Rice flour rangoli art arisi maavu kolam


Traditionally kolam is drawn with rice flour - dry rice flour only.  It is ground very fine and as a result it is difficult to control the flow of rice flour between the thumb and index finger and pushing it is also difficult when compared with our kolam powder .   So the lines may appear discontinuous and the kolam with rice flour may not be as beautiful as that drawn with kolam powder.  

Kolam drawn with rice flour provide food for the insects and ants and the painful task of erasing the rangoli to draw a new one is not there..  

My mother used fire wood to cook and she said that insects etc. used to hide in the stoves .  Drawing a rice flour kolam probably was  also useful in drawing out the insects ( There is also a tradition of drawing kolam before the stove at night )  because some insects may also be toxic.

How to prepare dry rice flour rangoli


To overcome problems of drawing rice flour rangoli that is almost as beautiful as a kolam drawn with kolam powder,  I thought of a method and  the results  are encouraging.  To one part of rice flour add one part of powdered salt and mix well.  This kolam has been drawn with the mixture of rice flour and powdered salt also called table salt.  I have  added a pinch of turmeric powder at the middle of the design to make a completely eco-friendly rangoli  made with rice flour, salt and turmeric powder.

This type of traditional kolam can  be  drawn for festivals like Varalakshmi Vratham , Navratri golu and also as an environment friendly rangoli for Diwali.  Please try and let  me have your feed back.

One more option may be to grind rice flour a little  coarse and try.  The flour available in shops is very fine.

How to put arisi maavu kolam 



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So far so good.  At this stage the effects of rice flour start becoming  visible .  We cannot thin lines as we draw in ezhai kolam but the patterns are better than  only rice flour designs.


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          The other type of arisi maavu kolam is the wet riee flour rangoli  .  This the traditional maa kolam drawn for festivals  and auspicious occasions decorated with kaavi paste.  Raw rice is soaked in water and wet ground in a mixer.  The consistency is as shown in the picture.  Dip a small piece of white cloth in the wet maavu and using the thumb squeeze the maavu out of the cloth between the fingers and draw the pattern.  I have tried a very simple neli  padi kolam with this technique.  This is one of the most innovative rangoli designs making method followed in Tamil  Nadu.  Traditionally two lines or ezhais are drawn simultaneously.  I have demonstrated with ezhai drawn separately .
Finally decorate with a kaavi border.  When the water in the maavu evaporates and the design becomes dry the pattern is visible clearly and is beautiful.  This can be drawn on Fridays and for decoration ideas for auspicious occasions  like wedding, seemandham or valaikappu ( baby showers )  , namakaranam ( naming function for a new born baby )     

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When I shared the rangoli photos with my cousin , who is a Professor of Mathematics , he said that it is difficult to know the method just by looking at the images.   So this made me think and I started by YouTube channel for which my husband helped me quite a bit.  However , even there our videos were only slide shows of photos of rangoli or slide shows of different steps in a rangoli .  I started doing actual rangoli videos showing me  drawing rangoli only in 2013 .  It was only in 2015 that I really started upload good videos ( at least I think so ) with more consistency.  I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited to the inauguration of the YouTube Space in Mumbai ( I am told that it is the first in Asia ).  I realised that I had come a long way in making rangoli videos.                           

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