Kolam – The Traditional Floor Drawing of South India

Kolam is a drawing generally drawn at the entrance of a house or any other building. This is a very old practice in South India. Dried rice flour or other types of white powders are used for drawing kolams. Although there are numerous traditional kolam patterns and lot more can be created depending on the creativity of the person who draws it, it is not drawn like a picture. Patterns are created based on certain systems. Drawing Kolam is practiced by women. Generally women’s get up early in the morning and clean the area just outside the entrances of their houses, sprinkle the area with water and draw the kolam by dropping the loose dried flour in a controlled way through their forefinger and the thumb.

Purpose of kolams are not merely decorative. Kolam drawing has several social, spiritual and symbolic meanings attached to it. Those who practice this believe that drawing kolams purify the entrance space and this in turn will invite the goddess of wealth Laxmi to enter the house. This they belive would give the inmates all wealth and prosperity.