|The 5' X 6' rangoli on the wall behind the Tulsi plant|
I've always been fascinated by the geometric symmetry of Rangoli , a sacred auspicious pattern, which Indian women draw in front of the threshold (using powdered rice) to invite Sri Lakshmi , the goddess of wealth into the house.
My mother ( now 82 years old) has done a lot of research on the "Symbolic aspects of Rangoli" and had presented a paper on " Regional influence of Rangoli" in a seminar organised by Karnataka Craft Council a couple of decades ago. In the same seminar I had presented a paper on "Computers and Rangoli" which was published by "The India Magazine" . I had also written about the mathematical aspects of Rangoli in Science Today ( a Times of India publication) in the late 80's.
I enjoy the meditative feel of drawing a rangoli and "doodle" them on paper when ever I feel stressed. Buddhist monks draw intricate mandala ( patterns in circular form) which incorporates images / story of Lord Buddha, as part of their initiation
Recently, my cousin who is a well known architect in Hyderabad invited me to draw a rangoli on one of the walls of her brand new house. As this was my first attempt to draw/ paint on a vertical surface , I was worried that the paint would drip and ruin her wall . .It took me a 4-5 days to design and complete the ... 5' X 6' large rangoli , and thankfully no serious errors occurred to mar the painting .
We stuck some round and diamond shaped mirrors
(inspired by Kutch wall murals of Gujarat ) .My cousin was immensely pleased with the result and so was I. Now , I have the courage to attempt a similar one on the walls of my house.
In my next post, I'll write more about mathematical links and cultural aspects of Rangoli and upload the seminar papers and my articles published in Science Today on Recreational Mathematics ( on Fractals , Knots , Tessellations and Symmetry ) which has references to the mathematical nature of Rangoli.
Did you know that similar patterns are drawn on sand using finger tips , by the men-folks of Chokwe people in south-central Africa? These highly stylized geometric drawings are called "Sona" and were made to illustrate a story. The sand drawing shown to the right illustrates a story of a rabbit , positioned at B . It discovers a salt mine at the centre marked A. His three opponents , a lion , a jaguar and a hyena (positioned at point C , D , E ) , tries to take possession of the salt mine to assert the might of the strong. But the smart rabbit , affirms the right of the weak by quickly making a fence around the salt mine , thus blocking it from his three enemies.
|Sona geometric pattern of Africa|
Meanwhile go the wonderful link below for more information on links between Rangoli and Fibonnacci series by one Dr. Naranan, who was an experimental cosmic-ray physicist and X-ray Astronomer at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay