Art of Floor Painting

Rangoli is the traditional Indian form of painting decorative patterns on the floor. The earliest record of Rangoli is found in the Puranas and it is included as one among the 64 arts. The art of Rangoli is a form of worship in India. Its practice was a part of the spiritual process. The floor paintings are picturesque offerings to God.

The floor patterns are done using rice, flour, flowers and a powder of white stone. The Rangoli is used to decorate the floor on auspicious occasions. It is also used to create a feeling of well-being. These paintings flash a sign of welcome.

Rangoli art is the preserve of the womenfolk, who often sing as they draw, for each design has a song which describes the pattern and the deity in whose honor the painting is being made. Common designs are lotus, fish, birds, snakes. The sun, moon and other zodiac signs are also popular themes for floor painting. One of the favourite designs is the lotus denoting Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Most designs are basically geometric patterns formed with dots and lines to make squares, circles, swastikas, lotus, trident, fish, conch shell footprints, creepers and trees. Some designs may take more than one day to be completed.

All over India the most common color used in the floor paintings is white. White is a symbol of peace, purity and tranquility. The material used is rice flour or rice paste, rice being a sign of prosperity.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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