A journey in textiles and color

Those kolam days

Those kolam days

Kolam is a drawing composed of lines and loops around a grid pattern of dots, in front of Hindu houses in many parts of southern India. It is an early morning house cleaning ritual performed by women - sweeping and purifying the earth by sprinkling with water mixed with cow dung and drawing the kolam. Rice flour, chalk or white rock powder is used to draw a kolam. A kolam welcomes you to the house and birds pick at the rice flour all day long. What fun it was to play with powder and learn to draw little kolams as a child and larger and elaborate designs as we grew older and more skilled.  I realize now, that it was a way to learn your numbers, practice your hand eye coordination, improve your memory skills, get a breath of fresh air and some exercise. Yes, you got it all while drawing a kolam. And guess what - there is even a correlation between kolams and the Fibonacci series !


Mayil’s kolam print scarf brings back fond memories. The blue and white “kolam” print scarf can be worn with a white shirt and blue jeans. Add some déjà vu to your outfit this summer

 

Try these kolams. They took me sometime to draw, but the skill came back and I had fun. How about "kolam for your brain" (just like Sudoku or Lumosity). Share your favorite kolam or kolam flashback.

 

 

Note - A kolam is not the same as a Rangoli. Kolams have pullis (dots) and nellis (curves) and are drawn with white kola maavu (powder), A Rangoli is more colorful and may use colored powder, colored rice and even flowers and is not restricted to dots and curves.

Find Mayil's Kolam scarf here 

3 comments


Anitha Rajagopalan

Anitha Rajagopalan

I remember seeing my aunt try out new designs in her “kolam notebook” all the time. Once she had perfected a design, it would then be unveiled on the freshly washed concrete outside her house the next morning.
Thanks for reviving those memories… lovely scarf by the way :-).

Tulsi Swaminathan

Tulsi Swaminathan

I tried drawing these kolams and they take a certain twist of hand. I also enjoyed revisiting my youth through your “kolam days” Thanks

kumudha

kumudha

Yes I remember the days in Margazhi month when we got up real early to put large kolams in front of our house, and compared with neighbours.

Miss it now.

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