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Ritual Art that Feeds a Thousand Souls Every Day


Kolam: ritual art that feeds a thousand souls every day

May 20, 2021– Every sunrise, millions of Tamil women create intricate, geometric, ritual art designs called ‘kolams’, on the doorsteps of their homes, as a tribute to Mother Earth and an offering to Goddess Lakshmi. A Tamil word meaning beauty, form, play, costume, or ritual design: a kolam is based on the Hindu belief that heads of households have a karmic obligation to “feed a thousand souls.” By creating kolam with rice flour, a woman provides food for birds, rodents, ants and other tiny life forms, greeting each day with “a ritual of generosity”, which blesses both the family and the community at large. . Kolams are a deliberately transitory art form. They are re-created each sunrise with a combination of reverence, mathematical precision, artistic skill, and spontaneity. Read on for a kolam practitioner’s deeply personal exploration of this multi-dimensional practice. (23 reads)

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To take actionFor more inspiration, join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with Vijaya Nagarajan, the author of the first in-depth post in English on kolam. RSVP information here [more]

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