31st Oct, 2023 14:00

Islamic & Indian Art

 
  Lot 144
 

A LARGE SILVER-INLAID BRONZE SHAIVA CEREMONIAL BUTA MASK
Tulunadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Southern India, 18th - 19th century

A LARGE SILVER-INLAID BRONZE SHAIVA CEREMONIAL BUTA MASK
Tulunadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Southern India, 18th - 19th century

Designed as an anthropomorphised lion head with wide serrated fangs, three pairs of symmetric wavy whiskers below a pointy nose, the whiskers, rounded, bulging eyes, and forehead overlaid with hammered silver sheets to boost the mask's impact on the beholder, the forehead marked with the typical Shaiva tripundra (three horizontal lines and a dot), the tilaka worn by Shaivas as an indication of their affiliation with the Hindu god Shiva, adorned with a wide double-lined headband with almond-shaped paan-leaf motifs crowned by ten nagas (cobra snakes), interspersed with spearheads, with traces of gilding throughout, ca. 47cm x 45.5cm.

Buta Kola, also known as Daiva Kola, is one of the most distinctive traditional performing arts of the coastal region of Tulunadu, encompassing parts of the modern Karnataka and Kerala states of Southern India. It is a highly stylised shamanistic dance performed by Tulu-speaking worshippers of Butas, local gods, protective spirits, and brave heroes celebrated in South India, in which the performer - a trained medium - invites these divine forces to possess him in an all-night festival. He then sings, dances, tells stories, gives advice, and solves problems for the sponsoring family or village group. Departing from Brahmin Hinduism, the Buta cult is rooted at the core of Indian folklore and village traditions, outlining a specific set of practices, and pantheon of divine figures. These ancestral spirits are represented by hundreds of different forms, including boars, buffalos, and tigers, and occasionally, fierce aspects of deities linked to the Hindu god Shiva, such as the present example. Another Buta mask of Shiva, entirely made of silver, was successfully sold at Christie's New York, 20 March 2009, lot 1303 for $40,000 USD hammer.

Estimated at £3,000 - £5,000

 

Do you have an item similar to the item above? If so please click the link below to submit a free online valuation request through our website.

 

Images*

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.