Jumadi Bhuta Mask

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Size: 13.5 x 4.75 x 13 inches
Material: Bronze
Origin: Coastal Karnataka


This is a lost-wax cast bronze, bhuta mask of Jumadi from Coastal Karnataka. With bulging eyes and an open mouth, the fearsome face is framed by an elaborate headdress of cobra hoods. 'Jumadi' is known to be a benefactor, who fulfils wishes and maintains justice.
"The Sanskrit word bhuta means spirit. Metal masks such as this are known to have been used in the worship of celestial and ancestral spirits, a practice still followed in the Tulu region of Karnataka in Southern India. The masks could be of deities or animal forms. At festivals called kola, costumed mediums invoke the spirits whilst wearing the masks on their faces or holding them in their hands. Through songs, dances and stories, they solve problems and give advice to families and village groups." - Bonhams.
“Different stories describe the origin of Jumadi. One deals with a child born from the womb of Parvati and whose thirst couldn't be quenched. After Vishnu failed in appeasing the child, he finally decided to send him to earth where the offering of the devotees, coconut water could satisfy his thirst. Another story is that Shiva and Parvati were on their way to face Dhumasura, a powerful demon who could only be killed by a person who was a man and a woman at the same time, when Parvati suddenly felt very hungry. Shiva gave her everything he could, but it was never enough, so he finally told her to eat him. Parvati absorbed the body of her husband till his head, which couldn't pass into her throat and remained out of her mouth. At this moment the two gods merged into Jumadi, a divine being having the body of a woman and the head of a man. As expected Jumadi killed Dhumasura and became a protecting god for the Tulu people.” - Asian art.