hey all - I'm not actually an anthropologist but you seem as likely as anyone to be able to answer this particular question.
does anyone know anything about Bhoota Kola
? it's a form of medianic ritual native to Tulu Nadu that really reminds me of the ab'Orisha religions of the african diaspora...does anyone have experience with other, similar forms of Dravidian religious expression that have different names I'm not aware of? are there similar sorts of things going on in the Bangalore area, perhaps? I'm not sure if it would travel well or not, since these spirits seem primarily the genius loci
type...most of the Orishas started that way too and have since been somewhat universalized (deity of one specific river in nigeria -> deity of all rivers), but there hasn't been any pressure (of which I'm aware) on the Tulu community comparable to those the Yoruba and Dahomey had to deal with, ergo no impetus to expand the rituals from local to more generalized things.
I'm considering medical volunteering in south India when I finish my nursing degree, and I'm extremely interested in this sort of thing (got involved with Candomblé when I was younger) so I'm wondering what I should listen for. anybody know if Bhoota Kola is as open to people from different racial backgrounds as modern african diasporic traditions are? assuming I do end up in Tulu Nadu, would it even been permissible to view the ceremony? I know there are issues with white folks trying to get into certain Hindu temples, but this is Bhoota worship and not Deva worship, and not brahmanical at all, so maybe it's different? meh?
even a book recommendation about this would be helpful.