We are fascinated by the colours, patterns, designs, symmetry and geometry in nature. The beautiful flowers, the symmetry in the arrangement of leaves, stripes and spots on animals, colourful birds are some examples. We naturally try to imitate nature in our own humble ways. All countries, cultures have their customs, traditions and hobbies that bring out colourful designs and patterns. They all have contributed to a wonderful collage of designs. All countries big and small, cultures past and present by their contribution to this beautiful collage of arts have made our world a more beautiful place to live in. One of the elements of this collage is Rangoli or kolam in Tamil, also called Rangavalli or Muggulu in Telugu , alpona... This art has different names in various states of India. However the beauty remains the same ( a rose by another name smells as sweet , doesn't it )
Kolam is part of daily routine in many parts of India. We draw kolam at the entrance, early in the morning ( and some draw it in the evening too ) , in all rooms, thresholds. Kolam is also drawn for the Puja room, before the Tulsi plant. For Tulsi plant auspicious rangoli like Aishwarya kolam or Aishwarya Patra rangoli, Hridaya kamala kolam are preferred.
Kolam or rangoli is one way of telling our guests they are welcome. It also improves the ambiance of the place where it is drawn. It now has a significant role to play in inaugural functions, social gatherings and as an activity for children.
I, kolam, my mother
I am from Omalur near Salem in Tamil Nadu. I learnt rangoli art or kolam as I call it, from my mother. For her it was muggulu ( She lived in Vizianagaram near Vishakapattinam ). Sankranti was the most important festival for her to draw Sankranti muggulu. Sankranthi was Pedha Pandaga, for her when she drew big rangoli with dots. For other festivals and occasions she invariably drew simple rangoli designs.
My kolam designs at the entrance of my house are also simple,both free hand drawing and simple rangoli designs with dots. I use a lot of double line or double stroke kolam for my daily rangoli designs. For Fridays what ever kolam I draw - I decorate it with a kaavi border
I use a mixture of rice flour and rangoli powder ( the proportion or ratio is 1:3 approximately ) for my rangoli designs. .
Rangoli in Rangolisansdots
In Rangolisansdots there are galleries of simple rangoli designs - with dots and without dots - most of them with a few intermediate steps. There are also a few big and / or difficult rangoli. There is also information on a few festivals and festival related art, craft and recipes.
- Sri Sarada College for Women, Salem, Tamil Nadu