This is a Bhuta figure, worshipped in the West Coast of South India (South of Coondapur). For more details on Bhuta worship and references please see another blog, on Pilichandi.
Here the bronze is identified as Bhuta figure, rather than a warrior or a priest, mainly because of the cobra on the headgear. The possible third eye, the earrings shaped like a cobra hood and the belt buckle shaped like a cobra reinforce that assignment. And they also point out that the bronze may have a Saivite association. Another bronze on this blog, Muthappan, has similar earrings and belt-buckle.
The headgear, latticed with patterns and thin cast, is impressive both for the design and the fabrication techniques.
The Bhuta figure is holding a sword in his right hand and his left hand may have held a slip-on shield.
He is wearing the usual set of ornaments earrings, necklaces, wristbands, anklets and armbands. What is unusual is the bands just below the knees. Never seen this before.
Strong face with the twisted moustache and strong angular features makes this Bhuta figure more than just that.
The Bhuta figure is about 32 cm in height and may not date prior to the nineteenth century. It is most likely from Mangalore – North Kerala area rather than from further South.