Traditions & Practices > Kolam: Ritualistic Threshold Drawings and Designs of Tamil Nadu

Kolam are a type of threshold drawings and designs found in Tamil Nadu. Like many other parts of India, threshold drawings are very famous in Tamil Nadu. Kolam is also practiced in other states of South India such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Kolam is a ritualistic design drawn at the threshold of households and temples. It is drawn everyday at dawn and dusk by women in South India who inherit this tradition from their elders. Kolam is a free-hand drawing with symmetrical and neat geometrical patterns. It is actually a very intricate form of art involving drawing knots around dots on a dotted grid. The drawings are forms of decoration commemorating festivals as well as important occasions, especially in a woman's life. It is said to hold a sphere generated by positive vibes.

Source IGNCA Inventory of ICH, Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA

Contributed by Aditya, CEE Ahmedabad

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