Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kolams of Pondicherry

The Kolam practice as an ephemeral art form in public space.
A video by Kaaren Beckhof

I found this wonderful video about an ancient ritual performed by the women of Tamil Nadu in the mystical hour before dawn. They use rice powder to create geometrical patterns on the thresholds of their homes. "In olden days, kolams used to be drawn in coarse rice flour, so that the ants don't have to work so hard for a meal. The rice powder is said to invite birds and other small critters to eat it, thus inviting other beings into one's home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity"  via utsavastu
You can read more here.


  1. I am sure I have seen this before in a tv documentary - very interesting.

    Thanks for stopping by to visit. Yes, it can be difficult living on a boat as you know. The lack of space and travelling to and from my storage unit is a pain in the butt.

    I'm now a follower.

  2. Di-thanks for visiting and following(!) my blog. I do miss the days where my possessions fit into a few lockers though.

  3. It's a small world! Radha (utsavastu) and I are in the same Print Club, and she taught a workshop where we made kolam pens. I love this video!

  4. Sharmon, that sounds like an amazing workshop, and the print club must be fun, especially with members like you and Radha!