Rangoli is a design made with loose colored powder. Traditionally, every early morning women will sweep their homes and front porches then create rangoli on their front steps to welcome a new day. By mid-day it’s gone – swept away by the wind, as well as the coming and going of family, friends, and visitors.
This was a daily routine for the lady of the house but due to urbanization this art is disappearing from the everyday lives of people. In the old days, rangoli was made using rice, flour, or kitchen spices mixed with limestone powder, gypsum power, or color pigments. Now it’s only seen during cultural festivals, particularly Diwali. These days Rangoli powders come in pre-manufactured package in a multitude of colors.
I have had the honor of receiving a fellowship grant (multiple times) from the state of Alabama to teach Rangoli to children of Indian descent with the hopes of carrying on the tradition. Alabama Public Television (APT) featured this work on Rangoli in their show “Alabama Journey Proud”.