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Kolam ( decorative artwork drawn on the floor
A distinctive cultural tradition of Tamils of South India is beautiful Kolams
drawn in multicolors.
"Kolam" refers to decorative artwork drawn on the floor in front of deities
in puja rooms or in front of houses in South India. Most often finely ground rice flour
is used to make these drawings on wet/moist ground
previously sprinkled with water (even dilute solutions of cow-dung cake that gives a darker background
to the mud floor). Coloration of the artwork with color powders adds additional charm.
It is a time old cultural tradition of south indian families going back to many
many generations. Young girls learn many of these artwork from their mothers, grandmas, aunties,....
The drawing starting with a certain number pattern of points and curly lines going around these points.
Many of these are completed with a single line going in an elegant but zig-zag away around the
entire set of points. The tamil month of "markazhi" (Dec(Jan)
is particularly important when fairly large size Kolams are put in front of the houses, with
additional decoration of Kolams with yellow flowers of pumpkin. Putting Kolams in front of
the houses is very much in practice in south Indian villages. But unfortunately the practice is
becoming nearly extinct in metropolitan cities where more and more are living in high-rise