Monday, May 25, 2009

Bhutaradhana / Bhutakkola

Bhutaradhana is the Sanskrit term and Bhutakkola is a Dravaidian term. Bhuta means change in appearance. Bhutas, the cultural heroes are classified into different categories. They were human beings who fought for justice, truth, caste system etc. in a society. Unnatural and untimely young death due to battle, suicide and murder made them resurrect as bhutas. As a possession cult and folk ritualistic theatre form, Bhuta worship is seen to be a complex system which packs into itself many features- rituals and beliefs, music and narrations, dances and dialogues, social gatherings and entertainments, trances and oracles, miraculous healing of mental and physical disorders and settling of disputes and quarrels. It therefore has plenty of material for the attention of historians, psychologists, ethnologists, social anthropologists, linguists, folklorists and art critics alike.

The entire community of an area worships the spirits periodically once or twice a year with great pomp and festivity. In addition, certain minor forms of worship by individual families are also performed. Kola means embellishment, decoration, pantomime, festivity, beauty, gorgeous attire etc. The spirit impersonator puts on colourful headgear, mask, dress and make-up and makes a spectacular dance possessed by the spirit. Choma and Domba are the particular castes that perform Bhootakkola. The sub communities like Pambatha, Parava, Nera and Nalike are also famous for performing this ritual.
In Tulunaadu, Bhutaradhana is nothing but Daivaradhana, praying to heavenly deities. This worship involves a number of actions and rituals of spectacular effects- singing folk-epics or ballads called paddanas which depict the stories of the spirits. The ritualistic aspects of Bhutaradhana are considered it as a form of religion, as a form of judiciary system, as a form of therapy/ healing- family problems, physical and mental illnesses and also as a form of theatre

Sunday, May 24, 2009

mother and child -siri photos

"oh mother the flower i am giving you hold as a golden spike "- A scene from kumaradharshanam

''Mother your pretty, beloved child I''(kumara with siris) .

Gopala naik (kumara), one of the well known singer of siri epic

Dear siri......on siri festival in karnataka

In the annual Siri rituals of Dakshina Kannada District in Karnataka, hundreds of women sing the story of Siri and become possessed by the siri spirits. As the story describes them, these spirits are three generations of women of a matrilineal family: Siri; her daughter, Sonne; and her twin grand daughters, Abbaga and Daraga. The story recounts the tragedies, which befall them. In its various contexts, singing the Siri Paddana is a performance in which the singing is also a form of discourse, a specialized kind of speech act, which is capable of transforming women who utter it. As women sing the story they are transformed into spirits and their interaction is as the characters of the story. Their entire speech -- not just the recitation of the story line is sung and all speech acts are to be understood in the context of the story-ritual which inextricably links mythical and present-day worlds
The ritual performance is regarded as curative. The typical life history episode begins with a woman, usually a young woman, at home and among her relatives, "acting out" speaking inappropriately, or not speaking at all in such a manner that her behavior is identified as being "troubled by" a siri spirit. Her relatives are advised to take her to the next Siri rituals. There, she will stand among women who are adepts, who once had a similar condition and have been coming to the Siri rituals for years to help other women learn to control the siri spirits. As they begin to sing the story of Siri they become possessed by the spirits, individually transformed into the characters of the story they sing, and the context itself is transported to that of the story.

In Tuluva culture ritual control is a male role. He is Kumar, Siri's son, whom (as the story relates it) she had transformed into a spirit as an infant. In the ritual Kumar is the term used for the central role of the male priest who initiates the singing and controls the spirits of the story once the context is transformed/transmuted into that of the story
Siri cult happens in a temple premise or at respective houses in full-moon nights. The women are mainly from economically backward class, mostly from a shudra or non-brahmin group. This is mainly pracised in 10-15 Tulu speaking centres in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. They are:Nandalikke, Karkala talukKabbadda, Karkala talukHiriyadukka, Karkala talukPankala, Karkala talukNidgal, Ujire Moodigare, UdupiKottigahare, Udupi
The Siri culture has its social and psychological implications. 16,000 lines of the epic of Siri culture are published. They share their miseries, beliefs and difficulties through this practise, which can also be considered as an annual treatment.