India is the traditional home of Folklore. Be it the epic battle of Mahabharat or the silken voice of Tansen bringing about rainfall; these magical stories are part of the childhood of every Indian. India is also the home to the most varied traditions in the world. We are driven by the moral values of these traditions, becoming a better individual with every passing day. The sheer variety of these traditions make Indians stand out. In a land where trees and animals are treated with reverence, it is not a difficult task to imagine how inanimate objects also form an integral part of these traditions.
Talking of an inanimate object, it is difficult to undermine the importance of a house forming a part of the tradition. A house is said to be the abode of the deity, quite rightly so since a house is merely another structure without the people living in it, and in humans, we seek god. Just as we decorate a temple of a deity with candles, incense and flowers a Rangoli is another Indian innovation of decoration for the abode of god.
Normally, a Rangoli is used in festivals such as Diwali to enhance the aesthetic aura of a house.
What is a Rangoli:
A rangoli is an intricate pattern, and a form of freehand art specifically drawn on floors of a building using materials such as using kolam powder, coloured rice, fuller’s earth etc. or a combination of these. Normally drawn during festivals such as Holi and Diwali such patterns can now be seen gracing households on most auspicious occasions as a sign of prosperity and good omen.
[ See More: Floor Decoration Rangoli ]
Materials Used for Rangoli:
Even though Rangoli is an art in itself in its own intricacies, the actual rangoli material is quite affordable and easy to procure. When chosen carefully, they are bound to invoke life into the design of the Rangoli and make it vividly charming. The following materials are widely used for the perfect Rangoli –
- Kolam Powder: This is a white coloured fine powder used to draw the initial outline of the rangoli. Once the basic outline has been made, other materials are used to fill the inside of the design.
- Fuller’s Earth: Multanimitti or Fuller’s earth also serves the basic purpose of outlining the Rangoli. Widely known for its beauty benefits, Fuller’s Earth is mostly used to create freehand rangolis where minimum decoration is required. It is the most popular rangoli material in South of India.
- Coloured Rangoli Powder: This Rangoli material is the most important of all as it lends the rangoli its characteristic colourful nature. Using varying proportions of fine sand and coloured powder or Gulal, one can obtain the desired tone of colour. Sand also minimizes the consumption of colour and leads to the economy.
- Crystal Salt – It is used to lend volume to the Rangoli. When colour is sprinkled over a base of Crystal salt, it gives a 3D effect to the rangoli.
- Petals and Flowers – It is used as a ‘Garnishing’ agent and used to enhance the beauty of the rangoli by highlighting its borders.
- Diyas and Candles – They are used to illuminate the Rangoli and add an element of mysticism to it.
- Fabric/Poster Colors – When semi-permanent Rangoli is desired, Poster or Fabric colours can be used. Being water repellent to an extent, they can sustain accidental water spills.
- Coloured Chips and Stones- Used to add volume to the Rangoli.
- Fruits and vegetables – Though a relatively new concept of Rangoli design, it is increasingly becoming popular.
[ See More: Rangoli Designs with Geometric Shapes ]
With just the right amount of creativity, making a Rangoli is a task too simple even for an amateur. The virtual ease of making one, together with its traditional value, a rangoli is bound to feature in every occasion of the common man for years to come.