sabato 7 febbraio 2015


Kolam for Lingam
Rangoli for Onam

They are called rangoli or kolam or in many other ways depending on the area of India (Kolam in Tamil Nadu; Mandana in Rajasthan; Alpana in West Bengal; Aripana in Bihar; Chowk Pujan in Uttar Pradhesh; Muggu in Andhra Pradhesh; Golam kolam or Kalam in Kerala; Chaookpurna in Chhattisgarh).
They are auspicious drawings used mainly in the south of India.
Rangoli for Nandin
There are motifs of various sizes, some very simple other particularly elaborate, which are made on the sidewalk in front of the entrances of the houses, on the threshold, in homes and temples or before the image (murti) of the deities.
They are generally made every morning by the women as if that activity was a kind of prayer or even a form of meditation, especially in the case of more elaborate rangoli which require more time to be realized.
There  generic rangoli, others driving away bad luck, others purely ornamental, and then there are rangoli specific for a particular deity or a special feast.
Colorful rangoli
As with everything in India, there are specific rules and textbooks that provide examples, sizes, colors, times and meanings of these interesting designs.
They can be made with rice flour, but also chalk, sand or even flower petals as the one I photographed in Kerala during Onam Festival (photo top right).
In India sell pieces of bamboo canes properly drilled, within which is poured flour or sand. Rolling on the floor bamboo, flour coming out from the holes consists of beautiful rangoli.

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