A significant part of my life everyday in Madras! #kolam
Please click #ihavethisthingforkolam
if you'd like to view kolams I have captured in the city. Happy #madrasday
The twisted lines & dots is what will draw you towards a Kolam, but decoration is not the only purpose of this ephemeral art. Kolams are hand drawn using rice flour, so the ants wouldn't have to walk too far or too long for a meal. The rice powder also invites birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one's home and their everyday life - a daily tribute to a harmonious co-existence.
In southern India, millions of hindu women draw a Kolam in front of their home. Through the day, the patterns get walked on, washed out in the rain or blown around in the wind. New ones are made again the next day. Many of these created patterns have been passed on generation to generation, from mothers to daughters.
Usually in the morning before sunrise, the floor is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well to create an even surface. The kolams are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so the pattern will stay on better. Cow dung is sometimes used to wax the floor. It is believed to have antiseptic properties and hence provides a literal threshold of protection for the home.
There are different kolams for different occasions and purposes. Nothing auspicious is ever begun without a kolam, big or small. Right from the kitchen top to marriage venue and temple premises, kolams afford a joyful participation of the individual and the community - in an artistic pursuit on a day-to-day basis.
(My feet is shown as a measure to understand the scale of the pattern)
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