Bhoota Figures are taken or based on the Puratana Kala (olden traditions) or it is on the religious beliefs (Dharmika Nambike) that led the people of the villages. It is a traditional art that is transferred only from the forefathers to the next generation, seen in the Basrur region of Udupi in Karnataka.
Generally, these figures are made in the month from January to July that is sold more in temples of Kundapura taluk, South Canara, (Dakshina Kannada) and the Udupi district. The worship of these types of idols is usually seen in the Tulu Nadu regions of Karnataka. Bhoota is referred as ethereal spirits or demigods that protect the people of the village from evil. It is a prehistoric ritual form of worship that exists within the Tulu speaking community of people.
These are characterized into three classes based on the spirits namely the Hindu pantheon, Glorified human beings and Heroic warriors such as the twins etc. The coastal part of Karnataka is generally known for the two forms of art namely Bhoota kola and the ritual dance of Yaksagana. Bhoota Staana can be anything from a platform under a tree in the open air to huts with thatched roofs. The Bhoota be represented by a crude stone, a mask, or metal objects of various shapes or finely carved wooden sculpture or metal idols. The literary meaning of Bhoota means ghost, these are referred to as Gods who protect the villages.
During the festival, the ceremony runs till late at night in the well-decorated pandal made from palm leaf, mango leaf and areca flowers and a ritualistic stage covered with the image of deities on one side and devotees on the other. It is also accompanied by a group of musicians holding drums and wind instruments played at varying tempos suiting to the stages and processions. The normal size of the figures is 1-2 feet to 15 feet in height and to carve intricate profiles to painting requires a minimum of ten days and if the design is more it requires further time. For which the carvings of the idols are usually done on the trees like Hebbel, Halasu, sandalwood, etc.
Gudigar community in the name of M/s Shree Shyla Fine Arts is involved in this art for 3 last generations, with expertise in different types of Bhoota figures and other types of wood carvings. This community can be contacted in Kundapura.