Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

The Art of Bhoota Kola


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Bhoota Kola

Mains level: NA


There has been a controversy over the folk art of Bhoota Kola recently depicted in a famous Kannada movie.

What is Bhoota Kola?

  • Bhoota Kola is an animistic ritual dance performance where local spirits or deities are worshipped.
  • It is believed that a person performing the ritual has temporarily become a god himself.
  • This performer is both feared and respected in the community and is believed to give answers to people’s problems, on behalf of the god.
  • There are several ‘Bhootas’ who are worshipped in the Tulu-speaking belt of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts.
  • It is usually performed in small local communities and rural areas.

How is it performed?

  • The Kola (or dance performance for the Gods) is basically performed in an area near the temple of the village deity which is usually close to large open fields.
  • The ritual involves music, dance, recital, and elaborate costumes.
  • Recitals in Old Tulu recount the origins of the deity and tell the story of how it came to the present location.
  • The divine medium start their traditional performances as the local folklore called ‘paddanas’ are recited.


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