Source: The post is based on the article “Kantara: What is the controversy over the practice of ‘bhoota kola’ in the Kannada movie?” published in Indian Express on 26th October 2022
What is the News?
Kannada film Kantara is being appreciated from all corners for its visual storytelling as well as compelling music and performances. However, the movie has also garnered controversies regarding the cultural practice of Bhoota Kola depicted in the movie.
What is Bhoota Kola?
Bhoota Kola is an annual folk ritual of Tulu-speaking people in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka where local spirits or deities are worshiped
Performance: Bhootada Kola is performed by a trained person who is believed to have temporarily become a god himself.
The performer displays an aggressive outlook, dances fiercely and performs multiple rituals.
This performer is feared and respected in the community and is believed to give answers to people’s problems on behalf of god. Drums and music give company to the dancing and pooja rituals.
Popular Bhootas: Panjurli, Bobbarya, Pilipoota, Kalkuda, Kalburti, Pilichamundi, Koti Chennaya are some of the popular gods (Bhootas) worshipped as part of Bhootada Kola.
Influence: Bhootada Kola is said to have some influence from Yakshagana, a more popular and widely performed folk dance in coastal Karnataka. Some of the Bhootada Kola rituals also involve walking on a bed of hot coal.