I had walked by several of drawings like the ones below when in India and wasn’t sure of the meaning so I did some research and asked some locals and here’s a little spill. Turns out the drawings called Raongoli in the district of Karnataka but they have many names depending on which part of India you’re in. It is mainly practiced by Hindu female members but it is not only prominent in India it is also widely spread around Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand as well.
The drawings are painted on the floor with rice flour, chalk powder or white rock powder or the mix of either sometimes and many will first wet the floors a little bit so the powder doesn’t blow away and they can produce a higher quality and detailed drawing. Many even color the powders and add a touch of saturation to the mix. Generally women get up early in the morning and clean the area just outside the entranes 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.
The drawings consist mainly of geometrical figures and patterns broken with curved lines on a grid pattern of dots that allows for a somewhat symmetrical piece. During festivities or holidays the drawings will be far more intricate and colorful to represent the celebration and some decor will be hung on the doorways as well.
You will most likely here some of these other names for it when in India: Raangolee in Maharashtra, Hase and Raongoli in Kannada in Karnataka, Muggulu in Andhra Pradhesh,Golam in Kerala but there are many other names for the main districts and it’s smaller communities. As long as you know what it represents yeah?
The Rangoli represents the purity of the household, the drawings would purify the entrance space and this way it would invite the goddess of wealth Laxmi to enter the house and give the family wealth and prosperity for years to come. It is a very old tradition that is still followed up to this day.