Friday, August 14, 2009

Invocation by Design





This week it was my turn with the 'painted prayers.' I made simple and small 'rangoli' for friends who are getting ready for pooja celebrations. The first photograph shows three made on plates using different lentils/dals etc. The other two are on wooden boards. I roughly sketched the designs with a erasable marker on the plates. My friend Sudha helped me fill in with the grains and lentils. The designs on the wooden boards were done the traditional way using dots to plot out and then painted with white acrylic (the middle two) and chalk (last one). The links for my other posts on the age old custom of rangoli, mandala and explanations can be reached by clicking on the title of this post.

Traditionally, Rangolis are created in color or with just white rice powder as invocations to deities for protection and blessings. The rice powder also stops the ants etc by the door too! They vary in designs, form and style from region to region. They are painted daily or on special occasions by the alters, by the front door or gate, or anyplace a ceremony is to be held. Stephen H. Huyler's books Painted Prayers: Women's Art in Village India and Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion are good references on rangoli. I embroidered a rangoli to hang in my living room when we first purchased our house - my way of having a rangoli in the house all the time :). I feel blessed to be a part of the sacred ritual that brings balance to the daily existence.

8 comments:

Kathy Staicer said...

Thank you so much Meera for sharing your heritage with us. I learn something new every time you do.

meera said...

thank you very much for being so open to learning. I really appreciate it. I am thankful for your encouraging comments.

B said...

meera thanks for picture of the rangolis. I love the one with the unbroken lines. the symmetry and intricacy along with the simplicity is beautiful. I also like the ways the two feet are drawn with rangoli. I am goignt o try this on my doorstep tonite

Happy deepavali

meera said...

Thank you B! The rangolis are age old designs that have been handed down through generations :) Glad to know you will continue with the tradition. Happy Deepavali to you and your family!

nikhilkardale said...

The first one (made from lentils & pulses) is wonderful. During the annual January flower show at the Empress Botanical Garden here in Pune, they had displayed a similar one.

Here's its picture:
http://twitpic.com/1mi4q7

meera said...

Oh that is a wonderful rangoli--thanks for the link! And thanks for your wonderful support!

Abha Gupta said...

Beautiful rangolis, love the Ganesha one! Do you not move them once finished? That reminds me the monks will be here for the 'mandala' starting tomorrow and we are going to miss seeing you at the theater this time round.

Meera Rao said...

Thanks Abha! the pulse/dal ones were done on a plate and you can move them carefully :) the others were painted on.

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