The kolam is a tradition followed by women folk of Tamil Nadu. The kolam is a type of rangoli drawn using rice flour. A variety of other materials like rice powder, rice paste, marble powder, colored powders, leaves and flowers are also used. However rice flour is the main ingredient used to make kolams. A grid of dots numbering from 4 to 108 is usually used to draw kolams.
Simple Kolam Designs for Festivals:
The dots are joined in various lines curves, and patterns to make a kolam. The lines or curves go around the dots to make a design consisting exclusively of curved lines. Various boxes and plates, papers etc are available to facilitate drawing dots. They have proper symmetric holes to make a perfect kolam base. Rollars are also available with the help of which one can just roll and draw basic lines and patterns to draw a kolam of one’s choice. There are various typical designs of kolams like the simple kolam.
However one can let their imagination run wild in order to create exclusive designs. Various kolams have designs with overflowing pots, sugarcanes and complex geometric patterns. They also have messages like happy pongal, thank you and so on. In order to draw simple kolam the women folk wake up early in the morning and wash and sweep the floor. Then kolam is made while the floor is still damp so that it sticks to the floor.
The kolams are made in front of the house or building. Kolams are even made in temples and temple complexes. The kolam patterns are passed down from generation to generation like legacy, from mother to daughter. The kolam designs may be derived from various motifs like philosophies, abstract designs, religious motifs etc. they are also derived from fishes, birds, sun, moon, other zodiac signs and such other motifs. Some may also reflect the unity of man and beast etc. for special occasion’s limestone and red brick powder are used to create contrast.
Simple kolam is also prepared on ground that is waxed with cow dung. Modern interpretations use chalk to create a kolam or a vinyl sticker. Like rangoli south Indian kolams are all about precision, symmetry and complexity. There are competitions as to who makes the most complex kolam designs. The complexity of these designs constitute for a challenge to find out how these designs are drawn to those who are interested. It is believed that kolams bring prosperity and ward of evil forces.
The red boundary made around kolams is to ward off evil forces so that there is always happiness and prosperity in the household. The sole purpose of kolam is not only decorations. It is a sign to say that all are welcome in the home especially Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity so that there are no bad days faced by the residents. The auspicious start to any event is done by drawing a kolam. Drawing simple kolams in the temples is considered as a service of god.