I’ve lived in Bangalore for a year. Yet I’ve never come across this place called ‘Oklipura’. Usually crafts are made in villages and I had no clue how to find them. I just knew they were in Oklipura (purely based on some reference in a book), but the address was not known.

So I walked around the neighborhood for about an hour and finally was directed to the right place by the local dhobi (launderer). There I met a very enterprising lady, the daughter of the master craftsman who explained the details. For generations they have been catering to their clients in South Karnataka.

Dakshin Kannada district is known for its unique culture. Bhuta Kola or Holy Spirit worship is a stylised form of ritual dance of the spirit impersonator. It is quite similar to ‘Theyyam’, an art form from the Malabar region of Kerala.

Yakshagana Bhoota mask

Yakshagana Bhoota mask

An interesting form of dance-ritual called ‘Yakshagana’ a dance-drama creating the world of divine and super human beings with all the paraphernalia of costumes, make ups, music, dance and dialogue is practised. A mask of the demon God is worn during this ritual.

 

The sculptures are made in various sizes for different purposes. For sake of puja at home, sizes smaller than a palm size are only used. Any size bigger than a size of a palm are either worshipped in temples or used as decorative pieces at home. Panch Dhatu, an alloy of five metals or Brass is used to make these figures.

Mahishasura metal sculpture

Mahishasura metal sculpture

Spirits are classified as animisitic or they represent Puranic Gods, Cultural heroes or local characters. Mahishasura, the bull demon is worshipped.

Varaha metal sculpture

Varaha metal sculpture

Varaha, an avatar of Vishnu where he was a boar is also worshipped.

Goddess Lakshmi's bust

Goddess Lakshmi's bust

Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in a different form here. The picture shows the top part of the body of Goddess Lakshmi.  I left the workshop with a fascinating fact told by the lady. She said that the none of these idols are worshipped by people who make them. And its been that way for generations.

3 Thoughts on “Spirits and Demons

  1. karthik on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm said:

    hi…lovely article. could you please give me the details/contact of this shop…would love to pick up some stuff from here…

  2. Pingback: Crafting Ganesha.. |

  3. Pingback: Crafting Ganesha.. | Craftcanvas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Post Navigation