BROWSE THIS AUCTION



Lot 44
CHIKKU (FEMALE ATTENDANT)


COASTAL KARNATAKA
20TH CENTURY
Polychromy on wood
Height: 50 in (126.8 cm)
Width: 16.25 in (41.5 cm)
Depth: 12.5 in (32 cm)


The present lot is commonly found in the Bhuta or Theyyam traditions of Karnataka and Kerala, respectively. These ancient folk traditions are part of ritual life rooted in the ancient belief that certain spirits and guardians provided protection against "invaders and robbers, the elements, including fire, storms, flooding, drought, disease and to assure fertility of the soil, livestock and the human population." (Leo S Figiel, Ritual Bronzes of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Including the Bhuta Region, 2007, p. 60)

According to these traditions, the earth is believed to be controlled by these gods, goddesses, spirits and demons - also known as bhuta - and prayers and sacrifices are offered to keep them happy. Such worship occurs on both, an intimate, family level where the devotee carves out a niche in a tree or inner wall of a house for the bhuta to inhabit, or on a grand scale where the entire community or village is invited to participate. While bhuta ceremonies vary from region to region and on the basis of the spirit invoked, they always involve a highly charged atmosphere.

Bhutas are broadly classified into three categories: apotheosised human beings; spirits of totemic origins, often representing animals; and lastly, deities from the Hindu pantheon or their attendants. The present lot is a wooden figure of Chikku, a bhuta spirit worshipped in the first category. Here, she is depicted as an attractive female attendant adorned from head-to-toe in exquisite jewellery, including necklaces, earrings, a mathapatta on her forehead,bajubands on her arms, a kamarpatta around her waist - all of which elevates her to a goddess-like status.







  Lot 44 of 70  

REDISCOVERY: AUCTION OF ART AND COLLECTIBLES
22-23 JULY 2020

Estimate



Winning Bid
$2,645
Rs 1,95,720

(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


PROVENANCE
Private Collection, Mumbai


 









Need help? Please check our guides on How to Bid. Auction Tips and FAQs.
Email auction@saffronart.com, newyork@saffronart.com, london@saffronart.com, delhi@saffronart.com
Tel: +91 22 6855 4100 (Mumbai); +1 212 627 5006 (USA); +44(0) 20 7409 7974(UK); +91 95555 84229 (New Delhi)