October 16: Kolam

October 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

A colleague and friend from India introduced me to the art of kolam.  She even invited me to collaborate with her on a paper about it, and in the process I learned a lot about this ancient Indian art. The designs are created by women every morning at thresholds of homes, traditionally using rice flour. The designs are supposed to bring prosperity. The rules for the creation of kolam are strict. There are multitudes of designs, some of which can be found at http://www.indian-heritage.org/alangaram/kolams/kolams.htm

Today she visited our home as we needed to prepare for a workshop we are conducting with fifth graders next week, featuring kolam. She brought rice flour and showed J. and me how to draw the designs. He and I were hopeless of course, but were both intrigued by the process. I definitely want to get more practice. It was amazing to watch her hand movements. Elegant and enchanting. I didn’t have the heart to sweep up the flour, so the designs are still on the kitchen floor.

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