Rangoli, also known as Alpana, Kolam
and by other names
is a traditional art of decorating courtyards and walls of Indian houses,
places of worship and sometimes eating places as well. The powder of white
stone, lime, rice flour and other paste is used to draw intricate and ritual
Although Rangoli art is Maharashtrian in origin, it has become quite
popular all over the country. Each state of India has its own way of
painting Rangoli. One characteristic of Rangolis is that it is painted by
commoners. On some special occasions like Dipavali it is painted in every
home, with or without formal training in Rangoli art. The art is typically
transferred from generation to generation and from friend to friend.
Traditionally Rangolis are painted or created out of colored sand/rice
powder. A symmetrical pattern or picture of Gods, Goddess, Dancers,
etc. is drawn and colored rice powder/sand is then layered on
top to form a picture. A symmetrical rangoli pattern can be drawn on paper
or card and then decorated by children with crumpled tissue paper.
Spaces can be created within the rangoli design to place diyas. One can
also use flower petals of different colors such as golden marigolds
bright red roses
to add that extra dimension to the
pattern. With a little bit of imagination, a dash of aesthetic sense and
dollops of patience, one can create a piece of art with colors.
Most of the patterns are circular indicative of the endlessness of time.
The day-to-day Rangoli
patterns are simple or intricate.
The most common rangoli designs start with dots which are connected to form
lines and other geometrical shapes such as swastika, aum, stars,
squares, circles, triangles
etc. These geometrical patterns must be
formed in a continuous, unbroken lines.