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Updated: January 12, 2014 13:34 IST

‘Ma-kolam’ adds colour to Sankranti

Rani Devalla
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The art of drawing Ma-kolam. File photo.
The Hindu
The art of drawing Ma-kolam. File photo.

Women of different regions follow tradition, bring out their creative best

Early in the morning, when most of us would hardly think of opening the eyes even by mistake, Amma wakes up and invariably enters the kitchen after her morning rituals. She grinds the soaked rice kept overnight and silently heads to the entrance to sweep and clean the threshold by sprinkling water all over and waits for a few minutes allowing the surface to dry.

Holding a small piece of cloth dipped into the container of rice batter, she then draws out images giving the ancient art form a perfect creative touch. She goes around paying rapt attention to the design and feels satisfied at the way the straight lines and curves have come. The sketch comes to a close as Amma outlines the ‘ma-kolam’ using ‘chemman’ (diluted red brick powder).

This is the story that most youngsters recall their family tradition during ‘Margazhi masam’. Although the ‘kolam’ takes different mediums like ‘kola-podi’ (powder) or rice flour, the age-old practice remains the same for decades.

And women of the Tamil community say that there is a lot of significance attached to the phenomenon of drawing kolam, particularly during Pongal. “The combination of ma-kolam and chemman represents Goddess Lakshmi and Vishnu. Hence, women nurture their creative streaks to honour the giver of wealth and prosperity,” says Sundari, an 80-year old Tamilian.

Drawing different patterns of ‘muggu’ has also been an age-old ritual followed by Telugu people. For them, the significance of ‘Dhanurmasam’ is being pronounced by Godha Devi’s (also known as Andal) extreme devotion to Lord Krishna. It is the month where women exchange notes to decorate the entrance of the house with beautiful expanse of ‘muggu’, ‘gobbemmalu’ and flowers, marking the celebrations of Sankranthi. P. Kameshwari, an elderly woman says, “The traditional art personifies positive energy. The colour powders used to fill various shapes add grace to the threshold. ‘Muggulu’ drawn during ‘Dhanurmasam,’ extend invitation to Lord Krishna to descend into the house and bless the people with love and abundance.”

On a different note, some of the Kannadigas in the city say that a certain degree of dexterity, concentration and discipline is required to structure different patterns of muggu. They say that joining the dots and the lines is one of the ancient methods of learning calculations.

Keywords: SankrantiMa-kolamrangoli

Good article, Bharat should not forget its beautiful culture and become

from:  Kalyan
Posted on: Jan 13, 2014 at 11:54 IST
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