- Arts and Design
Rangoli - Indian Art of beautifying the floor
Rangoli is a traditional Indian Art.
The original name of rangoli is Rangavali, which means - ranga means 'color' and avali means 'line' in Sanskrit. So it means 'colorful lines'. But then rangoli is not just the line designs.
Rangoli names in other Indian languages
It is more commonly called Rangoli. It is called Alpana in Bengali, Kolam in Tamil, Aripana in Bihar and Madana in Rajasthan. In Andhra pradesh, it is referred to as moggu and chowka purana in Utter Pradesh.
Most houses in India, especially in the Southern part of India, have a Rangoli in front of their house. It is drawn by the women of the house early in the morning. No festival is complete without the beautiful motif on the floor. What a beautiful way to welcome the visitor.
Almost every house, small or big, rich or poor has a rangoli at the entrance. It may be a small motif, drawn only with a white powder or a chalk, everyone wants to welcome a visitor.
Rangoli is an art where the art, life and god are expressed together.Diwali - the festival of lights is one favorite time when Rangoli is drawn in almost every house. As a girl, I used to plan days ahead, the motif, the colors. I either got up early to get my rangoli ready or did it on the eve of Diwali.
Even now, I and my 10 year old daughter make a rangoli and fill it with color. My daughter likes to draw and paint too. She has now a collection of different rangoli patterns.
What is the material used for rangoli?
Different materials used for rangoli.
Traditionally the rangoli is drawn with white stone powder.
Rice flour, chalk, charcol, colored powders are also used. For wet rangoli, Rice is soaked in water for an hour and then ground to paste. This paste is used to draw lines of the rangoli. This rice flour paste rangoli is mainly used in Southern part of India mainly in Tamilnadu.
Colored powders are available easily in shops to mix in rangoli. These shops do good business before festival time.
You can use your creativity and use any material you think right. Coffee grounds, dried flowers and leaves, rice and other cereals, grains etc. You use what ever is available and will make your design more beautiful. Turmeric and vermilion are used to color the rangoli. There is no limit.
The coloring agent (generally in powder form) is mixed with white rangoli powder as required and then filled in the designs.
The combination of rangoli powder, colors and flowers and petals is also used. First the rangoli is drawn with dots and lines. Colors are filled and flowers, petals, leaves are placed on the rangoli design to make it more beautiful.
During Deepavali, rangoli is drawn using rangoli powder, filled with colors, then oil lamps (mud lamps)are placed on the rangoli to make it more beautiful.
Buy Rangoli motifs on eBay - Rangoli motifs beautify your floor in a few seconds.
Rangoli motifs are a blessing for those short on time. You can arrange the motifs the way you like and change the design when you want. Cool!
Where is Rangoli drawn?
Rangoli is drawn at different locations in the house.
As I said earlier, the floor in front of the house entrance is used to draw a rangoli. A different motif is drawn everyday. The place is swept and water is sprinkled before starting the Rangoli. Sprinkling of water helps in keeping the dust and the rangoli powder down on the floor.
Many houses have a separate room for worshipping the idols which is called Pooja Room. Rangoli is drawn in front of the deity.
Drawing a rangoli is a part of religious celebration. The place where the deity is worshipped is beautified with the Rangoli. The motif may change according to the deity or the festival.
Onam, the festival of Kerala in the southern part of India, is known for the floral Rangolis designed by the women. This flower rangoli is called Pookalam
There are also Rangoli competitions held on different occasions. Schools, colleges, ladies clubs have their own rangoli competitions.
The types of rangoli.
The dotted and the line Rangoli. Flower Rangoli.
There are mainly three types of designs. 1.Dots 2.lines 3. Combination of dots and lines.
1. Dotted rangoli - For this the dry rangoli powder is used. The dots are placed in a certain number and at a specific distance. These dots are then joined to form different geometrical designs. Filling with colors is the next step.
2. Line rangoli - For this the rice paste, the liquid rangoli, is used. This is more common in the southern part of India, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh.
3. Dot and Line RangoliFor some of these designs, dots are placed at specific distance and lines are drawn around the dots. Most of the times, the line ends from where it starts. This is more popular in the southern states.
3. For special occasions, Rangoli is drawn on water. It needs some practice, some expertise. Here is how it is done.
In a shallow bottomed wide plate, water is added. On the surface of this water, charcoal powder is sprinkled to form a smooth black surface. Rangoli is drawn using white rangoli powder and colors are filled. It really looks very beautiful.
4. The Pookalam, rangoli from Kerala which is formed with floral motif is a sight to behold. See the image on the right.
Diwali and Rangoli
Diwali or Deepavali is a major festival in India. It is a festival of lights.
Rangoli is an integral part of the diwali celebrations along with the new clothes, sweets, fire crackers, the mud lamps and the illuminations done around the houses and the commercial buildings.
The women folk and the girls get busy decorating the front entrances with lovely rangoli motifs and then coloring them with colored powders, flowers, mud lamps etc.
Motifs used in Rangoli
The traditional motifs used in rangoli are inspired from the nature itself. Animals, birds, flowers and creepers are commonly drawn and colored. Beautiful birds such as swans and colorful peacocks are common part of festive rangolis.
Geographical designs are also commonly used. Circles, squares, diamond shape, triangles are also drawn. Drawing Swastika is considered auspicious.