Rangoli Art in Rajasthan:
Rajasthan is long known to be a beautiful land of colors and traditional beauty. Its customs and culture have been preserved with the same intensity over the years and displays the richness of ancient beliefs. One such tradition that is preserved till date with the same significance and intensity is the art of rangoli, popularly known as Mandana in Rajasthan.
The origin of Mandana art is traced to the pre-historic times when the Indian tribal communities were an integral part. One such tribal community that still exists in the eastern part of Rajasthan is Meena. This community has since years preserved and promoted the art of rangoli with their artistic skill and social ideology. Women of this community are highly skilled and creative when it comes to drawing rangoli and the same skill and caliber is imbibed by the younger generations by means of social and moral exchange. They don’t get complicated with their designs but use simple
shapes like circle, square, lines and triangles to make the picture speak the essence of their culture. Here they don’t aim for monetary gains but retain their cultural identity and all that they say is “Chokha lage che”, a phrase in Rajasthan that means ‘feels good’. And that’s why they religiously work towards working on this art because they feel good in drawing rangoli designs and patterns.
The term ‘Mandana’ derives from the word ‘Mandan’ that means ‘decoration’. The same is performed using white and red powder on walls and floors of the houses. They churn out the white powder from chalk and the same is known as kharia whereas the red powder is taken from geru. When these both blend with other it creates a piece of magic with a perfect white on red presentation. Yes, white on red is the actual presentation of the Mandana form of rangoli. The most common and popular designs for rangoli in Rajasthan are portrait of various gods and goddess. Other popular designs include elements from nature inclusive of birds, animals, plants, zoomorphs and peacock.
Adding to these is the contemporary form of rangoli designs that includes images of bus, motorcycle, abstract designs, cars, tractor and bullock-cart. Many more designs are still on cards with their aesthetic appeal and religious significance. These are mainly drawn during religious festivals, fasts, special occasions and auspicious ceremonies with the key purpose to prevent the demons from entering the house and inviting gods and goddess to grace the occasion. Be it any design, the excitement of women belonging to the tribal community still follows the same philosophy of “Chokha lage che” and that’s the real beauty.
Rangoli in Rajasthan is as beautiful as the place itself retaining its cultural identity amidst this rapidly moving urbanization.