything had turned green. Patches of grass were seen by the road, and the parched countryside looked hungry for more. There was a peacock strutting rather proudly in the middle of the road. 
By the time we reached the village, dusk was falling and the sun had disappeared behind the trees that make the horizon at the edge of our fields. There were lot of heavy clouds too, and the evening light filtering through them looked glorious. As the sun went down, the colours kept changing. In a span of just fifteen minutes, I lost count of the number of hues that appeared; it was as if there was an artist sitting on the other side and secretly painting the sky! Below are a few p…