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Kolam: Floor Art of Tamil Nadu

Mapping geometry and gender in Kolam

This module is a study of kolam, an everyday ritualistic floor art form practiced mostly by Hindu women from Tamil Nadu. It offers a glimpse of the various stages in kolam making in both urban and rural settings in the cities and towns nearby Chennai and Pondicherry along with images of kolam copy books, stencils and stickers that offer a quick alternative to traditional kolam. The articles present ethnographic and socio-historical perspectives on the deep rooted connection of kolam with ecology and gender. The documentation makes visible the importance of kolam in Tamil culture, emphasising its inherent mathematical precision. The attempt is to explore the inherent spiritual, playful and ephemeral aesthetics of kolam as a daily act of creating, erasing and recreating.