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.